Allegedly used Flame malware to gain high level access

US accused of hacking French Government

A French magazine has alleged that the United States used Flame malware to break in to computers owned by high ranking officials in the French Government.

According to Kaspersky’s Threatpost, the French magazine L’Express says the the attack occurred just before the French presidential elections and targeted Xavier Musca, a senior advisor to former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The attack apparently was initiated using a phishing attack sent via Facebook, which enabled the hacker to gain login credentials. The Flame virus, which can enable an attacker to log keystrokes, take screenshots and record audio and video, was installed.

It is speculated that the reason for the attack was to see how French involvement in the middle east might change after the election.

The secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, neither confirmed nor denied the attack, simply saying: “We have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France. We cooperate in many security-related areas. I am here to further reinforce those ties and create new ones.”

However, the US embassy in Paris refuted the claims saying: “We categorically refute allegations of unidentified sources. France is one of our best allies. Our cooperation is remarkable in the areas of intelligence, law enforcement and cyber defence. It has never been so good and remains essential to achieve our common fight against extremist threat.”

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