The French government says it’s being targeted by unusual intense cyberattacks

FILE - French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal gestures as he speaks during the first session of questions to the new government at the National Assembly in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. The French government said Monday, March 11, 2024 that several of its services are being targeted by cyberattacks of ‘’unprecedented intensity,’’ and a special crisis center was activated to restore online services. In a statement, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s office said the attacks started Sunday night and hit multiple government ministries, without providing details. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

FILE – French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal gestures as he speaks during the first session of questions to the new government at the National Assembly in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. The French government said Monday, March 11, 2024 that several of its services are being targeted by cyberattacks of ‘’unprecedented intensity,’’ and a special crisis center was activated to restore online services. In a statement, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s office said the attacks started Sunday night and hit multiple government ministries, without providing details. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

PARIS (AP) — The French government said Monday that several of its services have been targeted by cyberattacks of “unprecedented intensity,” and a special crisis center was activated to restore online services.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s office said in a statement that the attacks started Sunday night and hit multiple government ministries, without providing details. By Monday afternoon, it said, “the impact of the attacks has been reduced for most services and access to government sites restored.”

A group of hackers called Anonymous Sudan, which is considered by cybersecurity experts as pro-Russia, claimed responsibility for the attacks in online posts. The French prime minister’s office and digital safety agency wouldn’t comment on the claim, or provide details of what was targeted or what damage might have been caused.

A French official said they were denial-of-service attacks, a common type of cyberattack that involves flooding a site with data in order to overwhelm it and knock it offline.

France’s government has made a push to improve cyber defenses before the Paris Olympics this summer and after damaging ransomware attacks in recent years, including on hospitals in 2021.

The French government has accused Russia of operating a long-running online manipulation campaign against Ukraine’s Western backers, including by mirroring the French Foreign Ministry website among other methods. President Emmanuel Macron has taken an increasingly tough line against Moscow and the war that Russian President Vladimir Putin started in Ukraine.

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