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French IT monitoring company was targeted by hackers, cyber agency says

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Raphael Satter
·1 min read
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By Raphael Satter

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Hackers have spent up to three yearsbreaking into organizations by targeting monitoring softwaremade by the French company Centreon, France's cybersecuritywatchdog said on Monday.

The watchdog, known by its French acronym ANSSI, stoppedshort of identifying the hackers but said that they had asimilar modus operandi as the Russian cyberespionage group oftennicknamed "Sandworm."

ANSSI, Centreon, and the Russian embassy in Paris did notimmediately return messages seeking comment.

The targeting of Centreon, a Paris-based company whichspecializes in information technology monitoring, furtherhighlights how attractive such firms are to digital spies.

Cybersecurity officials in the United States are stilltrying to get their hands around an ambitious espionage campaignthat hijacked IT monitoring software made by the Austin,Texas-based firm SolarWinds. American officials, whohave blamed Moscow for the hacking, have hinted that other firmshave also been hit in similar ways.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that suspected Chinesehackers also targeted SolarWinds customers, using a differentand less serious bug to help spread it across their victims'networks.

The initial vector for the campaign of intrusions thattargeted Centreon software was not known, ANSSI said in a40-page report posted on its website. It said it had discoveredintrusions dating back to late 2017 and stretching into 2020.

The watchdog did not identify the names or number of victimsinvolved but said they were mainly IT services firms such asinternet hosting providers.(Reporting by Raphael Satter; editing by Grant McCool)