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Autopsy of Cyber Attack on TV5Monde

By October 10, 2016September 7th, 2021No Comments
TV5 hacked French TV - Autopsy of Cyber Attack on TV5Monde

Autopsy of Cyber Attack on TV5Monde

April’s cyber attack on TV5Monde was the most significant recorded attack on any TV network and the BBC has put together an analysis of the incident “How France’s TV5 was almost destroyed”.

Claiming to be one of the top three most available global television networks available around the world (along with CNN and MTV) TV5Monde, renamed in 1992 from TV5Monde to stress it’s global focus, you can usually find TV5Monde available in most hotel rooms around the world. Usually, that is except on Wednesday 8 April 2015 when highly targeted malware was used to destroy the TV network’s systems and all 12 of its channels went off air.

Targeted Attack

It has since been identified that penetration of the network took place on the 23rd January 2015 and the attackers had kept themselves hidden for months whilst doing reconnaissance of the network  – which is very typical procedure for cyber attacks – looking for vulnerabilities in the network and corresponding systems.

Use of 3rd parties

Seven points of attack were identified including organisations outside of France and outside of the TV5Monde network. One partner in Holland supplied TV5Monde with the remote controlled cameras used in studios. Again this is common procedure. Suppliers are great entry points to larger organisations as they typically have smaller budget and understanding of cybersecurity. Fazio Mechanical, a refrigeration contractor, will be forever associated for their role in the Target  data breach where 70 Million breached records including personally identifiable information, 40 Million debit and Credit Cards.

TV5Monde dans la merde

The fallout from the hack included staff using faxes instead of email for months before they could reconnect. France Info quoted Yves Bigot, the network’s director general said that they couldn’t connect to the Internet until French agency ANSSI (L’Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information) had completed its investigation into the incident and it has built a new, more secure, system.

The cost of the attack was €5 million in 2015, and €11 million over the next three years – a total of more than €16 million.

Cybersecurity is now ingrained in the culture at TV5 Monde with each and every employee having had to improve their security awareness and practices e.g. ‘Special authentication procedures are needed to check email from abroad, flash drives have to be tested before being inserted.’

“We never will be as we were before,” said Mr Bigot.


We can help

International media companies are amongst the many significant organisations Infosec Partners have helped. Concerned that your organisation isn’t prepared for a breach or worried that you might have been breached? We can help. From stress testing your security strategy and working with board level and executive leaders to strengthen the Cyber Culture of your organisation, to hands on the ground support in preparing your security ecosystem and responding to critical incidents. Infosec Partners are proven experts in full-spectrum cybersecurity and a team you can trust.

For your free consultation, complete the adjacent form or to speak with  trusted advisor immediately call us on +44 (0)1256 893662.



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