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US Denies Infecting French Presidency with Flame

The US government denies infecting the French presidency with Flame after allegations of hacking the Elysee Palace computers were leaked by Paris-based magazine L’Express.

The U.S. Embassy in Paris argued the report was not based on facts, as the French publication didn’t disclose the sources who suspected the American role in the cyber-attack.

“We categorically refute the allegations of unidentified sources, which appeared in an article in L’Express, by which the United States government would have participated in a cyber-attack against the French government,” said the embassy representatives, as quoted by “L’Express.”

The hackers allegedly posed as Facebook friends of French Presidency employees, luring them into giving away their passcodes and infecting them with a “worm” that resembled Flame. The computer of Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief-of-staff was also corrupted in the attack, which leaked secret notes and strategic plans of the French Presidency.

The Embassy emphasized bilateral cooperation between the countries on intelligence, security and cyber-defense, naming France “one of the best allies of the United States.”

“In May, Nicolas Sarkozy’s team was victim of a sophisticated cyber-espionnage operation,” L’Express reported. “Our sources coincide: the attack comes from… the American ‘friend’. Revelations on a cyber-attack which is part of a planetary war.”

The hackings allegedly took place in May 2012, days before Conservative Nicholas Sarkozy lost re-election to Socialist Francois Hollande. The former President’s affinity for the United States brought him the nickname “Sarko the American”.

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Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story. She's the industry news guru, who'll always keep a close eye on the AV movers and shakers and report their deeds from a fresh new perspective. Proud mother of one, she covers parental control topics, with a view to valiantly cutting a safe path for children through the Internet thicket. She likes to let words and facts speak for themselves.