Online Troy meeting interrupted with profanity by hackers

City of Troy. CONTRIBUTED.
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City of Troy. CONTRIBUTED.

A Troy City Council work session being conducted via Zoom was interrupted briefly Monday by unidentified intruder(s) who displayed inappropriate visuals and spewed a string of cursing before being shut down.

The incident occurred as council members discussed a proposal for council to encourage people to wear face masks due to COVID-19 and an increase in cases.

The disruption included a photo of a woman and a request to speak before flashing visuals and a stream of profanity repeating the same phrase.

Council President William “Bill” Lutz said after the meeting he credited quick action by Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director, who removed the intruders from the meeting and put them into a “waiting room” for viewers. The information flashed included a statement “You have been hacked,” Lutz said.

The intruder or intruders left after he put them in the waiting room, Titterington said, calling the situation “very rude.”

“We do not know who the offending parties were or where they may have been from,” Lutz said.

Troy City Council and other city boards and commissions have been using the Zoom format for their public meetings since spring due to COVID-19.

By coincidence, the council Monday also discussed voting later this month to move their meetings from limited space used in normal times in council chambers at City Hall to a larger room at Hobart Arena to be able to return to in-person meetings.

Lutz called the incident “terribly unfortunate” and said he apologized “for anyone who watched and was offended by any images they saw.”