As suspicions against Russia began to arise, the Kremlin was keen to deny any involvement in the widespread cyberattack revealed yesterday against French institutions. In fact, a government spokesperson described such an assumption as “ridiculous.”
On Monday, February 15, 2021, the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI) announced that it had discovered the existence of a major computer attack, which took place between 2017 and 2020. The objective of this was to give hackers access to the servers of the French company Centreon, which publishes software for monitoring information systems.
Russia denies its involvement in a cyber attack
The company’s customers include accounts such as the Ministry of Justice, Total, Air France-KLM, EDF, and even the Accor group. The hypothesis of an operation supported by a foreign state and targeting France was then raised. Especially since in its report, ANSSI noted “many similarities with previous campaigns of the Sandworm operating mode”. However, even if the agency does not point any person in charge (it is not its role), this type of campaign is generally linked to Russian military pirates. Is Moscow therefore at the origin of this new cyberattack?
The government of Vladimir Poutine disagrees with these allegations, judging them “absurd” by Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin. The official reiterated the position of the Russian state in the face of the increasing number of accusations coming from Europe and the United States in recent years: “Russia has never had, has not, and cannot have the least connection with cybercrime whatever it is ”.
Fewer victims than expected?
For its part, the Centreon company has also reacted since the revelation of the incident by ANSSI. According to her, the security breach would only have concerned an old and open-source version of its solution, and only in the case of use associated with “an additional module developed by a third-party operator”. This would therefore make it possible, on the one hand, to dilute the responsibility of the company and, on the other hand, to relieve the main clients of the organization, who would not have been affected.
“It’s not the commercial users who are affected,” Centreon insisted. Certainly belonging to this category, would the institutions mentioned above have therefore been spared? Air France-KLM, the Fondation De France, Action Against Hunger claim to have suffered no damage. The other organizations have so far declined to comment.