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French Government Hit With ‘Unprecedented’ Cyber Attack



The French Prime Minister’s office described a series of recent computer attacks against multiple government departments as “unprecedented.”. These attacks, which began Sunday evening, have been mitigated, and access to government websites has been restored. A ministry source confirmed that the Ministry of Labor was among those affected.

“Since Sunday evening, several government departments have been the target of computer attacks. While the attack methods are conventional, the intensity is unprecedented,” stated the Prime Minister’s office. “A crisis unit was activated Sunday evening to deploy countermeasures. At this stage, the impact of these attacks has been reduced for most services, and access to government sites has been restored.”

A security source asserts that these attacks are not currently attributable to Russia. French newspaper La Tribune reports this news

Heightened Cybersecurity Concerns Ahead of Elections and Olympics

French officials are taking these threats seriously ahead of the European elections on June 9th and the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. Stéphane Bouillon, Secretary General for Defense and National Security (SGDSN), warned that these events will be “a considerable stake and target” for foreign manipulation.

The SGDSN will hold a meeting on March 29th for all French political parties contesting the European elections to raise awareness of “hybrid threats,” including cyber-attacks, information manipulation, and foreign interference.

Last month, French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu called for reinforced security against Russian “sabotage and cyberattack” threats, which, according to an internal memo, primarily target his ministry.

EU Strengthens Cyber Defenses

The European Union recently bolstered cooperation among member countries, establishing a solidarity mechanism dubbed the “Cyber Solidarity Act.” This system includes an EU-wide warning network for detecting potential attacks and an emergency response system that facilitates mutual assistance and information exchange.

Detection will rely on a European network of “cyber hubs” equipped with supercomputers and artificial intelligence. The goal is to minimize the time needed to detect attacks on European infrastructure, enabling swifter countermeasures.

Cyberattacks on the Rise

Cyber attacks have surged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. While computer sabotage has been largely restricted to the conflict zone, European countries remain vigilant about potential attacks on critical sectors.

In May 2023, pro-Russian hackers targeted the websites of several French town halls.

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