April 16, 2024
  • More than 43 million users had their data compromised in a cyberattack on French unemployment agency France Travail and its subsidiary Cap Emploi
  • Anonymous Sudan, a Russia-backed hacker group is expected to be behind the attack
  • This attack is believed to be a consequence of the French president openly expressing his support for Kyiv in the Russia-Ukraine war

Cyberattack On France Govt Exposes Data of 43 Million Users

A recent cyberattack on a French government agency exposed the data of 43 million French individuals, which is around 60% of France’s total population.

The affected departments include France Travail, which is an employment agency that offers employment assistance, financial aid, and registration services to unemployed French citizens.

The attack also involved a subsidiary of that department called Cap Emploi – an agency that helps people with disabilities get work.

The attack was reported on Wednesday when the department informed CNIL (the country’s watchdog) that more than 2 decades’ worth of data had been stolen. The actual attack could have happened anywhere between February 6 and March 5.

It’s important to note that even if someone simply created an account on the site without actually ever seeking a job, their details might still be compromised.

The stolen data includes the victim’s:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Phone number
  • Email ID
  • Postal address
  • France Travail identifiers of the registered citizen

The only silver lining here is that passwords and banking credentials were not affected.

The authorities have asked the citizens to be on high alert and be aware of any phishing scams they might encounter in the coming days. They are worried that the hackers might combine the stolen data with more information from individual scamming attempts and build a larger database of stolen user credentials.

Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr recommends being particularly vigilant in the face of any telephone call or message (email, SMS) that could use your compromised personal data in order to make a targeted scam or phishing attempt credible.French authorities

If that happens, committing financial crimes will become much easier for the hackers.

Cybercrimes have become unfortunately common in France, especially in government agencies. France Travail in particular cannot seem to catch a break. Just last year, the agency was hit by a cyberattack that compromised the data of 10 million users.

Another major data breach shook the country last month when a hacker group attacked Viamedis and Almerys (two of the biggest healthcare payment providers in France) and stole the data of 33 million citizens.

Who Is Responsible for This Attack on France Travail and Cap Emploi?

No group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack but it’s believed that Anonymous Sudan, a Russia-backed hacker group, might be behind it.

The reason behind this assumption is that only a few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron reconfirmed his support for Kyiv in the Russia-Ukraine war.

Given how aggressive Putin is with Ukraine supporters, it’s possible that this attack was a planned way to get back at France and perhaps take their attention away from the war.

However, Anonymous Sudan usually posts about all the attacks they carry out. For example, when they recently attacked Alabama government websites, they claimed responsibility for the incident through a post on their Telegram channel.

Similarly, during their attack on Microsoft last year when they flooded its websites with junk traffic, they publicly accepted their involvement in the hack. But in this instance, they are yet to make any public announcement.

Read more: Russia-backed hacker group continues to exploit Microsoft’s internal systems

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