The National Office for Veterans was the target of a cyberattack in December, according to BFMTV. Multiple sources have accused Russia, and experts believe Moscow wants to use French army personnel as relays for the Kremlin.
France in Moscow’s sights? While France has been the victim of cyber attacks for several weeks, the National Office for Veterans and War Victims has also been affected. The hackers attacked ONACVG’s servers, software and databases.
It took the armed forces a month to end this attack, but this is the first time a Ministry of Armed Forces unit has been attacked in this way.
The data of French soldiers in the sights of Moscow
According to information from BFMTV, the hackers came very close to a sensitive file: the fighter’s card. The office has lodged a complaint, the investigation is ongoing and the ministry is not communicating officially on this point.A French Army combat map © BFMTV
The document is currently held by “several hundred thousand people in France” and contains “personal data”, according to Colonel Michel Goya, BFMTV’s defense adviser.
Thanks to the information contained in the file, in particular the telephone numbers of combatants and ex-soldiers, the Russians may have come into contact with members of the French army.
Something to worry about is the Grande Muette. Vice-Admiral Patrick Chevallereau sounds the alarm by summoning “former French soldiers (who) contribute to the interests of the Kremlin” in a column published in Le JDD on Thursday.
High-ranking officers as Kremlin relays
Among the men suspected of having close ties to Moscow are Colonel Jacques Hogard, who is very active on social networks and regularly shares tweets from the Russian Embassy in France, or Colonel Alain Corvez, one of the observers involved in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. to oversee Russia’s organized annexation referendums, the validity of which has been widely questioned by many pundits.
There is also Gendarmerie Lieutenant Colonel and member of the National Rally (RN) Jean-Michel Cadenas. The soldier didn’t hesitate to post a message on Twitter claiming that the French ambassador to Ukraine had resigned, which was completely false.
Former soldier Xavier Moreau-turned-Kremlin spokesman is also included on the list. After becoming a Russian citizen, according to Challenges, he broadcast Vladimir Putin’s speech via a YouTube channel, which shut down at the end of 2022.
“Technical credibility” for Russia
But why such a recruitment in the ranks of the French army? According to some experts, these soldiers serve as a mouthpiece for Moscow. “It lends a certain military-technical credibility that we lend some form of legitimacy to a hidden agenda that sometimes serves the Kremlin’s interests, willingly or involuntarily,” said Patrick Chevallereau, a fellow at BFMTV’s Open Diplomacy Institute.
The Russian cyber attack is another example of Moscow’s hybrid warfare.
Nelson Getten with Juliette Desmonceaux