As people everywhere are under lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, athletes and exercise enthusiasts are looking online for ways to stay fit and keep connected with their sports of choice.
SwimSwam even launched our own At Home Swim Training segment on our site, consisting of coaches, elite athletes, clubs and more offering up ways to shape up while in quarantine.
Scottish Swimming was set to do its part, having arranged a digital workout for a limited number of selected participants to follow alongside their idols. Commonwealth Games champion Duncan Scott was among the national swimmers set to partake in the workout conducted via the popular, free web conferencing app called Zoom.
However, things took a terrible turn this morning during the live workout, as the production was ‘Zoom bombed’ by uninvited guests. The intrusion resulted in graphic images being shown to age groupers and others attending the eworkout.
Scottish Swimming sincerely apologises for the incident that happened this morning (Tuesday 14 April) during an organised Zoom event, where the aquatics community were invited to work out alongside our performance athletes.
At the end of last week we shared information about the workout across our social media platforms, asking those interested in participating to log into a link that was shared publicly this morning. Unfortunately the link was ‘Zoom-bombed’ with disturbing content shared with circa 300 people that had signed in to the event. The video was immediately shut down and the incident referred to the police and their cyber-crime unit. We apologise to everyone involved and deeply regret the outcome of today’s event.
Scottish Swimming will continue to support and engage with our aquatic community during this time in isolation and have started a full review of the process undertaken today along with consideration of security measures across all platforms, in order to put in place measures to prevent any further incidents of this nature happening again.
At a time when the aquatics community was pulling together and supporting one another so positively, it is very upsetting to have a minority cause upset and distress during the lockdown.
Not mincing words regarding the incident, Scott also said after the call, “I am in disgust. Our open invite WOD cancelled due to a sick individual. I am sorry for what everyone and more importantly what the kids that were a part of the WOD had to see!!”
Zoom has been at the center of controversy as a result of usage skyrocketing with folks at home due to the pandemic. In late March it was discovered that the company highly overestimated its end-to-end encryption, which has resulted in several class-action lawsuits.
For Zoom bombing specifically, it’s important to note that the intruders are not doing anything of the ‘hacking’ nature. They are simply accessing meetings/conferences/presentations using the link provided to others that has been ultimately disseminated and made public.
Remedies for proactively preventing Zoom bombers can include limiting the use of your Personal Meeting ID, setting up meetings with password protection and disabling the ‘join before host’ setting. Waiting Room and Lock Meeting options can also be used for extra security. You can read more about those here.