FFE Magazine

French government boosts cyber Defences

by FFE Tech News Staff

 

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As cyber-attacks become more creative and aggressive, governments are starting to up their defences, and the French government is ready to shell out in this ‘cyber war.’

 

The government on Tuesday announced it will soon launch a €1.5 billion priority project after the French Defence Ministry became a central target of cyber attacks last year. Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said ‘The scale needs to be changed.

 

‘In 2013 we recorded 780 significant computer incidents within the Defence ministry, against 195 in 2011.’ He revealed that the attacks ranged in nature from attempts to paralyze government servers to destroying information.

 

He added ‘They are general localised attacks coming from foreign powers or activist groups, but they clearly show intrusion attempts into networks able to affect our forces operating abroad or even our partners.’ To address the issue, the ministry said they aim to recruit IT experts and double the size of their cyber division.

 

The minister also suggested a broader measure that would encompass other EU nations.

 

Cloud services company IP Converge Data Services Inc announced last year that cyber attacks will only increase in the coming years. But not only will the volume of attacks increase — they will also become more creative. Recently, American security firm Proofpoint, Inc discovered a hacking system that used internet-connected home appliances such as refrigerators and TV sets to send malicious files.

 

Last year, concerned group Democracy.net.ph urged the Philippine government to step up efforts in improving cyber security after a number of government websites closed down in May. The group said the attack exposed the ‘vulnerability of our cyber-infrastructure’ and warned that attacks could ‘endanger lives and property.’

 

The Aquino administration has vowed to digitise many of its services in a bid to create a more transparent and efficient bureaucratic system. Last week, the Department of Trade and Industry launched an e-payment facility to ease business registration application in the country. Meanwhile, Malacañang asked hackers not to deface its new transparency website Open Data Philippines.

 

To address the issue of cyber attacks in government websites, the Department of Science and Technology, which hosts at least 30 government websites, called for more support for a centralised web hosting service called the Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS), especially since attacks are becoming more political.

 

Last November, hacking group Anonymous Philippines defaced 30 government websites in protest to the pork barrel system and promised more attacks in the future. American cyber security firm Arbor Networks revealed that the sources of cyber attacks in the Philippines are China (25.3%), America (6.4%) and Spain (5.2%).

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