Zoom Bombing

To Members of the USF Community:

On Wednesday, March 6, a distressing “Zoom bombing” incident occurred during the Global Feminist Forum on campus. This was a hybrid event, with participants joining the conversation in person and via Zoom. Someone gained access to the presentation slides and inserted messages, images, and audio on the slides that were being shown. The messages that appeared on the slides were antisemitic, anti- Black, racist, and pornographic. Both in-person participants and those joining by Zoom were impacted by this.

ITS was immediately contacted and asked to investigate the incident to learn how someone accessed what we believed was a closed event. The ITS team reported on Thursday, March 7, that the perpetrator was not affiliated with USF, and gained access via a Zoom link that was posted publicly. The ITS team turned over the individual’s identification to USF Public Safety for follow-up with the San Francisco Police Department and Zoom’s security team.

Please note that when the incident occurred, ITS worked to ensure that the remaining event of the Global Feminist Forum was secure. Steps were immediately taken to prevent another incident of “Zoom bombing.” Impacted participants also received a message from the Bias Education and Resource Team (BERT), in partnership with the Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI), with information on support and resources should they need them.

When members of the community are hosting meetings, classroom discussions, and events that include Zoom presentations, we urge faculty, staff, and students to follow best practices to ensure safe and secure meetings. Resources, articles, video, and detailed planning instructions — all prepared by ITS — can be found on their resource page.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President
Eileen Chia-Ching Fung, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Opinder Bawa, Vice President of Information Technology
Julie Orio, Vice President of Student Life