'Militant Zionist' hacker crashes two French news sites

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3 min

A notorious French-Israeli hacker admitted attacks on two major French news sites on Friday which he accused of “lies and defamation” towards “Jews, Israel and me”. It is the latest in his months-long series of attacks on French media.


Gregory Chelli, who goes by the online moniker Ulcan and is based in Israel, launched a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on France Info and France Inter on Thursday. Both sites remained down when this article was published on Friday.

"Know this, dear Goliath of misinformation, that David will make you fall with a single stone,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

DoS hacks involve saturating target websites with a deluge of requests for information so that they cannot respond to legitimate traffic.

Chelli has launched similar attacks on numerous French media organisations, and has promptly trumpeted these victories on his Facebook page.

Other previous targets have included the French Communist Party and website, a forum linked to online activist group Anonymous, which Chelli considers has an anti-Israeli bias. The site was still offline on Friday.

Chelli hacked the two publicly-owned channels on Thursday after France Inter invited Pierre Haski, founder of popular French news site Rue 89, in for an interview.

Rue89 became a target for the Chelli, who declares himself a “militant Zionist” and is linked to the far-right Jewish Defence League, after it published an article about his hacking activities in July.

'Criminal' personal attacks

In late July, Ulcan allegedly launched direct attacks on both Haski and journalist Benoit Le Corre, who wrote the offending article for Rue89.

French police launched an investigation Tuesday into reports that Chelli phoned Le Corre’s parents and told them that their was dead.

A few days later, Chelli allegedly rang the police claiming to be Le Corre’s father, announcing that he had murdered his wife, leading to a police visit to the family home.

He is also accused of making a similar prank call to police claiming to be Haski, saying he had just killed his wife.

At the beginning of October, Rue89 announced that Le Corre’s father, who suffered a heart attack in the weeks following the alleged calls and was put into an artificial coma, had died.

In total, eight news organisations and two individuals – Haski and Le Corre – have made official complaints that are central to the police investigation.

Chelli cannot be questioned by French police because there is no extradition treaty between France and Israel.

Following Thursday’s attack, Chelli wrote on Facebook that he had decided to “stop publicly admitting” to his attacks.

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