Charlie Hebdo targeted by Iranian hackers, Microsoft says

Photo credit © Reuters

by Zeba Siddiqui

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A group of hackers backed by the Iranian government are believed to be behind the theft of personal information from Charlie Hebdo subscribers, Microsoft’s security team said on Friday.

The French weekly was hacked last month after dozens of cartoons of Ali Khamenei were published as part of a cartoon competition depicting the Supreme Leader of the Revolution launched in December in support of protesters in Iran.

Neither Iranian officials nor their French counterparts have commented. The weekly’s press relations officer said Charlie Hebdo had “no comments” at this time.

Iran had summoned the French ambassador to Tehran in early January to protest against the cartoons deemed “insulting” published by the French satirical newspaper.

The cyberattack that targeted Charlie Hebdo was part of a larger operation whose techniques matched activities previously identified and linked to Iranian state-backed hacking groups, the Microsoft team said. in a report.

The group of hackers, who call themselves “Holy Souls” (“holy souls” in French), wrote on an online forum that they had access to the names and contacts of more than 200,000 Charlie Hebdo subscribers. He added that this data would be offered at the price of 20 bitcoins (435,818 euros).

(Report Zeba Siddiqui; French version Camille Raynaud, edited by Bertrand Boucey)

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