Millions in France affected by new data cyber attack

Up to 43 million accounts compromised, but allegedly no bank details were taken

The service has only fully been in use since the start of 2024
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Jobeekers service France Travail – formerly Pôle Emploi – has been hit by a cyberattack, it announced on March 13, with tens of millions of accounts affected.

The service, which replaced former jobseekers aid group Pôle Emploi at the start of 2024 said up to 43 million accounts may have been compromised.

“The database that may have been illegally extracted contains the personal identification data of people currently registered” with the service, it said.

However, it also included the data of “people previously registered over the last twenty years, as well as people not registered on the job seekers' list, but who have a candidate space on,” it said.

The information taken includes “first and last name, date of birth, social security number, France Travail identifier, e-mail and postal addresses and telephone numbers.”

“No passwords or bank account information” was in the dataset affected, meaning there is no risk of direct fraud in this way, and the service does not need to pay out any compensation.

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People should still be wary, as the information gathered by such hacking or phishing attempts form the first part of many multi-step scams.

Read also: Bank call scams: why more people are being caught out in France

Hackers posed as workers

The attack took place at some point between February 5 and March 6, with hackers posing as members of work counsellors called ‘Cap emploi’.

The requests of these workers became suspicious and, with France Travail lodging an internal complaint and investigation.

It also lodged the issue with the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (Cnil), and Paris’ public prosecutor has opened an inquiry into the matter.

There are no official recommendations to change information such as passwords on the service yet.

Earlier this year, the caisses d'Allocations familiales (Caf), a government benefits department, was also the victim of a cyber attack.

Read more: Receive family benefits in France? Why you must change your password

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