French president Nicholas Sarkozy has been the victim of an internet bank attack, according to French government officials.
The attacks occurred in September when Sarkozy's online bank access codes were obtained illegally and used to perform several cash transfers.
The exact amounts of the transactions were not disclosed, although they were reportedly enough to allow the attackers to open mobile phone accounts.
Luc Chatel, French secretary of state for consumer affairs, said that the number of cyber-crimes reported in the country had risen by nine per cent in the past year.
McAfee researcher François Paget said in a blog posting that the information used by the hackers may have been obtained through a third party which collected Sarkozy's information and sold it online as 'dump tracks' in a fraud process known as 'carding'.
"The most probable origin of Sarkozy's identity theft is carding," wrote Paget. "Dump tracks lists are for sale by the thousand, and many hacked credit card readers are on the market. Perhaps one of them involved Sarkozy's credit card during one of his numerous foreign travels."
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