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'Hate-Filled Attack' by Hacker Ends Virtual Graduation

Racist slurs and symbols fill Zoom screen
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2020 9:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – "During a time that should have been focused on recognizing our graduating students," the president of Oklahoma City University said, "an unknown source was able to bypass the system and display racist and offensive language." The attack cut short the school's virtual graduation ceremony Saturday. "I want to be clear, OCU stands against racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism," Martha Burger added in a statement. Racial slurs and a swastika appeared on the screen, KOCO reports. University officials said they'll work with law enforcement to find and prosecute the hacker. The school was using Zoom, which is being attacked more with its increased use during the pandemic shutdown, per the Hill.

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Burger's statement said the school took precautions, but, she added, "unfortunately the digital platform we used to connect has become a target." When the attack took place, the images of students were on the screen, and a blessing was being given by graduate Jay Williams, per CNN. The school posted his message, and Burger quoted Williams: "Where there is injustice, may we not be silent. Where there is harm, may we be makers of peace. Where there is hate, may we be agents of love." A pastor put his own message on Twitter for the hacker: "Know that your small act of white supremacy will be snuffed out by the courageous compassion of the graduating 2020 class." (Read more hacking stories.)

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