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Hackers infiltrate virtual church service to show images of pornographic and satanic nature

By Neil MacPhail

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An Inverness church congregation of hundreds of people was left stunned when an online service began screening pornographic and satanic images after being hacked.

The Rev Fiona Smith of Ness Bank Church said she was upset and angry at the shocking incident

But she insisted she was determined not to let the hackers stop the online services she believes give hope to so many during the pandemic.

Rev Fiona Smith at last year's Remembrance Service Picture: Callum Mackay.
Rev Fiona Smith at last year's Remembrance Service Picture: Callum Mackay.

She said: "We will not be defeated by people who are trying to scare and intimidate us.

"We will continue to reach out to people who would dearly love to come to the church for services, but cannot due to the Covid restrictions.

"We will continue to give them hope with the online services and I will keep on working my socks off to hold the congregation together.”

Mrs Smith said the service was about to start on the Zoom video conferencing system when she became aware of a cacophony of noise, and saw "satanic pentogram" signs and a masked man.

"I took them out immediately but the music was still going on and a GIF or virtual image that was pornographic was seen.

"I immediately shut the whole service down and the matter is now in the hands of the police.

"No more than 25 people would have seen the images and the majority saw nothing."

The hacking incident happened as the service was about to go out to the homes of more than 100 Ness Bank Church members, plus around 160 members of Nairn Old Parish Church who had joined the Inverness congregation because their minister was on holiday.

Mrs Smith added the church had online security measures in place, and had now beefed them up.

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