Rouge faces as second French TV network hacked

News by Tom Reeve

The French public TV broadcaster, France Télévisions, has suffered a data breach that saw the loss of more than 100,000 email records.

The breach is an embarrassment for the TV network, not least because of the ease with which the hackers accessed the records. According to the French website,, the hackers said they didn't need any specialist knowledge to crack site security because the records were kept on a public-facing server and all you had to know to access the documents was the URL of the directory in which they were stored.

The Linker Squad has claimed responsibility for the hack and said it's in possession of various documents and databases. It didn't give precise details on the contents of these but said it plans to sell the data.

Most of the data is not sensitive or personal, but among the records are 110,000 email addresses from an email campaign and the addresses of 19,000 people who applied to take part in game shows. said FranceTV plugged the security gap in February but added that the files had until recently still been visible in Google cache.

The concern for those whose email addresses were revealed is that they could become the targets of phishing campaigns spoofed to appear to come from FranceTV and containing content tailored to reference the game show to which they had applied.

FranceTV said it would be informing all parties affected by the breach.

News of this hack comes just a week after supporters of ISIS hacked French TV station TV5. They succeeded in knocking it off the air for several hours while also defacing its social media sites.

However, the attack on FranceTV was not nearly as sophisticated as the attack on TV5 nor were the ramifications as severe, though there will be long term effects on personal privacy for those whose email addresses were compromised. 

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