Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Security The Military United States Politics

U.S. Denies Using Flame Malware To Spy On French President 52

CowboyRobot writes with the (not unexpected) official U.S. denial of using the Flame malware to spy on France. From the article: "That allegation was leveled at the U.S. government by unnamed French officials, according to a Tuesday report in the weekly French newspaper L'Express. It reported that computers belonging to top advisers to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy had been hacked using the Flame cyberespionage malware, which was designed to be used in highly targeted attacks... Napolitano was also asked if it wasn't ironic that while the United States has been sounding alarms over the growing amount of malware that's targeting U.S. government system, it also commissioning the Stuxnet and Flame cyber-espionage malware used against Iran. Napolitano, however, pled official ignorance. 'These programs were never attributed in any way to the U.S. government.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

U.S. Denies Using Flame Malware To Spy On French President

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:05AM (#42073527)

    U.S. Denies Using Flame Malware To Spy On French President

    So what did they use to spy on him then?

  • To see how the bad the presidents love life is to make themselves feel better? Or if this was a few years ago perhaps they just wanted to hear Carli Bruni singing in the bath?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      French President Sarkozy criticized Israeli PM Netanyahu, and of course, we can't just let him get away with that.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      France has often gone its own way - from banking with gold, post ww2 occupation of Germany, pre Vietnam, weapon sales, NATO nuclear policy, 'freedom fighter' support in Libya, Syria...
      Aerospace, advanced space platforms, bridge building/telco/dams/nuclear/oil/mining contracts- France is just very good at building stuff at a fair rate or for its friends around the world and the USA sees that as its unique profit pool.
      France knows the NSA loves to watch French trade deals and all French political leaders an
      • Why is France running Windows at that level on the 'net'?

        Change is always seen as annoying by users, and top level executive users have power to resist change, if they are stupid enough to not understand why they need it. I am not sure french military security experts would have been able to impose something to Sarkozy and its counselors

  • by Kergan ( 780543 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:09AM (#42073551)

    Never believe anything until it's been officially denied. (source [])

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:13AM (#42073569)

    F: Hey, USA, did you eat my last cupcake?
    USA: The consumption of the last cupcake was never attributed in any way to me.
    F: I see. But did you eat it?
    USA: Beyond this point, your question presupposes a yes or no answer...
    F: Well, yes, I want to know if you ate it...
    USA: ...while my job is to, er, increase the protection of cupcakes using all the means available to me.
    F: Okaayy... you ate it, didn't you?
    USA: Look, to do this, my cupcake procurement and protection budget has been increased 40% last year, and will increases another 75% next year. Everyone's cupcakes will be safer!
    F: Wow, thanks! But I notice you didn't actually deny taking my cupcake.
    USA: Sorry, I have to go now.

  • did they expect them to say? Oh yeah, my bad, we did it for the lolz. (speaking in the style of Steve Martin in Pink Panther)
  • by Seeteufel ( 1736784 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:38AM (#42073733) Homepage
    FLAME is W32 malware. The French President Hollande should invest into a national operating system based on the Linux kernel for public administration and ban Closed Source software from public desks. The European Parliament warned in 2001 in its Echolon Spy System report but Mr. Sarkozy didn't listen:

    Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote software projects whose source text is made public (open-source software), as this is the only way of guaranteeing that no backdoors are built into programmes;

    • Do you really want national intelligence agencies to be focusing their efforts on linux spyware?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do you really want national intelligence agencies to be focusing their efforts on linux spyware?

        Of course. After all, the GPL would force that spyware to be Open Source, and then you wouldn't need that tedious reverse-engineering!

      • I think open source gets it safer, and security holes get plugged in a faster pace. Many nations successfully developed their National Operating Systems and were not targeted. Russia for example is very active behind the scenes [].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Whenever you get caught doing something you deny it. Thats the first rule of doing shit youre not supposed to do. Hell if the government will deny when their own special forces gets caught or killed by the enemy why should they fess up to a computer virus when human life means so little to them?

    Rule of life to live by...

    Never write anything down.
    No video.
    No pictures.
    Deny, deny, deny.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tehpuppet ( 1065678 )
      Exactly, like the time the French government denied attacking a civilian ship in New Zealand, murdering one of the crew members in the process. Then when caught, lied to the UN about punishing the agents involved.
  • I wish they would just say something like "Of course we are spying on the French president. We spy on everyone, friend and foe alike. That's our job. And if you aren't spying on us then you should fire your incompetent intelligence staff and find better ones."

  • I can't for one moment believe that could ever be true? The USA? Not the USA where the DIA has had at least several members of the richest families in America at its help since its inception by McNamara?

    Sure, John Negroponte (recently noted at an Aspen Institute gathering on intelligence, along with fave biographer of Petraues, Paula Broadwell, who managed to do his biography while she was doing the general) and Frank Wisner, Jr. (still hasn't figured out the CIA murdered his dad????) put together that
  • L'Express have been quick to point US responsability. While we could imagine that a third party got Flame sources, it would still have required top skills to use it. The best suspects are therefore the original authors. But US did not produce Flame alone, they did it with Israel. Why not suspect Israel?

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27