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Hackers disrupt online college meeting with racist language

Hackers used racist language and anti-Semitic images to disrupt an online meeting of Wake Forest University employees, the school’s president said.
Hackers used racist language and anti-Semitic images to disrupt an online meeting of Wake Forest University employees, the school’s president said. (KPRC)

(AP) – Hackers used racist language and anti-Semitic images to disrupt an online meeting of Wake Forest University employees, the school’s president said.

In a message posted to the school's website, Nathan Hatch said about 500 Wake Forest staff members were on a Zoom call on Wednesday when unidentified hackers disrupted it, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday.

The university’s information technology staff is trying to track down the origin of the attack, Hatch said, adding that it appears that the hackers gained access to the meeting from a link posted publicly online that also contained the meeting’s password.

“This was a traumatizing experience for many on the call, especially our Black colleagues, and it reinforces that we all have a role to play in protecting each other and our community from those who would seek to force their hatred upon us,” Hatch wrote.

Last September, a number of Wake Forest professors and staff members received racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic emails that called for the purging of ethnic minorities and LGBT students. School employees who got the emails worked in the university’s sociology and gender studies departments and in offices and centers that work on diversity matters.