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French state hit by unprecedented cyber-attack

07 march 2011, 14:02
The French finance ministry confirmed Monday it had come under cyber-attack from hackers targeting G20 documents, AFP reports.

Budget Minister Francois Baron said an investigation was underway into the origin of the attacks.

"We have leads," unconfirmed at this stage, Baroin said.

The French finance ministry has come under sustained cyber-attack since December from Internet hackers targeting the treasury and G20 documents, Paris-Match magazine said on its Internet site Monday.

"Between December and this weekend, the ministry of finance and the economy was the victim of an unprecedented cyber-attack," the publication said citing a source close to the case.

The management of the French Treasury department was the prime target of the attacks, it added.

The origin of the attacks had not yet been established.

"We noted that a certain amount of information was redirected to Chinese sites. But that does not say very much," a senior official who declined to be named told Paris-Match.

Patrick Pailloux, director general of the French National Agency for Information Technology Security, told the magazine the hackers were after "documents related to the French presidency of the G20 and to international economic affairs."

"The actors were determined professionals and organized. It is the first attack of this size and scale against the French state," he added.

More than 150 ministry computers had been hacked and numerous documents pirated. Individuals were not targeted in the attack.

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