'Spectacular' Cyberattack Hit French Government

Chinese Internet addresses cited in attack seeking G20 docs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2011 9:00 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers his speech during the opening of the G20 Finance summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – Hackers have broken into French finance ministry computers in a “spectacular” attack, prompting the government to take 10,000 machines offline, AFP reports. The attackers reportedly sought information "related to the French presidency of the G20 and to international economic affairs," says a security official. The cyberattack occurred in December, and has been linked to Chinese Internet addresses. The government has leads in the case, said the country’s budget minister.

Some 100 computers were “compromised,” said one official. Added another: “The actors were determined professionals and organized. It is the first attack of this size and scale against the French state.”

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