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“Makes an attempt at intrusion might be very excessive on the 2024 Olympics”: Interview with Jean-Noël Barrot

Jean-Noël Barrot, the ministerial delegate responsible for the digital transition, met in Rennes during European Cyber ​​Week and outlined the government’s plan to prevent and protect the population in an increasingly tense cyber context.

2030. This is the deadline set by the government to make France a cyber power at all levels. When the country can count on multiple champions in the industry, criminal hackers are just as ambitious and always seek the fault in the least prepared target.

Given the many traps set for Internet users today, the government wants to try to protect the population as best as possible in the run-up to major sporting events. Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister’s Delegate in charge of Digital Transformation and Telecommunications, answered our questions.

Numerama – With cyberattacks becoming an increasingly present threat, how is France preparing to host two major events: the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games (OG)?

Jean Noël Barrot — This is a technically demanding topic. As a reminder, at the last Olympic Games (Tokyo) there were 4 billion intrusion attempts. The ones before that (Rio de Janeiro) were battling 500 million attacks of the same type. If growth stays the same for the Paris Olympics in 2024, intrusion attempts will be very high. Many actors will be mobilized to ensure that things run smoothly: the interior and sports ministries, as well as French companies such as Orange or Atos, which will take part in the security of these events.

The anti-scam filter, which is planned to be in the beta phase in summer 2023, is to be deployed in time for the Rugby World Cup. Citizens can check from their browser that the websites consulted do not pose a trap or threat to their personal data.

Shouldn’t we also look at social networks? Many scams first spread on these platforms, for example, the scammers were able to take advantage of the takeover of Twitter.

Jean Noël Barrot — We are closely monitoring what is happening on the Twitter side. Commissioner Thierry Breton reminded that the changes will be made in accordance with EU rules. The responsibility of social network publishers is much greater at European level since the adoption of the DSA, the digital services legislation that will come into force on November 16th.

These large platforms are now responsible for the news that is circulating and have established moderation duties. Failure to comply with these rules can result in significant penalties: the fine can amount to up to 6% of your annual turnover.

As soon as it started, the offer of 8 euros for an official badge on Twitter was already hijacked by many scammers.  // Source: vx-underground
As soon as it started, the offer of 8 euros for an official badge on Twitter was already hijacked by many scammers. // Source: vx-underground

You have announced with Pap Ndiaye, Minister of National Education, the launch of a digital passport for children returning to college. Is cyber risk training for the youngest on the agenda?

Jean Noël Barrot — A cyber component is clearly provided for in the digital passport. We focus first on cyberbullying: more than 3 million children are said to have been victims of it in our colleges. It demands a strong reaction. All 6ᵉ students will be made aware of the risks and reflexes against online hate from the start of the next school year. A test phase has been underway in 110 companies since last week.

But cybersecurity training is on the agenda, with modules on risk of account theft. Students are given a hands-on exercise in hacking an account “protected” by an all-too-simple password. Typically, a teenager gets their first smartphone from college. A good way to make him aware of the dangers is to show him the risks he faces with a poorly protected social media account.

They invited fired Twitter employees to be interested in employment opportunities in France. Can we also bring cyber experts from abroad to France?

Jean Noël Barrot — Of course, all talents are welcome in France, especially if they want to help us to protect citizens. The challenge remains, of course, to train in France. For cyber security, 140 million euros are being made available for the development of training positions. There’s a real issue of cyber evangelism, and it’s from the colleges, high schools, where the students are roaming. The other goal of this mission is the feminization of the sector: only 11% of cybersecurity jobs are held by women.

However, we would like to remember the nobility of their mission. For example, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital, which was the victim of a cyber attack in August, employs 3,700 people specialized in resuscitation of newborns. When experts are sent to restore computer systems, they are also there to save lives.

At the same time, the government regularly reminds us that they are willing to invest in the Metaverse. In the future, will a Web3 specialist or a cybersecurity expert be hired as a matter of priority?

Jean Noël Barrot – Both ! It all depends on your activity, but the two professions will be necessary, even complementary.

For further

What is ransomware?  // Source: Melvyn Dadure for Numerama

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