French Government Targeted By Cyberattacks of ‘Unprecedented’ Intensity

Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska Senior Editor
Penka Hristovska Penka Hristovska Senior Editor

Cyberattacks of “unprecedented intensity” have targeted multiple French government departments, prompting the activation of a crisis unit to fend them off.

The attacks come ahead of the Olympics games in July and European Parliament elections in June, which Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s defense adviser last week said could be “significant targets.”

Attal’s office said the attacks started Sunday night and later added that the impact of the attacks has now been reduced and access to some government websites was “re-established.”

“Since (Sunday), several government departments have been the subject of cyberattacks whose technical methods are conventional but the intensity unprecedented,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “Many ministerial services have been targeted.”

The Prime Minister’s office added at the time that teams from the interministerial digital affairs department DINUM and France’s cybersecurity agency ANSSI are actively working to counter the attacks.

The statement said they’re “implementing filtering measures until the attacks are over.”

The identity of the attackers remains uncertain, though several hacker groups have claimed responsibility on the messaging app Telegram for the attacks.

One of them is the hacker group Anonymous Sudan, which is responsible for numerous politically motivated attacks. The group has previously stated that it goes after what it considers to be anti-Muslim activity and cybersecuriy experts believe it to be pro-Russia.

This time, the group claimed it carried out a DDoS attack on the network infrastructure of the French Interministerial Directorate of Digital Affairs.

“We have conducted a massive cyberattack… the damage will be widespread,” said the group. “A lot of different digital government sectors have been affected, including very important websites, with their respective subdomains.”

DDoS attacks flood websites and services with excessive internet traffic, rendering them inaccessible. Although DDoS attacks do not directly breach IT systems, they can severely interrupt communications and services. They are frequently accompanied by hacking attempts.

A security source said the attacks “are not currently attributable to Russia.”

About the Author
Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska
Senior Editor

About the Author

Penka Hristovska is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She was an editor at several review sites that covered all things technology — including VPNs and password managers — and had previously written on various topics, from online security and gaming to computer hardware. She’s highly interested in the latest developments in the cybersecurity space and enjoys learning about new trends in the tech sector. When she’s not in “research mode,” she’s probably re-watching Lord of The Rings or playing DOTA 2 with her friends.

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