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French prepare army as fears over cyber-attacks increase

France has established its first ever cyber-warfare unit following fears that the nation could be the victim of hackers. The announcement was made earlier this week, and comes hot on the heels of the US and Russian hacking scandal which has engulfed much of the mainstream media in the past week.

President Obama officially ordered artificial intelligence experts to conduct their conclusions and file a report into the hacking scandal in July before he leaves office on January 20th.

However, the CIA submitted the report last week and assessed that the cyber-attacks were aimed at swaying the vote for Trump because the targeting of Republican organizations diminished toward the end of the summer and focused on Democratic groups.

In response to this hacking scandal, France expressed grave concerns over Russia's capabilities and are fearful they could be a victim of a similar attack by Russia. French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian compared the consequences of hacking warfare as the same as the first aircraft on conflicts in the 20th century.

The French defence minister said: "The emergence of a new area, a new cyber-battlefield, must make us rethink profoundly our way of approaching the art of war. If hackers were identified as coming from a country that had failed to stop them, the responsibility of this state could be called into question. Our offensive cyber-capabilities must allow us to breach the systems and networks of our enemies to cause damage, service suspensions or temporary or definitive neutralisations.

The new French force will also work to identify foreign hackers and help identify weaknesses in important military IT networks, such as those used to pilot drones.

France's announcement mirrors plans drawn up by Britain, which last month launched a new cyber-defence plan backed by 2.1 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of funding. The French unit will begin work next month and a team of up to 2,600 specialists will be created by 2019.

Russia has denied any involvement in the hacking scandal and has refuted the allegations categorically. However, Kremlin officials did announce that their Russian leader Vladimir Putin approved a new cybersecurity doctrine which was reviewed and updated over fears they would be the victims of a foreign cyber-attack.

President elect Donald Trump, who US democrats believe Russia wanted to see named president, has rubbished the allegations aimed at Russia - and labelled the CIA's report as 'ridiculous'.