Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

France

Cyber attack on ministry 'targeted G20 information'

©

Video by Clovis CASALI

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-03-07

France’s finance ministry was the target of one of the largest ever cyber-attack on a French government office, the government has confirmed. According to experts, the hackers were after documents relating to the G20.

France’s finance ministry was targeted by cyber spies last December, budget minister and government spokesman said on Monday, confirming reports in the media of a "spectacular" attack".

Responding to a story published in the magazine Paris Match, Budget Minister Francois Baroin said the spies had accessed several “relatively unimportant” documents.

The attack, which was only discovered by officials in January, is said to be the largest ever on a French government ministry. Baroin added that the objective of the attack was to gain access to “information related to the G20”.

The so-called Group of 20 countries counts the world’s most important economies and is being chaired by France during 2011.

The French Network and Information Security Agency (FNISA), a government agency, told France 24 that the stolen documents “involved international finance and world trade.” Paris Match in its article suggested that French taxpayers’ information had also been targeted.

A pinpointed strike

FNISA’s spokesman said operations to secure the finance ministry’s computer system from further attacks required the unprecedented step of shutting down the ministry's internet connection over the weekend.

“Between 10,000 and 12,000 workstations have been secured,” the spokesman said, adding the threat of further attacks was diminished.

The internet viruses were introduced via emails to ministry employees FNISA told FRANCE 24. “Trojan Horse” software, or a seemingly benign programme that steals information or harms a system, was used to gain access to computers remotely.

"The targeted employees knew the attackers and the virus were introduced in attachments that personally interested those employees,” FNISA said.

Once inside the finance ministry’s system, the cyber attackers took control of 150 workstations, out of the 170,000 used in the ministry.

“All the identified victims had the common trait of containing documents related to the G20,” FNISA said. This thesis is backed up by a similar attack six months ago on the Canadian Ministy of the Economy, which hosted the last G20 summit in Toronto.

The identity of the attackers is still unknown, according to Baroin, who added that France’s intelligence services were put on the case and some would not present its first finding for several weeks.
 

Date created : 2011-03-07

  • IRAN

    Tehran slams foreign ‘cyber attack’ after mass malware infection

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)