On Wednesday night, TV5Monde, a multi-station television network headquartered in Paris, France, saw 11 of its TV stations taken off the air for hours around the same time that it suffered an internal IT outage alongside a social media and website takeover. As of press time, the attack has left its broadcast capabilities hobbled.
The network’s websites and Facebook page were defaced with pro-ISIS imagery and statements that recalled the January killing of staffers at French magazine Charlie Hebdo; those have since been removed, replaced by announcements blaming ‘an Islamist group’ for the disruption. Both the network’s main site and Facebook page had been defaced with the phrase “I am IS” and a tag for the hacking group CyberCaliphate, which previously took credit for leaking confidential US military secrets in January and overtaking Newsweek’s Twitter account in February.
No such messages or imagery were aired on TV5Monde’s 11 affected stations; instead, they were fully blacked out for hours. No hacking group has since taken credit for the TV station blackout. Since regaining access to the signals, the network has only been able to air pre-recorded content, as opposed to any live broadcasts or updated content. The network’s YouTube channel has been updated with a few videos confirming that social network and website content was taken down as soon as possible and that the company was working to restore full broadcast operations. That process could take “days” to complete.
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