Several dozen small French websites have been affected by a wave of computer hacks consisting in making them post Islamist propaganda messages.
Messages such as "Victory for Mohammed, victory for Islam and Death to France" and a montage depicting Emmanuel Macron dressed as a pig were displayed instead of the home page of retiree association sites, shops. or small town halls.
Other sites displayed in green letters the message "Operation launched by Muslim hackers against France for insulting the Prophet Muhammad and publicly profaning Islam".
Contacted Monday, a police source was "not aware of a complaint", "but it is probably only a matter of time," she said.
@ TF1 receives comments under its last post on #Facebook from #islamists #jihadists threatening to behead @EmmanuelMacron and attacking France.
Thank you to the hate-makers who victimize themselves internationally.
#WeAreOne #StandWithFrance pic.twitter.com/b1sQVBnkb4
- LaSoeurAthee2🇲🇦🇫🇷 (@ LaSoeurAthee2) October 25, 2020
The national device for assistance to victims of cybermalveillance had launched the alert the day before on Twitter, indicating that a "wave of cyber attacks in disfigurement" targeted "many French sites".
"The traffic exploded Sunday evening on our platform" (cybermalveillance.gouv.fr), which gives advice to the victims of this type of acts, declared Monday its general manager Jérôme Notin.
"It is targeted on a clear political message"
Website editors can in particular protect themselves against these attacks by performing technical updates to their website.
"Several dozen websites, perhaps a hundred, have been affected," said Gérôme Billois, cybersecurity specialist at Wavestone.
Call for a boycott of French products in the Middle East: Paris launches the response
"It is targeted on a clear political message," he noted, recalling a wave of similar attacks that affected more than 1,000 French sites after the January 2015 attacks.
At a low technical level and less of a consequence than the ransomware attacks which have been increasing in recent years, defacement attacks, carried out automatically via software that detects and exploits flaws in servers and websites , sometimes accompany geopolitical tensions.
"What the attackers are looking for is to reach a lot of sites so that we start talking about them," said Mr. Billois.
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The weekend was marked by protests and calls to boycott French products in the Muslim world, following recent remarks about Islam by Emmanuel Macron.
The French president had notably promised Wednesday that France would continue to defend the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, during the tribute ceremony to Samuel Paty, a professor beheaded in an Islamist attack for showing these drawings in class.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself called on Monday to stop consuming French products.