France Televisions hacked and 100,000 contacts stolen

A group of cyber criminals hacked systems the systems of the France Televisions and have stolen data on 100,000 contacts stored by the French state TV.

Another cyber attack hit a French TV, this time the hackers compromised the computers at the network of the broadcaster stealing  personal data belonging 100,000 contacts.

According to an official statement released by the France Televisions the attackers have stolen “a limited amount of personal data (names, postal and e-mail addresses and/or telephone numbers).”

The bad actors have stolen data of 19,000 viewer requests to participate in televised games and 108,000 contacts dating from March 2014, the technical staff at the France Televisions confirmed that no sensitive data was accessed by the hackers.

“No passwords, no bank details were involved,” continues the statement. “This data leak is now finished.”

The data breach occurred just a few days after the cyber attack on the TV5Monde that disrupted it transmissions for 18 hours. The motivation behind the attacks appears different, while the attack on the TV5Monde was conducted by a hacking crew linked to the ISIS for “cyberjihad,” in this last attack the threat actors seems to be a group of cyber criminals.


The details the hackers made off with include 19,000 viewer requests to participate in televised games and well as 108,000 contacts dating from March 2014, according to the group’s technical division.

Security experts believe that in both attacks the internal staff of the broadcasters lack of the proper security posture, the technical director at France Televisions, Stephane Van Bosterhaudt, admitted to AFP that the security measures adopted by the TV station “were insufficient”.

Van Bosterhaudt speculate that the attack was run by a group called Linker Squad, that exploited security flaws in the systems of the target to compromise them.

An alleged member of the hacking crew confirmed to the Belgian media outlet, that it had in its possession the France Televisions data. The hackers want to sell the personal information in the underground.

[the hackers plan to ] “sell them and share them on the web.”

In these cases, the stolen data are used by cyber criminals to run a phishing campaign and obtain further sensitive data (i.e. banking credentials) from victims.

France Televisions has alerted the people involved in the data breach about risks of cyber attacks, and it is  going to file a criminal complaint within the week.

Pierluigi Paganini

April 17, 2015

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