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April 09, 2015

Islamist Group Claiming Allegiance to ISIS Hacks French Language Global Network TV5Monde; Takes Over 11 TV Channels, Social Media Accounts

A major attack, and I think I read, an unprecedented one.

Before you grumble, "stupid ace, posting some French nonsense" -- when has a television network been taken over by terrorist hackers before?

TV5Monde is a global network. It's partly owned by the French (with Canada and Switzerland), pushing out French (and Quebec, etc.) programming to subscribers all over the world.

In addition to all of its 11 channels, TV5Monde also lost control of its social media outlets and its websites, director Yves Bigot said in a video message posted later on Facebook.

...

Later Thursday, when it finally regained control of its website, the network posted that it had been the "victim of piracy unprecedented in the world history of broadcasting."

The attack began around 10 p.m. (4 p.m. ET). The screens of the 11 networks went dark.

The network said a message written in three languages -- French, Arabic and English -- was then posted on one of its social media sites. The message, the network said, included threats to the network and "a glorification of Sharia."

...

"It's been a very powerful attack, because we have very strong firewalls which had been checked -- and that had been checked very recently -- and were said to be very safe," Bigot said. "So obviously it's a very knowledgeable and powerful cyberattack."

Below, their Facebook account, as it appeared during the attack. (It's now restored to normal.)

Obviously that's a bit of wordplay -- "I am ISIS," a parody of "I am Charlie."

Per this French language report, the attack began in France.

A group claiming to be IS ["Daech," the French sometimes call them] hacked TV5 Monde, Wednesday night from the 8th to the 9th of April. Around 10 pm, a large black band bearing the slogan "Je Suis ISIS" -- the English acronym of Daech... appeared on their social networks.

This group, Cyber Caliphate (Cyber Califat, in French), claimed itself to be part of Daech, which it had previously not recognized.

That is, I think they're saying Cyber Caliphat has not previously declared allegiance to IS. That sentence is troublesome for me.

It appeared at the summer 2014 and has already hacked the Pentagon, the general staff of the American army, and threatened the Obamas, especially Michelle, the wife of the President of the United States.

I didn't know they were behind the Pentagon hack, and this is the first I'm hearing about the Army general staff, or the threats against the Obamas.

Cyber Caliphate signed its attack against TV5 Monde with a message in French, English, and [get this] Arabic. This last version of the message was further filled with spelling mistakes and a lack of clarity. "Soldiers of France, you have the chance to save your families," it stated. The message took after Francois Hollande, accused of sending the army "in this war that serves you no purpose... It is for that reason that the French received the gifts of Charlie Hebdo and the [Kosher market] Hyper Casher."

The Cyber Caliphate seeks the families of soldiers, especially those who find themselves currently on board [the French aircraft carrier] Charles de Gualle. According to our information, this attack originated in France, carried out by a network employing, according to the American intelligence services, around fifteen experienced hackers around the world. Two of the men were recently arrested in Great Britain. They hacked the British police services.

I believe, but am not completely sure, that that refers to this hacking of the British police website, proclaiming that the "KHILAFAH [The Caliphate] WILL TRANSFORM THE WORLD."

They also declare their intent to go Palestine to fight Jews.

I can't find the article referenced about two men being arrested.

Clarification: While this "Cyber Caliphate" "hacked' their TV antennae, I don't think they substituted their own signal -- I think they just knocked TVMonde's signal off-line.

Not completely sure of that, but I haven't seen any suggestions that Islamist messages ran on the TV. They only apparently ran messages on their Facebook page and Twitter account, etc.


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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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