French government networks breached in search for G20 files

It seems that France is the latest country whose government computer networks have been targeted by malicious individuals with likely ties to the Chinese government.

The targeted computers – more than 150 of them – belong to the Ministry of Finance, and the files the attackers were searching for are documents regarding to the G20 summit held in Paris in February. The attacks themselves seem to have been executed last December.

Internal sources say that some of the files were redirected to Chinese sites, but concede that this fact doesn’t say much. Chinese hackers and the Chinese government have lately been tied to a number of cyber attacks targeting government systems around the world but, as always, there is no incontestable proof of their guilt.

The growth of the economic power that the Republic of China wields is seen as a threat by all the major Western economies and is behind the speculations about the attacks.

According to the BBC, this last attack could have been executed by the Chinese to get a heads up on the topics to be discussed at the G20 summit – among which are a number of measures that certain economies should agree on in order to address imbalances in the global economy.

The topic is particularly sore for China, which stands accused by the US and many other countries of manipulating the value of its currency by buying up massive amounts of dollars in foreign reserves, so that the yuan could keep its low value and give China the competitive advantage when it comes to trade.

The investigation in this incident is lead by the secret service and the French National Agency for IT Security.