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French Government departments hit by ‘unprecedented’ cyberattacks

Written by Wed 13 Mar 2024

On Sunday, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s office said several French Government departments had been hit with cyberattacks of ‘unprecedented intensity’.

By Monday, the Prime Minister’s office said the Government had been able to contain the incident and crisis teams from the interministerial digital directorate (DINUM) and the French Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI) continued to defend against the cyberattacks.

“The impact of these attacks has been reduced for most services and access to state websites restored,” said the Prime Minister’s office.

The hacking group Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility for the attacks in online posts. The French Prime Minister’s office and digital safety agency declined to comment on the claim or reveal details about the targets or potential damage. 

“We have conducted a massive cyberattack… the damage will be widespread,” said Anonymous Sudan as reported by Le Monde.

A French official described the attacks as denial-of-service (DoS), a malicious attempt to overwhelm a web property with traffic to disrupt its normal operations.

Hacking group Anonymous Sudan has engaged in various distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks since early 2023, targeting entities in Sweden, Denmark, the United States, Australia, and other nations. 

The group’s true origins remain uncertain. Threat researchers suggested potential logistical and ideological ties to Russia.

France Battles Cybercrime

Ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer, the French government is ramping up cyber defences after experiencing ransomware attacks.

In March 2023, France’s National Assembly website was hit with a distributed denial-of-service attack claimed by pro-Russian hackers.

In December 2022, A cyber attack at a hospital in Versailles caused major damage and led to operations being cancelled and some patients being transferred to other locations.

The hospital had already fought off several other cyber attacks in recent months. If a ransom was not paid, hackers said that patient information would be released on the dark web. After refusing to pay the ransom, some health data was published online, opening the hospital up to more fraud risks.

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Written by Wed 13 Mar 2024

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