A threat group dubbing themselves “We are KILLNET” has launched a cyber attack on France, specifically targeting its travel infrastructure. This move comes as part of a broader narrative linked to the ongoing conflict in Niger, West Africa, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.
The recent targets of this cyber attack on France are the iconic Metro France and the Heads of the Railway Station of France. The attack suggests a deliberate strategy rather than a random cyber attack.
The attack on the transportation network of France is yet to be confirmed. The Cyber Express has reached out to the listed organizations to verify the claims. We are yet to receive an official response.
Cyber attack on France links to conflicts in Niger
The underlying motivation for this cyber attack on France is closely tied to France’s role in the ongoing conflict in Niger.
The episode follows a series of developments in the Niger country, including a coup d’état on July 26, 2023, which saw the presidential guard overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum.
This coup marked the fourth in the Sahel region of Africa, joining the ranks of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.
The new regime’s stance against French involvement in Niger’s affairs is evident as they revoked all military cooperation with France, thereby expelling 1,500 French troops stationed in the country.
This move responds to France’s historical exploitation of Niger’s uranium resources, powering a significant portion of French electricity. Consequently, the cyber attack on France can be seen as an extension of this anti-French sentiment.
Interestingly, while the coup targeted the French presence, it did not include the US military footprint in Niger, specifically Airbase 201, the largest drone base globally, which remained unaffected. This indicates that the sentiment is specifically anti-French.
Unusual Circumstances in Niger and the Urgent Call for Action
International intervention efforts have taken shape since the coup’s stabilization, with France and the United States condemning the action and calling for the reinstatement of Bazoum.
The approach, however, appears to lean towards a strategy similar to the one deployed in Mozambique, where Rwandan troops were used to quell an insurgency rather than direct Western military involvement.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also condemned the coup, imposing sanctions on Niger, including suspending its right to basic commercial transactions and freezing central bank assets.
ECOWAS is considering military intervention, yet internal conflicts among member states have complicated the decision-making process.
In the midst of these political and military maneuvers, the cyber attack on France by “We are KILLNET” holds strategic importance.
The fate of French forces in Niger hangs in the balance, as the military junta’s demand for the withdrawal of French soldiers by early September clashes with Paris’ refusal to comply.
The situation has reached a pivotal moment as thousands of Nigeriens voice their discontent against France, calling for the French military’s departure.
With international agreements at stake and geopolitical tensions escalating, the cyber attack on France underscores the intricate interplay between cyber warfare, political turmoil, and global security.
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