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'IS hackers' take over French TV network.

Byline: Press Association reporters

AFRENCH international television network has been hacked by people claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The hackers briefly cut transmission of 11 channels belonging to TV5 Monde and took over its websites and social media accounts.

The channel's director, Yves Bigot, said yesterday morning that the attack was continuing. He told RTL radio that the network has restored its signal but could only broadcast recorded programmes. Later yesterday it was back to full service. The message on the TV5 Monde website read in part "I am IS" with a banner by a group that called itself Cybercaliphate.

The Islamic extremist group has claimed complex hackings before, but the seizure of the French network appeared to be a new step in its information warfare tactics.

The Paris prosecutor's office said it had begun investigating the attack.

Mr Bigot said he was shaken when he saw the black screen across the network's broadcasts "and when we discovered the sense of the message appearing on our social media and our websites, it both allowed us to understand what was happening and obviously worried us".

In a Facebook message that went up after the network resumed control of the site, Mr Bigot said the "very powerful cyber attack" began on Wednesday at 10pm.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on his Twitter account, called the attack "an unacceptable insult to freedom of information and expression" and expressed his support for the editorial staff. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin visited the channel's Paris headquarters.

TV5 Monde, which was founded by the French government in 1984 and calls itself the "worldwide French cultural channel", broadcasts programmes produced in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, as well as films, news and other programmes.

Its Facebook page says its signal reaches more than 257 million homes in more than 200 countries and territories.


Employees, teachers and workers demonstrate against austerity meas-<Bures in Marseille , southern France, yesterday, during a nationwide day of protests and strikes over an array of grievances against the government

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 10, 2015
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