Hackers from Russia and China targeted France’s homeschooling platform, say investigators

Hackers from Russia and China targeted France's homeschooling platform, say investigators
Photo: Guillaume Souvnant/AFP
Hackers operating from Russia and China targeted France's homeschooling platform which crashed at the start of a nationwide partial lockdown last week, investigators said on Monday.

The cyber attacks on the “Ma classe à la maison” (My class at home) programme originated in Russia and China but it was unclear whether the perpetrators were themselves Russian and Chinese, the sources added.

The platform, which was used by more than a million pupils and teachers to continue classes after schools were shut to halt the spread of Covid-19, repeatedly crashed on April 6th.

France’s distance learning centre CNED, which runs the service, complained of “deliberate malevolent acts” taking place over several days.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer drew widespread ridicule for suggesting that foreign hackers caused the disruptions, with many parents instead blaming a lack of preparation by the government.

But investigators confirmed that hackers had targeted the system.

President Emmanuel Macron announced one week of home schooling followed by two weeks of rescheduled Easter holidays to help tame a third wave of Covid-19 infections, after hospitals warned they were being swamped with critical cases.

READ ALSO What parents in France need to know about school closures

Easter holidays for the whole country began on Monday, April 12th, a change in date for some regions and will run for two weeks. On April 26th primary school pupils will return to school, while pupils in secondary school and high school (collège and lycée) will have one more week of remote learning before returning to the classroom.


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