Cyber Matters: French speaking Television Stations taken over by ISIS

Apr 23, 2015 | Cyber Warfare, Flashpoints

I love reading reports of all the remarkable things the Lord is doing around the world. ( is very good at supplying such information). Whilst lapping these up, we also know that we have also been called to alert people to less attractive trends the Lord is highlighting, and to encourage others to intercede for people who are facing particular dangers.

A theme we have highlighted on a number of occasions previously is cyber hacking. Click here for our previous articles on this subject. Some of us, who have known what it is like to be hacked, know just how horrid and inconvenient this is, yet these are on a tiny scale compared to what it would be like for the lights to go out, the bank machines to stop working, and and . . .

Only last week eleven stations run by the French international consortium TV5 were taken over for several hours by ISIS hackers. The screens went black, and the words “Je suis IS” appeared, along with personal details of French soldiers, and a warning to French soldiers to keep out of Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, hackers claiming to be Islamists hijacked hundreds of French websites, flooding them with jihadist propaganda. Those were low level cyber-attacks compared to the TV5 Monde one, which was not only massive but “demonstrated exceptional technical skills. The television channel broadcast in more than 200 countries worldwide.

The attack was both “simple” in the way it was activated, using “phishing” techniques, and “sophisticated” in its use of complicated software. The source added that “as always, a human flaw” was responsible for setting off the cyber attack. It apparently started with a “phishing” email that was sent to all journalists at the TV channel at the end of January. Three journalists responded, allowing the hackers to infiltrate the channel’s system using so-called “Trojan Horse” malware (malicious software). How the French Channel TV5 was hacked.

See also: French-tv-station-tv5-monde-taken-off-air-by-pro-isis-hack.

People often say how much we owe to “the thin blue line” of policemen. Perhaps we need a new colour to describe the unseen line of computer experts who beaver away to forestall dangers new and newer! At the risk of being a cyber-bore, we have long been encouraging people to remember to pray for those responsible for maintaining essential cyber security in the face of ever more sophisticated threats, scams and outright cyber attacks. May the Lord’s mercy be with them and us!

Meanwhile, a rising percentage of French women are being lured to side with Isis through propaganda videos that are using sophisticated Hollywood techniques to further their purposes.

Cyber warfare is very much an international issue, as the recent hacking of Sony movies reminded us. Iran is also rapidly expanding its activities in the field of cyber warfare. See also: Developments in Iranian Cyber Warfare This is very much a matter for prayer in the light of Iran’s ambitions to be the superpower in the region. This excellent website keeps you up to date with Iran to pray for it.


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