One of the websites of the Defence Ministry of France was hacked. The website belonged to the CIMD or Centre d’Identification des Materials de la Defence in French or the Centre for the Identification of the Defence Material, in English. The attack on the website was carried out by Anonymous, the hacktivist group that is known to have carried out several such attacks worldwide.
The attack on the website took place on 22nd February 2016 and took down the website. Immediately after the attack, the website began displaying a message that it is down due to the maintenance activities. The attack allowed Anonymous an access to the admin panel of the website and the group also leaked a large volume of information online that includes user names, details of the suppliers and partners of the government, FTP details, page PHP details and also few passwords. However, the details are not very sensitive, but it shows the extent of the attack that compromised the entire system.
Why the attack took place?
France is the biggest seller of arms to other nations of the world and has sold weapons even to countries such as Saudi Arabia. This is the bone of contention for Anonymous who oppose such deals. According to them, Saudi Arabia is one of the most tyrant nations in the world and therefore selling weapons to a country that has the poorest track record of human rights violations is an unethical act. It prompted Anonymous to take action against the defence ministry of the French government.
Anonymous has also cited an article published by Amnesty International 2012 which stated that the country was the second largest exporter of weapons. Anonymous has also claimed that the French Defence system has procured the surveillance and spying equipment from “The Hacking Team” an Italian company.
The growing violence in the Middle East and the rise of ISIS has been a concern for many. Some believe that the weapons used by ISIS are acquired by them from the governments in the Middle East and the best way to eliminate ISIS is to stop their weapons supply.