French police probe rape of two English women in Nice

Two young English women, aged 16 and 20, had a nightmare ordeal in the French Riviera city of Nice at the weekend when they were raped by two men.

French police probe rape of two English women in Nice
The centre of Nice. Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbera/Flickr

Two English women, aged 16 and 20, told French police they had been raped by two men in the centre of Nice in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The two friends, who were on holiday in the Mediterranean resort town said they had left a bar in the old town of Nice at around 2am on Saturday morning, according to Nice Matin newspaper which first reported the crime.

The two tourists then headed towards the beach along the Promenade des Anglais where they met two men.

After agreeing to go for a drink with the two men, the four headed off towards the old town.

But on Rue de Belgique (see photo above), near the train station, the two women were pushed into a corner and sexually assaulted.

The two victims went directly to police and reported the crimes who opened an investigation into suspected gang rape. Police studied CCTV images of the area and later on Saturday morning arrested two drunk men in the area.

However one was released without charge while the other was taken into custody after allegedly insulting police officers.

Police are looking for any witnesses to the incident and have carried out medical examinations on the two victims.

A spokesman for police in Nice declined to give any further details of the incident but confirmed an investigation has been opened for gang rape.

The spokesman confirmed that two women were tourists and were staying in a hotel in the town centre.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Paris confirmed to The Local that they were providing support to two British nationals in Nice “and will remain in close contact with local authorities”. 



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Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister François Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.