French newspapers go offline, but hosting company rules out DDoS as cause
High-profile French media websites went offline for a few hours Friday morning, prompting frenzied speculation about “unprecedented” cyberattacks—but the hosting company behind the sites soon dismissed talk of a massive distributed denial-of-service attack.
A number of sites, including those of daily newspaper 20 Minutes and online news site Slate, went offline or were difficult to access from around 10 a.m. Paris time.
The outages followed hot on the heels of the overnight arrest of 12 people wanted for questioning about logistical support they may have given shooters in a series of deadly attacks last week around Paris. Twelve people were killed on Jan. 7 by two heavily armed men at the office of satirical news weekly Charlie Hebdo. Separately, a police officer was shot on the outskirts of Paris on Jan. 8, and the suspect in that incident then shot four customers in a supermarket on the edge of Paris on Jan. 9 before taking others hostage. He and the two suspects in the first shooting, by then holed up in a printing works to the Northeast of the city, died in shoot-outs with the police.