The Paris prosecutor’s office’s anti-cybercrime section has opened an investigation after computer attacks targeting several ministries since Sunday, the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, requested by AFP. “This investigation concerns the offense of obstructing an automated data system committed by an organized gang, incurring 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros,” said the prosecution, adding that the investigation had been entrusted jointly referred to the General Directorate of Internal Security and the C3N (Center for the fight against digital crime of the national gendarmerie).

Since Sunday evening, several French ministries or administrations have been the subject of computer attacks of “unprecedented intensity”, according to the government, assuring Monday to AFP that their impact at this stage “has been reduced” and the access to state sites “restored”. These cyberattacks were claimed on the encrypted messaging service Telegram by various hacker groups, including Anonymous Sudan, a group that supports Russia and several Islamist causes. These hackers spoke of a “massive cyberattack” targeting in particular the ministries of the Economy, Culture, Ecological Transition, the Prime Minister’s services or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).

Anonymous Sudan’s claim is “credible”, a source close to the matter told AFP on Monday, with another security source urging caution. The attacks were carried out through “denial of service” (DDoS), a method of bringing down a service by overwhelming it with requests. Matignon indicated that a crisis unit was activated on Sunday evening “to deploy countermeasures and guarantee the continuity of IT services”. The Prime Minister’s services also clarified on Monday that “the mobilized teams from DINUM (Interministerial Digital Directorate) and ANSSI (National Agency for Information Systems Security) continue to implement filtering measures until ‘at the end of these attacks’.