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Hackers hit 19,000 French websites

Hackers hit 19,000 French websites
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The tense situation in France has yet to cool down and it's now spilling over into the digital world. Earlier this week, I told you about Anonymous' attempts to take down Islamic extremist websites in the country. Now, unknown hackers have hit 19,000 other websites in an apparent act of retribution.

Since Saturday, hackers have defaced the websites of French businesses, religious groups, city governments and universities with pro-Islamic images and messages, government officials told CNNMoney. They essentially played graffiti artists, replacing website homepages.

It looks like the attacks are in response to Anonymous' actions. French officials have said that the attacks are not serious and are an "annoyance" more than anything else.

The hackers also briefly interrupted service to the French Defense Ministry's website with a DDoS attack. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and basically means the hackers flooded the website with fake traffic that shut it down for a short time.

This specific situation isn't likely to spill over into the U.S., but it does show that attacks in the real world are increasingly resulting in online attacks, too. That lesson is important for everyone to learn, no matter what country you live in.

But what could make this episode in France noteworthy is that it's yet another sign that the digital world -- websites, apps and social networks -- are increasingly targets on a battlefield without national boundaries.

French officials pointed out that these attacks weren't complicated and targeted weak websites with poor security. That's why it's always important to make sure your site is protected in case a cyberattack occurs.

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Source: CNN
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