In Wake Of Violence, France Reports Spike In Cyberattacks

 19,000 French websites have been attacked since Jan. 7.
Since the deadly shootings in Paris Jan. 7, cyber attackers have hit 19,000 French websites, mostly with denials of service. Admiral Arnaud Coustilliere, head of cyberdefense for France’s military, said today “that’s never been seen before. This is the first time that a country has been faced with such a large wave.”

The targets vary widely — everything from military regiments to pizza shops,according to the Associated Press. The perpetrators, however, are mainly well-known Islamic extremist hacking groups — including the Middle East Cyber Army, Fallaga team, and Cyber Caliphate, the group that took responsibility for hijacking some American organizations’ Twitter accounts this week.

“I think what we’re seeing in France is more or less natural escalation of cyberwarfare by non-organized groups of cyber-militia,” says Guy Levy-Yurista, senior vice president at MicroStrategy. “While impressive in terms of scale, it’s not surprising … It’s the next logical step in this overall cat-and-mouse game.”