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France: US Hacked into Computers in Sarkozy’s Office

By Todd Beamon   |   Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012 07:31 PM

The United States hacked into the computers of the French presidential office in May, using U.S.-Israeli spy software, according to the French cyberwarfare agency.

The French newsmagazine l'Express reported on Tuesday that a computer virus that bears the hallmarks of Flame compromised the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, including chief of staff Xavier Musca.

The virus was allegedly created by a U.S.-Israeli team targeting Iran's nuclear program. Anonymous French officials blamed the United States for the attack, according to The Hill.

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“You can be on very good terms with a 'friendly' country and still want to guarantee their unwavering support – especially during a transition period,” an official told the French magazine.

The alleged cyberattack occurred just before the second round of the French presidential elections. Sarkozy lost the election to Francois Hollande, a socialist, The Hill reports.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did not deny the allegations when asked directly by the French magazine.

“We have no greater partner than France, we have no greater ally than France,” Napolitano told l'Express. “We cooperate in many security-related areas. I am here to further reinforce those ties and create new ones.”

Napolitano also told the magazine that the Flame and Stuxnet viruses had “never been linked to the U.S. government.”

The White House did not respond to a request from The Hill seeking comment.

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