Pro-Russian Hackers Wage War on French Networks

Estimated read time 3 min read

The hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan has taken credit for recent cyberattacks hitting critical infrastructure across the French government. According to an online announcement posted on Anonymous Sudan’s Telegram channel, the group has conducted a “massive cyber-attack” utilizing distributed denial of service (DDoS) to attack the French IPs.

The self-proclaimed strikes targeted the Interministerial Directorate of Digital Affairs, an agency responsible for managing over 17,000 internet protocol (IP) addresses and devices spanning more than 300 government domains. Anonymous Sudan claims their DDoS bombardment succeeded in “strongly” overwhelming and disabling these core digital endpoints underlying various state services.

Screenshot of Anonymous Sudan’s announcement

“Their infrastructure…has all been knocked down strongly,” the hackers declared. “The damage will be widespread as core digital government endpoints have been hit.”

French officials have confirmed sustained cyberattacks of an “unprecedented intensity” disrupting access to websites and digital resources across multiple ministries and agencies over the past few days. A crisis response team has been activated to implement cybersecurity countermeasures and restore impacted systems.

“At this stage, the impact…has been reduced for most services and access to State sites restored,” an official statement from the Prime Minister’s office noted, adding that filtering measures remain ongoing until the attacks subside.

Anonymous Sudan has a history of hitting targets in Western nations over human rights concerns and support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The timing and scale of the latest onslaught could signal growing ambitions to cause digital havoc aligned with geopolitical fractures.

The strikes come as French cybersecurity authorities have raised alarms over anticipated surges in hacking attempts ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics and European Parliament elections in June. Critical infrastructure, government systems, and the electoral process are seen as prime targets for potential foreign interference and sabotage.

Besides Anonymous Sudan’s claimed responsibility, another pro-Russian hacking group dubbed NoName057(16) has also taken credit for the sweeping attacks on French networks. With escalating tensions, both law enforcement and security teams face mounting pressure to safeguard systems.

In addition to the high-impact assault on French digital infrastructure, Anonymous Sudan has carried out other attention-grabbing hacks over the past several months. Just weeks ago, Anonymous Sudan leveraged its “InfraShutdown” DDoS platform to disrupt telecommunications networks in Bahrain over the government’s support for Israel and involvement in the Yemen conflict.

Anonymous Sudan also says it successfully breached multiple Israeli university systems in March to protest the country’s policies in Gaza and draw global awareness to the crisis in Sudan. Last week, the group claims it attacked multiple Telecom companies in Egypt and in Israel.

Mohamed Nabil Ali

A Trailblazing IT Expert, Technology Geek, and Bughunter.
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