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Kolkata school Zoom webinar hacked, probe on to track hackers

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 06.12.21, 09:22 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.


Shikshayatan Foundation, situated in the central business district of Kolkata has lodged a police complaint alleging that one of its webinars, which was attended by students and teachers of several schools, was hacked and unidentified attendees posted objectionable photographs on the platform. 

Police said the webinar, organised by the Calcutta Business School, a unit of Shri Shikshayatan Foundation, had around 180 attendees. 

The complaint was lodged with Shakespeare Sarani police station. 

“According to the complaint, a webinar organised by the Calcutta Business School on November 27 was hacked. The hackers had posted objectionable photographs and chats on the online meeting forum while the session was on. A detailed probe has been started,” said an officer in the south division.

“We have organised several webinars during the pandemic. But this (hacking) has never happened before,” said Bratati Bhattacharyya, secretary general of the Shikshayatan Foundation.

“That day (November 27)... suddenly hackers overpowered the system and all attendees were turned into co-hosts. The technical team that was handling the webinar was finding it very difficult to close it. It had to be wrapped up midway and we have reported the matter to the police.” 

Sources said they had collected log-in details of the online meeting, which was held on the Zoom platform, and started preparing a list of attendees.

Officers are in the process of establishing the identity of each and every attendee, the sources said. “As the link of such webinars are widely circulated, they often get into the wrong hands. Mischief-mongers find it easy to enter the platform using someone else’s identity to disrupt online proceedings,” said the officer.  “We have shared all the data that the police had asked for. We have full faith in the investigators and hope they will catch the culprits soon,” Bhattacharyya said.

Similar incidents of hacking into online classrooms and posting objectionable photographs and chats were reported from various quarters. Sources said this was not the first time a webinar organised by an educational institution had been hacked but very few institutions come forward to officially report the matter to the police.

Last updated on 07.12.21, 11:09 AM

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