The US government denies infecting the French presidency with Flame after allegations of hacking the Elysee Palace computers were leaked by Paris-based magazine Lâ€™Express.
â€œWe 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,â€ said the embassy representatives, as quoted by â€œLâ€™Express.â€
The hackers allegedly posed as Facebook friends of French Presidency employees, luring them into giving away their passcodes and infecting them with a â€œwormâ€ that resembled Flame. The computer of Nicolas Sarkozyâ€™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 â€œone of the best allies of the United States.â€
â€œIn May, Nicolas Sarkozyâ€™s team was victim of a sophisticated cyber-espionnage operation,â€ Lâ€™Express reported. â€œOur sources coincide: the attack comes fromâ€¦ the American â€˜friendâ€™. Revelations on a cyber-attack which is part of a planetary war.â€
The hackings allegedly took place in May 2012, days before Conservative Nicholas Sarkozy lost re-election to Socialist Francois Hollande. The former Presidentâ€™s affinity for the United States brought him the nickname “Sarko the American”.