FBI: People who ‘Zoom bombed’ Gonzaga Black Student Union had no connection to university

Gonzaga University Campus

SPOKANE, Wash. — The people who made racist and homophobic slurs while hacking a Gonzaga Black Student Union virtual call likely had no connection to the university. 

Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Robin Kelley announced the FBI’s finding in an email to the university community on Wednesday. 

The FBI also told the university the perpetrators most likely reside outside of the United States. 

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It has been a year since the “Zoom Bomb” attack. Shortly after the hack, Gonzaga leaders announced their IT department was able to capture data and identifying IP addresses from those who hijacked the call.

At that time, the university said the sources of the IP addresses were both domestic and international. 

On Wednesday, Kelley again affirmed the university’s condemnation of the attack. 

“While this finding is significant, it does not negate the harm inflicted upon individuals at the meeting or the wider community. We understand that not knowing the identity of the perpetrators is not the closure we all desired,” Kelley wrote. 

Since the attack, the university has created a BSU Task Force to address the student union’s priorities to ensure a welcoming, safe, healthy and inclusive campus climate for Black students and other historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. 

Those priorities include reassessing and reforming restorative justice processes; diversity, equity and inclusion training/education for all faculty; as well as recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color. 

Since the formation of the task force, there have been conversations about changes to the restorative justice process, more than 1,300 faculty and staff have completed DiversityEdu training and the university has revised the faculty recruitment and retention policy to include a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. 

“While the November 8, 2020, Zoom attack was deeply disturbing and disruptive, it also provided a catalyst for important conversations and work,” Kelley wrote. “This is a work in progress, and it is extremely important work for us to do together.” 

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