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France's cyber security chief warns of 'permanent war'

France's cyber security chief has warned of the risk of "permanent war" in cyberspace as a result of hacking for espionage and fraud purposes by states and criminals.

Guillaume Poupard said of cyber attacks that "in terms of effects and impact, we are clearly getting closer to a state of war".

The director general of the government cyber defence agency known in France by its acronym, ANSSI, lamented a lack of commonly agreed rules to govern cyberspace and said nations "must work collectively, not just with two or three Western countries, but on a global scale".

Mr Poupard also said there is no evidence that a notorious Russian hacking group was behind the cyber attack on President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign.

The Macron campaign hack "was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone", he said.

He said they found no trace that the Russian hacking group known as APT28, blamed for other attacks including the one which hit the US presidential campaign, was responsible.

Its experts were immediately dispatched when documents stolen from the Macron campaign leaked online on May 5 in the closing hours of the presidential race.

Mr Poupard said the attack's simplicity "means that we can imagine that it was a person who did this alone. They could be in any country".

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