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French admit cyber attack on G20 summit files

The French finance ministry confirmed to the BBC that it fell victim to a cyber attack in December 2010 that targeted files for the then-upcoming G20 summit in Paris. The report of the cyber attack was first reported by the Paris Match magazine.

Budget Minister Francois Baroin said that an investigation had been launched, and that the attack's routes traced to China. "We noted that a certain amount of the information was redirected to Chinese sites," an anonymous official told Paris Match. "But that [in itself] does not say very much."

Of the ministry's 170,000 computers, only 150 were affected by the attack, the largest attack against France via the Internet in the country's history. Patrick Pailloux, the director general of the French National Agency for IT Security said that the attackers were "a number of professional, determined and persistant hackers."

The French finance ministry became under attack after its employees were sent trojan horse viruses via email. The Atlantic is reporting that the trojan-infected computers were specifically used in planning the summit.

The Group of Twenty (G20) summit was first organised in 1999, in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, as a way to bring advanced and developing economies together to stabilise the World's stock market.