A new digital offensive that targets data from the lower house of parliament. The hacker group KromSec announced a cyberattack on the National Assembly on Saturday evening. "We have access to all the information hosted in the system," the hacker collective boasted on its Telegram channel, attaching screenshots purporting to prove the possession of data obtained from the website, including personal information on Assembly staff and visitors.
National Assemblee of French Parliament [https://t.co/HD0tJdemGb], which has thousands row of database in, been kissed😘
You denied, when we kiss the Ministry of Justice.
How will you deny it now? :D
- https://t.co/fOiMevmgW2 pic.twitter.com/M3urbuNNWU
— KromSec 🏴 (@KromSecurity) November 18, 2023
Digital security services are mobilized on the subject. "An analysis of the incident is underway," a government source told us, warning against "a group that has already claimed responsibility for actions in a fanciful manner." "There is an increase in the activities of hacktivists who have little power to cause technical nuisance but a significant media echo by attacking certain targets," the source said.
"They claim responsibility for the attack on the Assembly site, although there is no evidence yet that the operation was successful. They also told me that they had access to the internal system, but I didn't receive any proof," Clément Domingo, aka SaxX, a cybersecurity engineer, told Le Parisien. Still, the screenshots shared suggest that the hackers have access to nine databases. "Presumably, they have names, dates of birth, mailing addresses, phone numbers... In short, biodata on visitors to the Assembly, as well as personal data on parliamentarians, which is quite sensitive content," says the French hacker.
France targeted for its international policy
The latter has been contacted by the hackers, who announce the upcoming hacking of a French ministry. According to him, this information should be taken with a grain of salt. What is KromSec's goal with this operation? "For the time being, they are in the process of sorting this data, and are threatening to publish it, or even sell it on cybercriminal markets," explains Clément Domingo.
In its statement, KromSec said it had targeted the French political institution for two separate reasons. Firstly, the group criticises France's position at the international level, a country in which "human rights were mentioned for the first time in Europe". Without naming specific conflicts, the hacker group appears to be referring to the war between Israel and Hamas. A few days after the bloody attacks of 7 October, the group had already spoken out in favour of peace in the Middle East, against "the death of children, women and innocent people on both sides".
KromSec also mentions the hacking of the Ministry of Justice last July, an operation for which the group regrets not having been taken seriously enough. "You attacked and disowned us" in this attack, KromSec said. A complaint was filed by the Ministry of Justice after the personal data of more than a thousand magistrates and lawyers was circulated online.
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Kromsec said it was acting in reaction to the death of 17-year-old Nahel, who was killed by a police officer in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) last week. "The French government must eradicate racism in its police force or the Anonymous collective will come to the aid of the protesters," he also warned on Twitter. The ministry told Numerama that it was "an old file" that contained "personal data of employees" but did not belong to the Ministry of Justice.
Little known until now, the Kromsec group has in the past claimed responsibility for several hacks targeting Moroccan, Iranian, Turkish and Palestinian public institutions. This group "is not affiliated with any state or nationality. They are hackers who act according to current events, mainly attacking governments rather than companies," explains Clément Domingo, adding that KromSec is "not affiliated with Anonymous".
France has faced in recent months an upsurge in cyberattacks on its institutions, "due in particular to its international political positions in the world," according to SaxX, which explains that France is "exposed, particularly in the run-up to the Paris Olympics."