An introduction to the French-language underground

The French cybercriminal underground may not be as large or as well-known as its Russian and Chinese counterparts, but TrendMicro data estimates that it has “40,000 members… [and] collectively makes around 5-10 million euros a month.”

Following on from our previous features on the threat of the Spanish-language and Chinese-language undergrounds, we talk to Leroy Terrelonge III, Director of Intelligence and Operations at Flashpoint, about what CSOs need to know about the threat from French-language threat actors.


Can you explain how the French-language cybercriminal underground differs from other communities?

The underground French community in the Deep & Dark Web, according to the community’s own historian (“hamster-guerrier”), began circa 2008 with an unmoderated forum called Noel Board. The chaos of this site eventually persuaded a user with the pseudonym “V1ct0r” to found the French Deep Web (FDW), a site dedicated to “providing a censure-free forum for information exchange.” Following a law enforcement raid on the server hosting Noel Board, FDW has remained as the longest-standing and most stable presence in the French dark web.

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Kate Hoy

Kate Hoy is Editor of IDG Connect

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