The "Yellow Vests" have found support that they do not necessarily anticipate: that of some groups of cyber-activists, or hacktivists, Dark Net. On December 3 and 4, the cyber-intelligence teams of the American company FireEye observed attacks against at least five French institutional websites : those of Urssaf, the Ministry of Justice, the Paris-South University, the University of Lorraine and the Franco-American Foundation. The method used was that of Denial of Service (DDoS) distributed, which consists of overloading the traffic of simultaneous connections in the same site to make it crash and then make it inaccessible.
Anti-establishment hackers who support "Yellow Vests"
After the release of the FireEye press release, many news media have picked up the information by attributing cyber attacks to "Yellow activists waistcoats". In reality, this is not the case. Contacted by The tribuneDavid Grout, the FireEye expert who detected cyberattacks, said the perpetrators are "classic" hacker groups, formed well before the "Yellow Vests" movement, and FireEye experts are following "for several months or even years".
"The cyber attacks were claimed for the first time by groups of anti-Israel and pro-Erdogan hacktivists, and hackers claimed anonymously, French-speaking hacktivists, then stepped forward, not" yellow vests "but hackers who decided to support the "Yellow Vests" by attacking the institutional sites ", says David Grout.
The authors of the cyberattacks have therefore decided to lend a hand to the "yellow jackets" on the streets, leading the fight against the state on the digital ground. Why this solidarity?
"The common thread between hacktivists in general and the yellow jackets is their anti-establishment, a social movement the size of" Yellow Vests "is an opportunity for them to strike a big blow "considers the cybernetic analyst.
Have the main national police groups and sites been targeted on December 8?
So much so that many cyberattacks could take place on Saturday 8 December, the day of the new great mobilization of "Yellow Vests".
"Hacking groups have invited the hacktivist community in general to join the movement and launch massive cyber attacks that day to join the digital battle and destabilize the institutions," said David Grout.
Of the cyber-activists who announce themselves as members of the collective of Anonymous have actually published numerous calls on Twitter, Reddit, Telegram or IRC (Internet forwarding chat, protocols that allow discussion via text on the Internet) to address the institutional websites and those of large companies on December 8, in support of "Yellow Vests". Among the objectives mentioned: Carrefour, Total, EDF, Orange, La Française des Jeux and in particular the government sites, the national police and media as TF1 and BFM.TV. The reasons cited by Internet users who broadcast these calls are various media for their treatment considered bad "yellow jackets", companies like Carrefour and Total because they would increase their prices regularly, Orange because it would monitor the networks …
But Anonymous France denies any involvement in past and future cyber attacks. In a press release published on YouTube and on its official website, the organization denies IT attacks as it moves away from the "Yellow Vests" movement:
"This commendable fight has been hijacked by extremists of the extreme left and right, which we deplore in view of violence," says a robotic voice on the video.
For now it is difficult to determine how hackers will work if they actually attack their targets on Saturday 8 December. "This is typically a denial of service for DDoS operations that saturate the servers of simultaneous connections that block the site or try to disfigure the sites by changing the initial pages from the propaganda pages", explains the expert.