France has faced 19,000 cyberattacks since the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, according to France’s top cyberdefense official.

Adm. Arnaud Coustilliere, who is the head of cyberdefense for the French military, said that the surge in cyberattacks was unprecedented.  He said:

What’s new, what’s important, is that this is 19,000 sites — that’s never been seen before. This is the first time that a country has been faced with such a large wave.

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Some of the attacks were carried out by well-known Islamic hacker groups. The groups included MECA: Middle East Cyber Army, Fallaga team, and Cyber Caliphate.

Coustilliere said that the attacks were carried out in response to the demonstrations against the terrorist attacks. The march in Paris involved 3.7 million people.

The incidents were mostly minor denial-of-service attacks; and so far, no major damage had been caused.

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The French have placed government sites under round-the-clock surveillance to make sure no significant damage is done.

According to private company Arbor Networks, France has been subject to a quarter of the denial-of-service attacks of the US during the past 24 hours. However, the US has 30 times more websites than France.

The onslaught has come amid new concern over cyberattacks following the assault upon Sony over The Interview.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande has said that anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic attacks would be “severely punished.”

At the Institute of the Arab World in Paris, he stated: “In the face of terrorism, we are all united.”

Hollande also called for Muslims in France to be protected and respected.

h/t: Yahoo! News