RISK: ISIS-linked hackers cut transmission to French TV network

"They have to erase everything. There were at least three other encrypted viruses."

Hackers claiming to work on behalf of ISIS seized control of French television network TV5 Monde on Wednesday night, cutting transmission on 11 channels and taking over network’s website and social media accounts. The network has since restored its signal but can only broadcast recorded programs.

The message on the TV5 Monde website read in part “I am IS” with a banner by a group that called itself Cybercaliphate. It was replaced later Thursday by a simple message saying that it was undergoing maintenance.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Thursday it has opened a terrorism investigation into the attack.

After January terrorist attacks in France by gunmen claiming links to the Islamic State group and al-Qaida in Yemen, officials said hackers had targeted some 19,000 French websites. William Reymond, editor of the French investigative website Breaking3zero, which traced the January hackings of the U.S. military’s Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, said the latest attack can be directly linked to two Islamic State-linked militants––one in Algeria who built the malicious software and another in Iraq who helped speed up the attack.

Within a half-hour, he said, the malware had burrowed in and exploited a weakness to enter the network’s computer system and take over its central transmission server, preventing the signal from being beamed to a satellite. He said TV5 Monde will have a hard time regaining full control.

“They have to erase everything. There were at least three other encrypted viruses,” he said.

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.