Twitter hack teen's court date 'Zoombombed' with porn

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A court hearing for the Florida teenager accused of being behind last month's major Twitter hack was interrupted with pornography.

The hearing took place over video chat app Zoom, but had to be suspended after repeated interruptions.

The 17-year-old was asking for a lower bail amount, after pleading not guilty to the charges on Tuesday.

But Zoom users - changing their names to mimic CNN and BBC News employees - dropped in to the meeting uninvited.

Florida newspaper the Tampa Bay Times reported that the "interruptions grew so frequent… Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher C Nash ended the Zoom hearing temporarily".

However, the interruptions resumed when the hearing did.

Some attendees played music down the line. Another used Zoom's screen-sharing feature to play pornography, which reporters said was the final straw that suspended the meeting.

Ryan Hughes, a reporter for WFLA News in Florida, said Judge Christopher Nash had remarked that "next time he'll require a password".

Zoom meetings without a password can be joined by anyone with the meeting's ID number.

Cyber-security expert Brian Krebs wrote that the so-called "Zoombombing" was predictable.

"How the judge in charge of the proceeding didn't think to enable settings that would prevent people from taking over the screen is beyond me. My guess is he didn't know he could," Krebs wrote.

He noted that it was fortunate the pornography clip was "fairly tame" as such things go.

"Judges holding hearings over Zoom need to get a clue," he said.

After resuming the meeting, the judge decided not to lower the bail amount, which had been set at $750,000 (£570,000).

The teenager's lawyers argued the amount was unreasonable, since he is accused of stealing just a fraction of that amount, the Tampa Bay Times said.

He is accused of 30 counts of fraud after the Twitter hack, which used the social media firm's internal tools to access celebrity accounts for a Bitcoin scam.

Twitter says 130 accounts were targeted in the attack, while private account information from a much smaller number was also accessed.

A British 19-year-old from Bognor Regis, Mason Sheppard, was also charged by US officials in an indictment last month, as was 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando.

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