France has decided to invest additional financial support and human resources in its efforts to contain the growing cybercrime. Changes are needed in order for France to have better protection against foreign state-sponsored hacker attacks. The information was stated by French Defense Minister Florence Parly.
She presented the new state strategy for military cybersecurity, which she said is necessary because "France is plagued by enough threats ... the cyber war has begun and France must be ready to fight."
"We must prepare our armies for this new war, ensuring that they have an offensive computer control capabilities. In case of cyber attack, we have the right to retaliate," Minister said categorically about the necessary changes that are expected to be completed by 2025.
To achieve this goal, of course, efforts and resources are needed, and France will consequently invest € 1.6 billion to improve the state cyber protection and to hire an additional 1,000 cybersecurity specialists.
According to Florence Parly, it is also necessary to improve coordination between the various military services to create a defensive chain that allows to "anticipate, prevent and detect the attacks, and repair their effects".
"In recent years, cyberspace has become a place of confrontation like the others... A place of immense violence, which can permanently block us," Parly said.
"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," Parly added that the hacker attacks are not limited to the private sector but also targeted on the French military networks.
She also confirmed that in the last two years the French army was the target of hundreds of cyberattacks.
Florence Parly reported that at the end of 2017, suspicious activity was observed on one of the Ministry of the Armed Forces servers, and according to the logins analysis, the hacker had tried to access the mailboxes of 19 senior ministry officials. "These attack attempts continued until April 2018," Parly said.
There had been 700 cybersecurity incidents reported in 2017, about 100 of them committed against the networks of the military ministry networks. Cybersecurity experts have linked some of the attacks with the Turla malware.
Last year, the number of hacker attacks reached the same number by September. Parly explained some of the attacks were committed by lone hackers, another part by hacker groups, while the third part was state-sponsored.
Last year, information leaked that Russian, US, Chinese and French cybersecurity officials agreed on cyberspace rules at a secret meeting in Paris, and now France's decision seems to be a logical result.