Photo credit: Brigitte Djajasasmita (CC BY-NC-ND

Charlie Hebdo hit by cyber attack after mocking Iranian leader

Almost exactly 8 years after the deadly Charlie Hebdo massacre at the hands of Islamist extremists, the website of the satirical French magazine has experienced a massive cyber attack.

The incident took place shortly after the website published cartoons mocking Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, over his Islamist regime’s treatment of women amid ongoing protests.

According to AFP, the Paris’ prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the hack as of last week, saying that: “An investigation was opened today of managers of fraudulent access to an automated data processing system.”

The news agency also reported that sources close to the incident say that the home page of the website was also “disfigured” by the attack.

No group to date has claimed responsibility for the hack. However, Iran’s Foreign Minister took to social media earlier this month to threaten the publication over the mocking cartoons, promising a “decisive and effective response.”

Concerns have also been raised over the fact that the personal info of “several thousand subscribers” may have been stolen due to the cyber attack in question.

The incident comes amid ongoing women’s rights and free expression protests in Iran, with thousands taking to the streets to object to the country’s strict implementation of Islamic law.

The Iranian government has responded with a spate of executions of protesters, which the EU denounced as “reprehensible” and “appalling” this week.

Charlie Hebdo came to international attention on January 7th 2015, when Islamist gunmen in balaclavas wielding Kalashnikov rifles burst into the publication’s office building, murdering 12 employees over the magazine’s mockery of Muhammad, who is revered by Muslims as the Prophet and founder of Islam.

In 2021, French school teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Chechen Muslim asylum seeker for showing the satirical cartoons to his class during a lesson about freedom of expression and free speech.

Additionally, in March of 2021, a teacher in England was suspended for showing said cartoons to his class, and ultimately went into hiding out of fear he could be killed by Islamist vigilantes.


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