By Lizzy Davies in Paris
October 20 2008
The French government was forced to admit that no one was safe from
internet fraud yesterday after it emerged that thieves had managed to
hack into President Nicolas Sarkozy's personal bank account and siphon
The unknown hackers removed several small sums of money from the account
after obtaining Sarkozy's online access codes. An inquiry was launched
after the president noticed the transactions and complained to the
police, said a government spokesman.
"The swindlers will be punished," Luc Chatel, secretary of state for
consumer affairs, told French radio. He said more work needed to be done
to tighten internet banking security in France, which, according to the
national crime agency, has seen a 9% rise in offences this year.
"[This] proves the system of internet checking [of bank accounts] is not
infallible," Chatel said. "These cases are sufficiently rare that we
haven't had to really organise ourselves, but [they are] sufficiently
serious for us to reflect on how to improve the system."
Breaking the news of the thefts yesterday, the Journal du Dimanche
newspaper said the architects of the "presidential piracy" did not
appear to be amateurs.
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