PARIS (AFP) – Hackers claiming to be Islamists have hijacked hundreds of French websites since the attacks on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, flooding them with propoganda.
Homepages of several French websites have been replaced by phrases like “Death to France” or Death to Charlie” written against a black background, often with the signature #OpFrance. The technique termed “defacement” consists of taking control of an internet site and modifying its content.
Since last week’s attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, various sites – mainly those of city halls, schools, universities, churches and businesses – have been hacked by groups claiming to be Islamists from North Africa or Mauritania.
Users were directed to a site broadcasting a fundamentalist speech when they logged onto the official website of the Lot department in southwest France. A Tunisian group calling themselves “Fallaga Team” claimed to behind this incident.
“We are facing groups of activists who are forming and dissolving very quickly,” said Gerome Billois, a cybersecurity expert at Solucom.
“I can’t remember having seen such a big hacking campaign in such a short period of time,” he said, adding that “several hundreds of sites had been affected”.