By Banyan Ryan
On Wednesday, April 8th, hackers claiming to be associates with the Islamic State group
(ISIS) took control of the French television network TV5Monde, which is broadcasted in more
than 200 countries worldwide, for several hours, blocking out 11 channels and seizing access
to their social media accounts. Experts say that this appears to be the first successful
take down of an international TV channel in France. They have also said that the Islamist
group has claimed complex hacking before, but nothing as big as this.
Yves Bigot, the network’s director general said, “When you work in television… and
you find out that your 11 channels are down, of course that’s one of the most dreadful things
that can happen to you. At the moment, we’re trying to analyse what happened: how this very
powerful cyberattack could happen when we have extremely powerful and certified firewalls.”
While in possession of TV5Monde’s Facebook page, the hackers reportedly posted the
identity cards and CVs of relatives of French anti-IS troops in retaliation for striking against the
group, along with threatening messages to all French soldiers.
“Soldiers of France, stay away from the Islamic State! You have the chance to save your families, take advantage of it,” one of the messages read.
Fleur Pellerin, the culture minister, has already prepared to deal with the problem by saying
that she will bring in every newspaper group, agency, and major French television company
together in order to assure herself of any risks or vulnerable points that exist and the best way
to deal with them.
After reclaiming control of their social media accounts and TV channels at 1:00 a.m. on
Thursday, French television network TV5Monde was forced to broadcast only prerecorded
programmes for the next seventeen hours. Early Thursday on RTL Radio, Bigot stated that
“We are not yet in a position to reestablish our broadcasting schedule nor to produce
With ISIS perceptively growing in both strength and means of attack, the question of whether
or not France should rethink their retaliation against the Islamic State after this recent hacking
must be lurking in the minds of many French residents. Especially the troops who just had the
lives of their loved ones nationally threatened. When asked if she believes that France should
avoid all future conflict with ISIS after this sudden attack, teacher Jill Corrigan gave the
opinion that “No, I don’t,” and that this hacking is, “a form of bullying at large.”
Corrigan went on to say “I believe in the idea that you shouldn’t let groups like ISIS be in
power and control. I understand that it’s easy for me to sit back behind my desk and ask
French soldiers to fight, but if they don’t, ISIS will cause international damage to human lives
and human freedom.”