France Responds To Cyber Attacks

French President Macron has said that the importance of cyber security has been refocused following recent cyber attacks on hospitals and is now going to improve France’s defenses and launch a cyber security center in Paris. 

Two French hospitals hit by ransomware attacks in less than a week, forcing them to transfer patients to other facilities. The attacks were on the hospitals, in Villefranche-sur-Saone in central France and in Dax in the south west, which have shown the healthcare systems to be very vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

The French National Cyber Security Agency  said they have discovered suspected Russian hacking attacks on a number of French organisations.

President Macron will open a new cyber security center in Paris’s financial district later in 2021 and his goal is to triple the annual sales of French cyber security companies to 25 billion Euros in 2025 from 7.3 billion Euros in 2019, and double the number of jobs in the sector by 2025. The French government is allocating 500 million Euros ($602 million) to help companies and public authorities boost their cyber defenses, the President’s office said.

Referring to cyber attacks, Macron said “we’re learning about these new attacks, some coming from states as part of new conflicts between nations, others are coming from mafias.” And while some have “criminal” or “lucrative” motives, which he said was the case of the hospital attacks, others are designed to try and “destabilise” countries, he added. 

President Macron said hackers have been more active in recent months, both in France and internationally. “The threat is serious, and sometimes vital, and it touches all sectors,” said Macron, who was himself targeted by hackers during the presidential campaign.

Ransomware is software that blocks data on a computer system that is then made accessible after a ransom payment.
Calling cyber defense “a priority,” Macron said his administration has been working on confronting the threat since 2017, and is now accelerating those efforts. 

France 24:       Bloomberg:      Insurance Journal:     Arab News:     Oodaloop:   Newscabal:    Image: Unsplash

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