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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladeshi hackers claim responsibility for attacking French commercial websites

‘A dangerous apocalypse is ahead for France Cyberspace and we will continue the assault until you beg for forgiveness,’ Cyber 71 posted on Facebook

Update : 25 Oct 2020, 08:25 PM

A Bangladeshi hacker group, Cyber 71, claimed responsibility for carrying out a series of cyber attacks on several French commercial websites on Sunday.

From their Facebook page, “Cyber 71 -We Work to Protect Bangladesh,” the hacker group updated a list of 10 French websites which they claimed have hacked since early Sunday.

On October 16, a history teacher was beheaded for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed in a free speech lesson in a gruesome attack that has shocked the country and prompted a government crackdown on radical Islam.

Visiting the websites upto 6pm, the hacked interface (cover page) by Cyber 71 was found in six sites. Four among them were showing the regular homepage.

The Facebook post stated that eight more French websites have come under attack by a team of Algeria named, achraf Dz.

“Operation launched by Muslim Hackers against France for insulting Prophet Muhammad (SM) and abusing Islam publicly. A dangerous apocalypse is ahead for France Cyberspace and we will continue the assault until you beg for forgiveness. Get Ready! -- Greetz # Cyber 71, All Hackers of #OPFRANCH, #BoycottFrenceProducts,” the claimed hacked website homepage stated.

An instrumental audio was heard playing in the background while visiting the reportedly hacked websites, and a photograph of Emmanuel Macron – with eyes closed – were displayed.

Also Read - France rallies in solidarity after beheading of teacher

Cyber 71 also stated from their Facebook page: “In the country where our Prophet (pbuh) has been mocked, music is now playing on the websites of that country in respect of him (Prophet).”

They said they would continue the attack until the French authorities “begged for forgiveness” publicly, the hacker group claimed.

A member from the hacking group also claimed to the media that they have hacked 40-50 important commercial websites of France but all the names were not published. They have allegedly targeted more websites to carry out cyber attacks.

Cyber 71, in a latest post around 5:40pm on Sunday, urged people to hack French websites following training from another Facebook group (OpFR by Bangladesh) by sharing their link.

When contacted over an email regarding the confirmation of the cyber attacks, the French Embassy in Dhaka was yet to respond.

AFM Al Kibria, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s cyber crime investigation department, told Dhaka Tribune: “Hacking is a criminal offence, we always discourage it.”

“The hacking of French websites by Cyber 71 is not under our concern so far. If we get any complaint regarding this, we will take necessary measures afterwards,” the law enforcement official added.

What transpired in France?

The teacher, Samuel Paty, 47, was targeted for having shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the same images at the origin of the massacre on the magazine’s premises in 2015, reports the New York Times.

The killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police shortly after the attack.

On Wednesday, prosecutors said Anzorov had paid two teenage students around €300 ($355) to identify Paty.

The killer told the students he wanted to "film the teacher [and] make him apologise for the cartoon of the Prophet [Muhammad]", anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said at a press conference.

Police have raided some 40 homes following the attack, and the government also ordered a mosque to close for six months.

On Tuesday, President Macron said the Sheikh Yassin Collective - an Islamist group named after the founder of the Palestinian militant group Hamas - would be outlawed for being "directly involved" in the killing.

"Islamists want to take our future," Macron said, reports AFP. "They will never have it."

He said the ban was a way of protecting France's Muslim community from the influence of radicalism.

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