Angers. What we know about the cyberattack that hits the town hall sites
The IT services of the town hall of Angers (Maine-et-Loire) and Angers Loire metropolis have been subjected to a “ransomware” type cyberattack since Saturday, January 16. When did the attack take place? Who is the author ? Who is affected? We take stock of this malicious computer act.

Friday, January 15 in the evening, the Twitter account of the mayor of Angers (Maine-et-Loire) was hacked. The next day, without a link being clearly confirmed, the websites of the community were in turn attacked.
Friday, January 15 in the evening, the Twitter account of the mayor of Angers (Maine-et-Loire) was hacked. The next day, without a link being clearly confirmed, the websites of the community were in turn attacked. | ARCHIVES
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West France
Victoria GEFFARD.
Modified 01/17/2021 at 7:28 p.m. Published on 01/17/2021 at 1:26 p.m.
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The town hall of Angers ( Maine-et-Loire ) and its agglomeration community Angers Loire metropolis have been in the grip of a large-scale cyberattack since Saturday, January 16. This attack, perceived as “very worrying” by the City , risks seriously disrupting the functioning of the online services of the administrations for several days. Here is a summary of what we know about this computer attack this Sunday, January 17.

When did the cyberattack start?
Friday January 15, around 11:30 p.m. A first computer attack took place on the certified account of the mayor of Angers, Christophe Béchu, where a tattooed hand replaced the face of the elected official. And the next morning, badges problems to enter the town hall of Angers were reported. A sign, no doubt, that the attack had already started or that it was beginning to creep into the systems.

A second occurred in the afternoon of Saturday, January 16, which paralyzed the services of municipal libraries and all of the town hall’s sites, such as Angers.fr. These two attacks are likely to be linked, according to a cybersecurity expert we contacted to analyze this exceptional situation.

Who is believed to be behind the attack?
According to our information, this cyberattack could come from Turkish hackers. In any case identified as coming from, or relayed by a server hosted in Turkey.

READ ALSO: Libraries, registration at the nursery, water bills… What is paralyzed after the cyberattack in Angers

What exactly happened?
From a computer or device connected to the City’s network, a person would have opened, unintentionally (or not) an attachment containing malware. Cybercriminals were thus able to take advantage of the loophole created in the municipality’s computer system to install ransomware-type malware. Their goal is to block access to essential information in the eyes of the community, in exchange for a sum of money.

Hackers use the technique of data encryption. To do this, they place a sort of “padlock” on the files, of which only they have the key. In this type of attack, computers and other devices are not taken out of service to allow victims to pay the ransom, paid in cryptocurrency.

What can the town hall do?
For the moment, the town hall has communicated very little on the subject. This Sunday, she posted on her social networks a message of a few lines to clarify the facts. To manage this crisis, it approached the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI) which will support and advise it. Used to this kind of facts, the latter recommends not to give in to the blackmail of cybercriminals. In the meantime, the City indicates: “the teams of the Information System Department have established a protocol for backing up and restoring the system.” And the community to alert:”This restoration process will be long and will impact the services rendered to Angevins requiring the use of computers, which will therefore be in degraded mode for several days.”

Which websites are made inaccessible?
This Sunday, January 17, the Angers.fr sites , from the Angers Loire Métropole community, still appear on Internet browsers but are unavailable. The same error message is displayed for the Atout’multiservices card site and that of the libraries. For now, it is impossible to know when they will be available again.

However, some mail services of the agents of the City of Angers remain functional. A surprising element when you know that they can be entry points for cybercriminals. Finally, the local authority informs that “the services welcoming the public remain open.” But without computers.