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    France Ramps up Cybersecurity, Plans to Hire More Staff - Defence Chief

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - France is planning to spend 1.6 billion euros (or $1.8 billion) on cybersecurity and bring in more employees by 2025, as the cyberdefence command has proven necessary, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said Friday.

    "The cybersecurity command was set up in 2017. It has demonstrated that it was needed and proven its mettle. I have decided to increase the resources and consolidate the structure… By 2025, we will take in another 1,000 cybertroops in the cybersecurity command, the Directorate-General for External Security, the Directorate General of Armaments. We will increase resources; 1.6 billion euro of investment in the fight in cyberspace," Parly said.

    READ MORE: French Hacker Alerts Indian PM of Security Breach on His Website, Offers to Fix

    The minister stressed that cyberspace had become an incredibly important battlefield, adding that cyberattacks were not limited to the private sector and French military networks were also targeted.

    According to Parly, suspicious activity was registered in late 2017 on one of the servers of the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

    "Analysis of the logins showed that the attacker was attempting to get access to mailboxes of 19 senior ministry officials… These attack attempts continued until April 2018," Parly said.

    The attacks' pattern was familiar to specialists and some of the attempts were linked to Turla malware, Parly remarked.

    He added that there had been 700 cybersecurity incidents in 2017, about 100 of them targeting the ministry's networks.

    "In 2018, there was the same number [of attacks] by September," Parly said.

    Some attacks were orchestrated by lone hackers, others by groups, while some were carried out by states, the minister explained.

    This comes after reports last year that Russian, US, Chinese and French cybersecurity officials have been meeting in secret in Paris to agree rules of conduct in cyberspace. 


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