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Top French TV channel hit by ransomware attack

(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

One of France’s biggest multimedia groups, the M6 Group, suffered a ransomware attack this past weekend, but luckily for everyone involved, the attack failed to cause any serious damage.

According to the company’s Twitter posting, the attack occurred this Saturday morning, and even though the group owns multiple TV, radio channels and film studios, the only thing that the malware managed to take down was phone lines and email servers. These two services were still down yesterday.

The group thanked its cybersecurity team which “made it possible continue to ensure the smooth broadcasting of the programs on all our TV and radio antennas.”

Hackers frequently target publications and media outlets with malware and ransomware, sometimes for financial gain, sometimes out of ideology, and sometimes under orders from the state. 

Four years ago, the French TV station TV5 Monde was attacked by Fancy Bear, a known Russian state-sponsored attacker. Its live feed went offline for multiple hours, while its website and social media accounts were defaced. At the time, the media reported that Fancy Bear actually came quite close to destroying the TV network’s database, but was ultimately stopped before dealing the final blow.

American radio broadcaster Entercom was also hit this year, as well as the Weather Channel, who went offline for almost two hours.