Hackers Target French Finance Ministry, G-20 Plans
PARIS -- Hackers have infiltrated French government computers in search of information about France's leadership of the Group of 20 leading economies, the country's budget minister said Monday.
The head of France's network security agency said it was the biggest-ever hacker attack against the government.
Budget Minister Francois Baroin says it's too early to say who was behind the attack in recent weeks and months on Finance Ministry e-mail accounts and servers.
"It was the information about the G-20 that interested the hackers," Baroin said in an interview on radio station Europe-1.
France holds the rotating leadership of the G-20 this year and is hosting a series of meetings aimed at improving relations among the world's top economies, including the U.S. and China.
Officials at the Finance Ministry would not elaborate on Baroin's comments.
Network security agency chief Patrick Pailloux said "sensitive" information had been obtained in the attack, which he said was carried out by "a number of professional, determined and persistent hackers."
Speaking on radio station France-Info, Pailloux said it was not the first time government computers had been attacked, but that "it's the first time that it has reached such proportions."
Pailloux said the attack took place late last year and the intruders infiltrated around 150 computers, out of a total 170,000 computers in France's Finance Ministry.