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.
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.
Cyber-attackers target French hospitals under pressure from Covid crisis
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.