International Cybersecurity Forum, a unique edition
The International Cybersecurity Forum has opened its doors for its 15th edition in Lille. This event was marked by a visible fracture between the organization of the forum and the various ministries, particularly the Army and the Interior. However, this edition brought together many visitors and professionals, recording a record number of registrations.
The subject that marked the minds was the official absence of the gendarmerie and the state services. This is a first since the creation of the FIC in 2007. Historically the gendarmerie has always been present and even participated in the creation of the Forum. The state does not wish to be associated with the consulting firm Avisa Partenaire, co-organizer of the FIC. Mediapart revealed that the company had been lobbying around the world, particularly in African countries with sensitive political contexts. The independent newspaper also accused Avisa of carrying out propaganda activities by altering information on Wikipedia articles or infiltrating participatory discussions in the media to serve the interests of their clients. Wikipedia has even made a sporadic decision, officially banning Avisa Partners for life from its website. Faced with the questioning of Avisa’s ethics, the State withdrew, followed by many cybersecurity actors, particularly many CISO, advocating the importance of respecting ethics in the profession.
However, this year’s FIC can be considered a real success. The participants were indeed present on these three days and certainly in greater numbers than in previous years.
This year, the FIC broadened these themes by addressing, for example, OSINT, web3, and cloud issues. The show also stood out with a category of visitors even more present than in previous years of visitors, the student community, which showed that the cybersecurity sector is beginning to democratize.
The absence of the State, therefore, did not really affect the reputation of the forum. However, it is questionable whether the format of the forum will be reviewed in the future if the absence of public actors continues. In addition, the FIC has an important competitor for the leading cybersecurity forum position with IT MEETINGS in Cannes, which seems to be more appreciated by professionals of this event due to its format.
Lille, a place of cyber but not necessarily secure
Lille has also seen its news in recent months linked to cybersecurity with a more sensitive event.
Indeed, at the end of February, Lille’s city hall saw its information system dysfunctional. Several business applications have no longer worked, so the trial of a cyber attack was possible! Finally, the group of cybercriminals Royal Ransomware claimed responsibility for the attack on March 27th on the darknet. The hackers’ message was accompanied by 350 GB of stolen data. According to them, this would represent only 10% of the total. They could therefore have about 3. 5T of data, including accounting records, HR, and banking data.
Royal has asked for a ransom that the city of Lille will not pay. So the group tried a second hack through the information they shared. It is a traditional practice for hackers to attempt a second ransomware on impacted organizations. To date, the attackers’ modus operandi has not yet been discovered or officially communicated.
In the end, in a press release, the Lille city council stated that only 2% of the data had been stolen.
Sources / references
Article on the Lille cyberattack which summarizes the different stages of the case and the different types of data stolen
- Source : ZATAZ
- Author : Damien Bancal
- Date : 30 mars 2023
Article on the Lille cyberattack which provides an update on the different types of stolen data and the description of the hacker group
- Source : numera
- Author : bogdan bodnar
- Date : 28 mars 2023
Article on the FIC and the reason for the absence of the gendarmerie and the State but the success is still visible. It also informs us about the themes of the event and the strong presence of public services
- Source : Le Monde Informatique
- Author : Jacques Cheminat
- Date : 05 avril 2023
Article on the FIC and the reason for the absence of the gendarmerie and the State because of the Avisa affair (more details). Actors from the gendarmerie are still visible but in civilian clothes and an interview with one of the co-founders
- Source : FranceBleu
- Author : Arthur Fradin
- Date : 5 avril 2023
Article explaining why wikipedia decided to delete its Avisa Partners page
- Source : Wikimédia France
- Author : Wikimédia France
- Date : 9/08/2022