[LINK] France computer attack from China

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Mar 7 21:58:58 AEDT 2011

Sometimes Agence France Press has Sinhua moments.

Let me think this through.

'Hackers determined to gain access to documents about one of the most 
predictable and terminally boring events known to mankind telegraphed 
their intentions by flooding their target'.

To their credit, AFP published the key quote:  "Patrick Pailloux, 
director general of the French National Agency for Information 
Technology Security" said that "The actors were determined 
professionals and organised".

Yes, but what we don't know is how much they were paid, nor which 
actors union they belong to.

(I did a quick check to see whether 'Patrick Pailloux' was code for 
'early April Fool's Day', but apparently not).


At 21:28 +1100 7/3/11, Jan Whitaker wrote:
>"French government comes under cyber attack
>March 7, 2011 - 9:14PM
>The French finance ministry has shut down 10,000
>computers after a "spectacular" cyber attack from
>hackers using Internet addresses in China, officials and reports said Monday.
>The hackers were hunting for documents relating
>to the Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing
>nations, which this year is led by France, said
>Budget Minister Francois Baron, adding that a
>probe was under way into the attacks.
>"We have leads," Baroin told Europe 1 radio,
>saying that what he called a "spectacular" attack
>was "probably the first time" that the French
>government's computer system had been hit on this scale.
>Advertisement: Story continues below
>President Nicolas Sarkozy is determined his G20
>legacy will be the reform of the world financial
>and trade system, in order to iron out the
>imbalances that led to the recent global economic crisis.
>In order to win emerging nations' backing for his
>market and exchange rate regulation plans, he has
>put development aid and a world tax on financial
>transactions at the heart of his ambitious programme.
>The attacks on the French finance ministry, which
>took place in December, forced the ministry to
>"significantly strengthen its security systems,"
>said Dominique Lamiot, secretary general of the finance and budget ministries.
>Paris-Match magazine said Monday the finance
>ministry had come under sustained cyber attack since December.
>A senior official who declined to be named told
>the magazine's website that pirated documents had
>been redirected to Chinese Internet addresses.
>Lamiot said around 100 computers in the
>ministry's central services division had been
>"compromised" in the attacks but individuals had
>not been targeted by the hackers.
>"A maintenance operation (at the weekend) has led
>to 10,000 computers being taken off line out of
>the 170,000 which the ministry runs," he said,
>adding they should be back online later Monday.
>He said hackers were interested in "international
>matters" rather than domestic documents.
>Patrick Pailloux, director general of the French
>National Agency for Information Technology
>Security, told Paris-Match that the hackers were
>after "documents related to the French presidency
>of the G20 and to international economic affairs."
>"The actors were determined professionals and
>organised. It is the first attack of this size
>and scale against the French state," he added.
>The ministry has filed an official complaint with
>the French courts and the French secret service has taken up the case.
>The G20, whose members account for 85 percent of
>total world output, became the top global forum
>in the wake of the 2008 crisis. France will head
>the group until November, when Mexico is due to take over.
>The G20 countries last month reached agreement on
>a series of economic indicators to measure
>imbalances within and between countries, with the
>goal of helping nations avoid a repeat of the
>problems at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis.
>© 2011 AFP"

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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