French websites taken offline in Charlie Hebdo revenge hack
Several French news websites have been hit by an apparent DDoS attack carried out by cyberjihadis.
Oxalide, the web hosting company for Liberation, L’Express, 20 Minutes, France Inter, Mediapart and Marianne Tweeted there was “an attack taking place against our infrastructure” and that it was “affecting the heart of our infrastructure”.
L’incident est toujours en cours… Il touche le coeur de réseau. Les équipes sont en cours d’investigation.
— oxalide (@oxalide) January 16, 2015
Although the company most recently said it has traced the source of the attack, it hasn’t disclosed where the traffic is coming from and apparently the incident is ongoing.
As well as affecting the sites of Liberation, L’Express et al, the attack has also brought down the sites of other, unrelated businesses that are seemingly hosted on the same infrastructure.
This is the latest of a series of cyberattacks against French targets, which began in earnest last week following the murder of 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and attack on a Kosher supermarket.
Cyberjihadis claiming to represent the terrorist group Isis, also known as Isil and Da’ish, have also attacked the websites of targets including French universities, businesses and government institutions, apparently hacking into and defacing them.
According to Sky News, many were left displaying the message: “The Islamic State Stay Inchallah (God willing). Free Palestine. Death To France. Death To Charlie.”
The head of France’s cyber-defences, rear admiral Arnaud Coustilliere, has said the scope and severity of the attacks, which are said to number over 19,000 in the past nine days alone, was “unprecedented”.
The apparent Islamist hackers aren’t carrying out their attacks un-opposed, however. In addition to any formal retaliation from the French government and mitigation by hosting companies, hacking collective Anonymous has been waging hit-and-run attacks of its own, taking a handful of Islamist websites down and vowing to continue its campaign for the foreseeable future.