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05.03.2021 Europe

Cyber-attacks quadrupled in France in the space of a year

By RFI
Getty Images
LISTEN MAR 5, 2021
Getty Images

Cyber-attacks in France have increased fourfold over the last year, forcing authorities to strengthen the chain of cyber-defence from end to end, Armed Forces minister Florence Parly said on Thursday.

"If there is indeed a space where malevolence never sleeps, not even with one eye, a space where each of us can become the target, the vector, or even the amplifier of its threat, it is indeed the cyber-space," French defence minister Florence Parly said.

She announced that an agreement had been signed with the GIP Acyma, a specialized cyber-protection agency created in 2017 by the French government.

In particular, the agreement will provide the GIP with a full-time officer from the Defence Intelligence and Security Directorate (DRSD), the counter-intelligence agency.

"The Armed Forces Ministry has the ambition to strengthen its cyber-defence chain from end to end," Parly said.

Strengthening cyber-security
Following the cyber-attacks that reduced two hospitals to "all paper", Emmanuel Macron confirmed in February a 1 billion euro plan to strengthen the cyber-security of sensitive systems.

Parly recalled that her ministry had devoted 1.6 billion euros to cyber-defence over the period 2019-2025, stressing also the recruitment of "1,000 cyber fighters by 2025".

"In the second half of 2020, the DRSD observed a large mobilisation of individuals carrying out cyber-offensive and propaganda actions of an Islamist nature. These actions have led to a wave of disfigurements of websites of French entities or individuals linked to the defence sphere," the minister insisted, reporting attacks from both state powers, terrorist groups and their supporters.

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