Hackers Go After French G20 Documents

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The finance ministry of France has been subject to a large cyberattack during which documents related to the G20 were targeted, according to revelations in the magazine Paris Match.

The hack, though it's being described as the largest ever on a French ministry, was actually quite targeted. Only 150 of the ministry's 170,000 computers were subject to the attack. They were all used for G20 planning. The chairmanship for the group of the world's most powerful countries rotates between countries, and in 2011, France is heading things. The precise nature of the documents that were stolen is unclear, but were related to "international finance and world trade."

No one knows who perpetrated the attack, but we know how it happened. Employees at the ministry were sent e-mails with attachments that contained a trojan horse. You would think people would learn.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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