Cybercriminals attacked French TV channel M6 with the help of the ransomware

Private French television channel M6, part of the Le Groupe M6 media group and one of the largest in the country, suffered ransomware attack.

Because of the ransomware attack incident, any of the company’s television and radio channels stopped its broadcasting.

According to the company’s official statement on Twitter, the attack occurred last weekend (October 12, 2019). Fortunately, the company’s IT staff managed to limit the spread of malware, thereby preventing downtime.

“The M6 Group was the target Saturday morning of a malicious computer attack. The quick and efficient intervention of our cybersecurity experts has made it possible to continue to ensure the smooth broadcasting of the programs on all our TV and radio antennas”, — says official statement of M6 Group.

However, according to the French newspaper L’Express, it cannot be said that the company was not affected at all: telephone lines and mail servers do not work until now.

“The M6 Group said they managed to contain the infection with the help of its cybersecurity staff, preventing any downtime to any of its ten TV channels, radio stations, and film studios. Following M6’s public announcement, fellow TV station TF1 forbade employees to communicate via email with M6 counterparts, fearing they might get infected as well”, — report ZDNet journalists.

Nevertheless, it is possible to say that M6 specialists were able to cope with the situation, especially if we recall other similar attacks. For example, in the spring of this year, the American weather channel The Weather Channel became a victim of a cryptographer. Then the channel was forced to interrupt live broadcasting of the AMHQ program, urgently replacing it with a recording of the program Heavy Rescue, which eventually remained on the air for 90 minutes.

Read also: ATM attacks are not profitable to criminals any more

In addition, the French probably remember well the attack on TV5Monde, which occurred in 2015. Then the attackers hacked into the channel’s network, turned off its broadcasting for several hours, defaced the official website and pages on social networks, and, according to the head of TV5 Monde, tried to purposefully destroy the channel’s infrastructure and damage the equipment.

Initially, the responsibility for this incident was assigned to a group of hackers associated with the ISIS organization banned by the Russian Federation, but later the responsibility for the attack was assigned to the Russian-speaking cyber spy hack group Fancy Bear.
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James Brown

Technology news writer and part-time security researcher. Author of how-to articles related to Windows computer issue solving.

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