French Cyberdefense Chief issues stark warning: Paris Olympics identified as potential target

French Cyberdefense Chief issues stark warning: Paris Olympics identified as potential target

PAIRS-The French Cybersecurity Agency’s (ANSSI) director general, Vincent Strubel, issued the warning amid tense diplomatic ties between France and Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow is incensed by remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron last month that suggested sending Western soldiers to Ukraine. The French government has been held accountable for previous misinformation and cyber operations.

Alert from Cyberdefense Chief

“It is obvious that the Olympic Games will be a target,” Strubel stated in an interview. “We are getting ready for all types of attacks, everything we see on a daily basis but in bigger, more numerous and more frequent,” he stated. On the fringes of a cybersecurity conference in Lille, northern France, he mentioned “attacks from states that want to disrupt the Games because they are not happy for one reason or another, and who might try to disrupt the opening ceremony or cause problems on public transport”. In addition, Russia has charged the International Olympic Committee with “racism and neo-Nazism” in response to the exclusion of Russian competitors from the July 26 opening ceremony of the Paris Games.

Assessment of Cybersecurity risks

Hardly any Russian athletes are likely to qualify as “neutrals”; most have been barred from the sport. According to Strubel, there are three primary threats: state-sponsored cyber attacks, cybercriminals attempting to extract money during the Olympics, and “hacktivist” hackers seeking attention or fun by causing disturbance. “For me, the worst-case scenario is that we find ourselves flooded with small-scale attacks and that we don’t anticipate a more serious attack targeting critical transport or energy infrastructure playing a vital role during the Games,” he stated. 

In online forums, a hacker collective known as Anonymous Sudan which cybersecurity experts view as pro-Russian claimed responsibility for the assaults. The digital safety agency and the office of the French prime minister declined to address the allegation, specify what was targeted, or speculate on potential damages. Before this summer’s Olympics in Paris and in the wake of many devastating ransomware attacks, notably those that targeted hospitals in 2021, the French government has been working hard to strengthen its cyber defenses. The French government has charged Russia with executing an ongoing campaign of cyber manipulation against the Western-backed Ukrainian government, which includes, among other things, mirroring the French Foreign Ministry website. President Emmanuel Macron’s stance against Moscow and the conflict that Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated in Ukraine has become more and more abrasive.

Vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure

The US accused Russian military intelligence agencies of unleashing the Olympic Destroyer virus just before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, where Russian competitors were prohibited from competing. Thousands of computers supporting the Pyeongchang Games had their data erased by virus, making the systems unusable. Other experts have speculated that possible targets may include the Paris Games’ electronic ticketing system, the IT networks serving sporting venues, or the results system. Just as Atos, France’s biggest provider of IT services and cyber-security, is ready to play a major role during the Games, it has been mired in a significant financial crisis.

Role of Cybersecurity agencies

The heavily indebted company, whose stock has dropped by about 90% since July of last year, has been the International Olympic Committee’s primary technological partner since 2002 and is a vital source of cybersecurity for the Paris Games. “Obviously we are particularly vigilant, which can be seen in our audits of Atos’ systems that will be used for the Games and for other critical systems,” Strubel stated. “And in our extremely frequent meetings with the Atos teams to make sure there are no issues. 

Boycott Paris Olympics 2024

It asked the French, depending on the groupings of people involved, a number of questions on how big of a racist nation they thought France was. Rather than downplaying racism and anti-Semitism, it turns out that the French were broadly aware of these phenomena: over two thirds of those polled in March 2021 thought that anti-Muslim racism and anti-Semitism were pervasive. France statistics showed a great ratio of racism around the country. This racism has ruined all the positive image of France around the world. On the basis of this issue everybody boycotted the Paris olympics 2024. The security of fans is also in danger due to this racism issue. 


In contrast to several other Western European nations and apart from English-speaking immigrant communities like those in the US, Canada, or Australia, France has purposefully refrained from enacting “race-conscious” laws. In France, there are no official policies that provide benefits or acknowledge racialized groups.



What You Need to Know About VoteStart

The perfect way to get a head start in your upcoming political campaign.

2976 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94115

Follow us:

Chip in now, every dollar helps in the crtical final moments of this campaign.

Fiona Anderwood