President Sarkozy's bank account hacked

October 20, 2008 Sophos Press Release

IT security and control firm Sophos is warning all computer users to ensure their PCs are properly defended against hackers following reports that cybercriminals have stolen money from Nicolas Sarkozy's personal bank account.

According to reports, 'small sums' are said to have been taken from the French President's bank account after the fraudsters gained access to Sarkozy's online passwords. Luc Chatel, Secretary of State for consumer affairs has confirmed that an investigation is underway. Chatel also said more needed to be done to tighten the security of internet banking in France.

"The French President is the latest political figure to fall victim to hackers - last month we reported that Sarah Palin's email account had been compromised, while Barack Obama was the subject of a malicious spam campaign," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "What's interesting is how the cyber crooks managed to steal the password to access what should have been a secure account. This latest incident highlights the fact that no-one is safe and that everyone should take the necessary precautions to avoid ending up in the same boat as Sarkozy and so many others."

The French President is said to have reported the theft last month, but no one has yet been charged with the crime.

Sophos experts note that online banking fraud is rising rapidly in both France and the UK. Sophos recommends that all computer users ensure they are fully defended against attacks, including spam, phishing and malware.