France probes Russian lead in TV5Monde hacking: source

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 10, 2015 3:01 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - French investigators are looking at a possible Russian lead in an inquiry into a hacking attack on French public television station TV5Monde in April, a judicial source said.

Hackers claiming to be supporters of Islamic State caused the station's 11 channels to temporarily go off air and posted material on its social media feeds to protest against French military action in Iraq.

Confirming a report in French magazine L'Express, the source said the theory that Islamist militants were behind the cyber-attack was no longer the main lead in the investigation, which was instead "leaning towards the lead of Russian hackers".

L'Express said that it had evidence from its own source and which it handed over to investigators pointing towards a group that had also carried out attacks on the White House, NATO member states as well as Russian dissidents and Ukrainians.

The magazine said that code used in the attack had been typed on a Cyrillic keyboard at times of day corresponding to working hours in St Petersburg or Moscow.

Relations between France and Russia have suffered as the crisis in Ukraine drags on, which has led Paris to halt the delivery of two helicopter carriers built for Moscow.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Mark Heinrich)