INFO EUROPE 1 – “Charlie Hebdo” victim of a computer attack, the DGSI seized

William Molinié and Louis de Raguenel
modified to

5:58 p.m., January 05, 2023

An Iranian response to the publication of Ayatollah Khamenei cartoons? According to information collected by Europe 1, the website of Charlie Hebdo was the victim of a computer attack on Wednesday. The computer services of the satirical newspaper spotted in the afternoon that access to the online store and the home page of the site had been hacked.

Data would also have been put up for sale on the dark web, as well as the personal information of several thousand subscribers. Listings of sales for November and December 2022 would also have been published.

An open investigation and the DGSI seized

If this Thursday afternoon the home page and all the editorial content of the newspaper was accessible, the page housing the online store was still faulty. The newspaper filed a complaint for tampering with an automated data processing system (Stad).

The cyber section of the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on Wednesday into heads of “fraudulent access to a data processing system”, “fraudulent maintenance”, “data introduction”, “fraudulent modification of data” and “obstructing the working”. The General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) was responsible for the investigations in co-referral with the central office for the fight against crime linked to information and communication technologies (OCLCTIC).

Contacted by Europe 1, Charlie Hebdo has not at this time responded to our requests.

A diplomatic controversy with Iran

This attack comes almost eight years after the attacks on the editorial staff of the satirical newspaper, and at the same time of a diplomatic controversy, after the publication on Wednesday of cartoons on the Iranian regime deemed insulting by Tehran. These dozens of caricatures were published following a competition organized in December by Charlie Hebdo.

His goal was to make “the funniest and nastiest caricature of Ali Khamenei, Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, shaken for several months by unprecedented demonstrations. They started in protest against the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd arrested for violating the country’s strict dress code. Of the 300 drawings received, made in particular by exiled Iranians, were selected “the most successful, the most original and the most effective”, explains Riss, director of the newspaper, in the editorial of the controversial issue.

The Islamic Republic ofIran announced on Thursday the closure of the French Institute for Research in Iran (IFRI), after the publication of these drawings, deemed insulting to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “(…) The ministry is putting an end to the activities of the French Institute for Research in Iran (IFRI) as a first step” in the Iranian response to the cartoons, says a press release from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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INFO EUROPE 1 – “Charlie Hebdo” victim of a computer attack, the DGSI seized

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