10 Mar 2011

France finance ministry attacked by cyber criminals

The government of France recently confirmed the occurrence of a cyber attack against the finance ministry targeting information regarding the G20.

The ministry was attacked in December, announced the French government, which will host the next G20 Summit later this year. Out of the 170,000 workstations used in the ministry, 150 appear to have been compromised by the attacks. Discovery of the attack did not occur until January.

The hackers stole documents that “involved international trade and finance,” the French Network and Information Security Agency told France 24. The viruses were introduced through emails to ministry employees. The identity of those responsible is now known at this time.

"The targeted employees knew the attackers and the virus were introduced in attachments that personally interested those employees,” said FNISA. “All the identified victims had the common trait of containing documents related to the G20.”

The G20 is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors that discuss key issues regarding  the global economy. It was established in 1999, with the inaugural meeting occurring in Berlin, Germany.