Major French news sites victim of DDoS attack

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Major news sites in France including Le Monde and Le Figaro went down yesterday in the fallout of a DDoS attack.

Many of the biggest French news sites were hit by a DDoS attack on a Portland, Oregon cloud computing company – Cedexis. The attack caused the sites to go dark.

Dr Malcolm Murphy, technology director at Infoblox said “This is the latest in a run of cyber attacks in France – only a week ago newly elected French President Macron’s emails were leaked by hackers. This latest attack highlights the importance of organisations prioritising cyber defences at a time when commonly deployed cyberattacks are being used to disrupt both political processes and organisations.”

Bloomberg reported that Le Monde and Le Figaro were two of the websites that crashed.

“At approximately 2 p.m. GMT (7 a.m. Pacific time), the Cedexis infrastructure came under a unique and sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack,” Cedexis said in a written statement.

“This attack caused a partial but widespread outage that affected many of our customers. Our customers are our number one priority and at this time, the attack is being mitigated, and services are being restored.”

DDoS attacks have grown in prevalence as more and more unsecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices have entered the market.

Murphy suggested that “DDoS attacks in particular are growing in both frequency and sophistication. Whilst there is no easy solution to securing DNS, there are a few steps that an organisation’s IT team can take to help mitigate and respond to DNS-based DDoS attacks.”

“Organisations who don’t know their query load will never know when they’re under attack. By using statistical support, administrators can help analyse their data for attack indicators. Whilst it may not always be clear what an attack looks like, anomalies will be more easily identifiable. IT teams should also continually scrutinise internet-facing infrastructure for single points of failure by going beyond external authoritative name servers, and checking on the switch and router interactions, firewalls, and connections to the internet.”