US accused of hacking Elysee computers days before last election

Nov 21, 2012
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Flame VirusFrench officials announced that they have concluded an investigation into a cyber-security breach into the Elysee that occurred just days before the last election, in which Sarkozy lost to Francois Hollande. Currently trending on TechMeme after being picked up by The Hill, L’express originally reported the story that French officials had identified the virus as having key similarities to Flame, a computer virus that infiltrated 1000s of government computers earlier this year. While Flame has never been officially confirmed as being created by a US-Israel team, it is widely accepted that the virus, described as “arguably, the most complex malware ever found,” was created by said team to get information about Iran’s nuclear program.

When asked about the accusation by French officials, homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano evaded the question, stating “We have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France.” While it’s still not known what information, if any, was taken from Elysee, or whether there will be any recourse by France, one thing is sure – when allies are hacking other allies, no one is safe.

While it’s unlikely we’ll ever know what information the US allegedly took from computers in the Elysee, or were hoping to take, it is likely one of two possibilities: 1) To get information that Sarkozy had before it was wiped clean in the case of a new president coming in. 2) To find out what the new president would know about information shared between Sarkozy and the US. But that’s all conspiracy theory nonsense – governments aren’t evil, right?