Europe 1 with AFP 16:59 p.m., March 27, 2023

While the city of Lille had been the victim of a cyberattack in early March, hackers claimed responsibility for the attack and distributed online some 305 gigabytes of stolen data. A worrying situation since other hackers will start copying, retrieving this information and using it.

Hackers have claimed responsibility for the cyberattack that targeted the Lille city hall in early March, and disseminated online some 305 gigabytes of stolen data, we learned Monday from the municipality and a cybersecurity specialist. The attack was orchestrated by the hacker group "Royal", said in a statement the city of Lille, specifying to AFP to have learned the information via the specialized blog

10% of data was released

According to the author of this blog, cybersecurity specialist Damien Bancal, "hackers released (Monday) two data files stolen from the city of more than 150 gigabytes each. What worries me is that they say they have only broadcast 10%" of the total. "305 gigabytes of data is equivalent to 150 Blu-ray discs. If it's only 10%, it's completely crazy," he told AFP. "They hid that in the dark web." As this data is now online, "other hackers will start copying, retrieving this information and using it: it can be mobile phones, emails, even documents related to private life," he lamented.

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142 companies or entities affected since September 2022

Several hours are still needed to download and discover the contents of these files, he said, fearing "the dissemination of information concerning the civil status" of the administered. "The Royal Group is one of many groups dedicated to ransomware," the taking of computer hostages from malware. "Their first real appearance was in September 2022. Since then, more than 142 companies or entities have seen their data disseminated", not counting the "victims who have paid, and are therefore not known", detailed Damien Bancal.

"They infiltrate computers, threaten to spread the data by demanding a ransom. When companies, municipalities, or other entities do not pay, they are thrown into the pasture, so others are afraid and pay, "said the cybersecurity specialist. The "Royal" hackers did "not display the ransom amount," he said. According to this specialist, the victims of this group include private companies, municipalities in Germany or the United States, as well as the media and a school in Australia. "As far as Luxembourg, which is very rare," he added.