Multiple French government agencies hit by significant DDoS attacks
Multiple French government agencies hit by significant DDoS attacks

The French government appears to have suffered a significant Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which forced multiple websites across several departments offline.

The attack was confirmed by data from Cloudflare data, a statement from the office of the French Prime Minister, and the cybersecurity firm FalconFeeds.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal issued a press release mentioning a “conventional attack of unprecedented intensity.” Roughly at the same time, Cloudflare’s Radar service reported an event that began early Sunday morning and quickly escalated, lasting for roughly six hours. 

Political motivations

Soon afterwards, a threat actor known as Anonymous Sudan claimed responsibility for the attack and said that France’s Direction interministérielle du numérique (DINUM) - its digital transformation agency - failed in repelling the attack. Cloudflare added that the attack continued on both Monday and Tuesday.

Anonymous Sudan is a hacking collective known for its DDoS attacks. Earlier this year, in February 2024, the University of Cambridge reported suffering a widespread distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that was also causing disruptions across various other higher education institutions in the UK. Before that, in June 2023, Microsoft’s cloud services were also the target of Anonymous Sudan, with the group succeeding in temporarily bringing down OneDrive for some users.

For this attack, security researchers from FalconFeeds believe the threat actor was not alone. They argue that a pro-Russian threat actor known as UserSec, and a threat actor named 22C, assisted.

Since the group shared no motives for the attack, the media hopped on the speculation train. The Register is linking the attack to a recent speech by President Macron, which suggested Europe should consider sending its military to assist Ukraine in the battle against Russia. The attack could be perceived as a warning against such a move.

In its previous attacks, Anonymous Sudan was vocal about its motives. The attack against Cambridge was due to the UK’s  “unconditional support for Israel and complicity on the ongoing genocide in Gaza as well as bombing campaigns on Yemen,” while the attack on Microsoft was “to teach you liars a very good lesson in honesty that none of your parents ever taught you”. 

Via The Register

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