Nearly 70 fake bomb alerts have targeted French airports since October 18. The vast majority of the hoaxes have originated from the same email address located in Switzerland, French Transport Minister Clément Beaune said on Sunday.
“There have unfortunately been nearly 70 alerts of this type that have affected our airports since Wednesday, fortunately much fewer than yesterday [October 21], the first day of departure on vacation for many French people,” Clément Beaune told French media on Sunday.
They are not the work of “little jokers”, but of “big idiots or even big delinquents”, said the minister.
“They are a mixture of people who make bad jokes, who want to scare for real and sometimes also a kind of competition in stupidity between hackers,” he said.
“Since Wednesday, it is almost always the same email address that is used, located outside the European Union, in Switzerland,” he added.
The minister invited hosting sites to help the French authorities: “Everyone has a responsibility, including the platforms and social networks, to not support this type of attack and to cooperate as quickly as possible with civil aviation French and our justice.”
Making false alerts is “extremely dangerous”, because they mobilise security forces for several hours and result in evacuations, said Beaune.
He said he had asked each airport to systematically file a legal complaint for each alert received by email or phone. In total, “more than 60 investigations, all locations combined, have been launched,” said Beaune,
France has raised its national security alert level to the maximum since the assassination on October 13 of the French teacher Dominique Bernard at his high school in Arras (Pas-de-Calais) by a young person accused of Islamist radicalisation.
Police and military patrols have been reinforced, as have the number of security guards in train stations and airports. From next week, “40% more patrols will be put in place” in Paris airports, said the French minister.
Beyond that, the minister wants “more powers” given to the French railway security guards, in addition to the reinforced skills already introduced for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Source : SWI