Sunday, May 19, 2024

French Government Hit with Severe DDoS Attack

Several French government websites faced disruptions due to a severe Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, marking a concerning escalation in cyber threats against state infrastructure.

The attack commenced in the early hours of Sunday, rapidly escalating in intensity.

Cloudflare’s Radar service detected the onslaught, which saw a brief lull before resurging to sustain a significant level of disruption for approximately six hours.

The French government’s digital transformation agency, Direction interministérielle du numérique (DINUM), was quick to respond, attempting to erect digital barriers against the attackers.

Despite these efforts, Anonymous Sudan, a group claiming responsibility for the attack, declared DINUM’s defenses ineffective, with Cloudflare data indicating spikes in Layer 7 attacks in the following days.

Government Response

The office of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal acknowledged the cyberattacks, describing them as “conventional attacks of unprecedented intensity.”

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A crisis cell was activated to deploy countermeasures, significantly reducing the impact on most services and restoring access to state websites.

Specialist services, including France’s information security agency ANSSI, were engaged in implementing filtering measures to mitigate the attack’s effects.

Despite the severity of the attack, by the time of reporting, access to the affected sites had been largely restored, with only minor disruptions remaining.

Possible Russian Involvement

The cyberattack comes amid heightened tensions between France and Russia, particularly over French President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion that European powers consider sending troops to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

This proposal, condemned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has led to speculation that the DDoS attack could be a manifestation of Russian displeasure.

Infosec firm FalconFeeds suggested that Anonymous Sudan did not act alone, indicating possible assistance from Russia, pro-Russian threat actor UserSec, and a group named 22C.

However, a security source told AFP that the attacks are not currently attributable to Russia directly.

According to a report by France24, the French state services have been targeted by a series of cyberattacks described as being of an “unprecedented intensity.”

Anonymous Sudan and Other Groups

Anonymous Sudan, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, is known for its cyber activities against countries it perceives as engaging in anti-Muslim actions or as enemies of Moscow.

The group’s motivations remain unclear, but its track record and the symbolism of its Guy Fawkes avatar point to a broader agenda of revolutionary protest.

This latest incident underscores cyber threats’ diverse and global nature, with groups like Anonymous Sudan leveraging DDoS attacks to target significant digital infrastructure.

This cyberattack follows a warning from Attal’s defense adviser about the potential targeting of significant events like the Olympics and European Parliament elections.

It also aligns with Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu’s call for increased protection against sabotage and cyberattacks, particularly from Russia.

As France and other nations brace for future cyber offensives, the importance of robust digital defenses and international cooperation against cyber threats has never been more evident.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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