Cyber attack on TV5Monde
Unknown hackers brought international programming at the French-language television network TV5Monde to a halt on Wednesday night, and left warnings by the terrorist militia IS on the station's website. Sensitive IT systems should be better protected against such attacks, commentators urge, saying that many states are not interested in concerted cyber defence measures.
Half-hearted fight against cyber attacks
The West may complain about cyber attacks but it has no interest in a coordinated campaign against them, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung criticises: "The world is so connected that any target anywhere can be spied on and sabotaged. As the West's cyber attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities showed, you can even destroy industrial plants. The next attacks could be aimed at power plants, planes, missiles. ... Even the US government is regularly among the victims. ... The global community should have agreed long ago on binding regulations for cyberspace and protection against attacks from terror groups or criminals. But the big governments have no interest in that because they've long been investigating how they themselves can harness the wonders of technology to their own advantage. The Americans and the Chinese, for example, are hacking their way through their opponent's military secrets, and would never subject themselves to a higher authority such as a UN tribunal on cyberspace matters."
IT security not to be taken lightly
The cyber attack on TV5Monde shows that France must do more to protect its IT systems, the conservative daily Le Figaro urges: "In casting themselves as a 'cyber caliphate', the jihadists are turning the weapons of our open society against us. ... There's no reason to be intimidated by a group of hackers hidden somewhere in virtual space, whose technological prowess can be thwarted provided we raise our guard. This warning invites us to correct the weaknesses of our most sensitive IT systems - trains, airports, nuclear plants, defence systems. ... One dare not imagine what might happen one day if we take the challenges of Internet security lightly."
Jihad hackers hurt IS's cause
Cyber attacks on media outlets like TV5Monde only make the Islamic State even less appealing to people outside the group, the left-liberal daily The Guardian explains: "In a way, the attacks have done them a service by highlighting their vulnerability in this area. But what has Isis actually achieved beyond this? ... And while success in commandeering a French media outlet for a few hours might boost morale in some Isis quarters, it could well prove counterproductive in the wider world. The fact of the hacking, plus the crudeness of the messages, is unlikely to enhance Isis's appeal beyond those already converted. So long as we recognise propaganda as such - as with Russia's efforts to impose its views about Ukraine, so with Isis - those trying to influence western opinion have failed."