8 September 2023

The profile of the presumed responsible for the false threats of attacks that have targeted several dozen schools in recent months becomes clearer: The Parisian revealed on Monday April 24 that three teenagers were indicted on February 2 for death threats. Two of them were also indicted for “computer hacking targeting a system implemented by the State”. This criminal qualification, more serious than simple hacking, was retained because the threats were mostly made on digital work environments (ENT), digital tools used in schools.

The three people indicted are young: between 14 and 17 years old. They live in three very different departments (Gironde, Val-de-Marne, Bouches-du-Rhône). Two of them – apparently computer-savvy – reportedly gravitated to a Discord server, a popular platform for online video game enthusiasts, created in connection with these fake threats.

Read also: What you need to know about Discord, the platform where the confidential American documents were published

For some at odds with their parents or the school environment, they seem to have acted to seek“adrenaline” or out of resentment towards the school.

The lawyer of one of the young people indicted, suspected of being one of the main instigators of the hacking of the ENT, requested by The Parisianrecalled the presumption of innocence and considered that the « roles (teenagers) are not clearly established at this stage of the investigation.. The lawyers for the other two indicted contacted by The Parisian did not wish to speak.

Credentials recovered by a malicious program

According to investigators, the victims whose ENTs were hacked would have watched videos encouraging them to download software related to video games: it was actually a known malicious program called RedLine, capable of stealing personal information stored in the computer’s memory. This is how two of the young people indicted would have recovered the couple of identifier and password necessary to connect to the ENT. The third indicted would have simply sent his threats to the e-mail box of schools using false addresses.

Several dozen colleges and high schools throughout France have been targeted in recent weeks by threats of jihadist attacks, leading to the intervention of the police, the evacuation of establishments and the interruption of classes – even the postponement of the start of the school year in January.

The threats, for the most part, reached the establishments through messages posted from the accounts of hacked students on the ENT, digital platforms bringing together several tools necessary for the life of the establishment (notebook, timetable, messaging, etc.).

Read also: Investigation opened after false bomb threats in twenty high schools and colleges

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