Cybersecurity Blog

How to avoid having your Google meeting bombed – 04/22/20

 

 

Although Google Meet is a more secure platform than Zoom. It isn’t immune to meeting bombers. This week, an MRU employee had a rather disturbing and unfortunate experience with one of their Google meetings.

As the meeting organizer, they followed a registration process that had been established for their department’s meetings to ensure that all attendees were legitimate. However as this is a new platform and there are special circumstances that arise, they knew that there would be individuals signing in who would not be on the registration list. So when they received a request to join the meeting they were not concerned. That is until they attempted to verify the attendees identity and were rewarded with profanity.

The organizer of the meeting removed the trolling attendee. However there were several other attempts by this same individual to join the meeting again.  In their brief time as an attendee, they had a grabbed a list of other attendees. They then impersonated one of them and repeatedly asked to join. The poor organizer had to keep asking the impersonated attendees if they were attempting to join using another email address.  The whole incident was very disruptive. The organizer handled things very well but wanted to know how to prevent this from happening in the future.

There are a few things that you can do. First if you are using nicknames for your meeting, avoid using common meeting names.  Team meeting, department meeting and math class are examples of nicknames to avoid. This prevents trolls from finding your meeting simply by entering nicknames that are commonly used. Second, if at all possible don’t post meeting links in a public location. Try to limit it to meeting invites if you can. Third, simply deny join requests. Join requests are only required if the attendee isn’t using a Mount Royal email account.  Let your attendees know that they must use their Mount Royal email address to join your Google meetings and you will avoid this problem all together.

If however you are meeting with people outside of the Mount Royal community, then you will have to rely on the other two measures to keep trolls from bombing your meeting. If you are  having meetings of this nature regularly, contact the IT Service Desk to see if another video conferencing solution is available for you to use.

 

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