Scam of the day – December 15, 2013 – Nude photos of Carla Bruni used to hack diplomats

Although the hacking occurred two years ago, it has just been discovered that the promise of nude photographs of Carla Bruni, the attractive wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy was used to hack into the computers of dozens of diplomats attending the 2011 Group of 20 economic summit.  The Group of 20 Finance ministers and Central Bank Governors, generally referred to as the G 20 is an organization of the finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major world economies.  The ministers each received an email with the subject line being “French first lady nude photos and a link to connect to those photos.  According to a French government source, almost all of the ministers and bank governors receiving the email took the bait and clicked on the link which indeed did take them to nude photos of Carla Bruni.  However, by clicking on the link, the ministers and bank governors also unwittingly downloaded keystroke logging malware that was used to steal information from the computers of those hacked.  It is also worth noting that before becoming the wife of Nicolas Sarkozy, Carla Bruni was a model, actress and singer who often posed nude and her nude pictures are readily accessible on the Internet without clicking on tainted links.

TIPS

Obviously and to their detriment, the affected finance ministers and bank governors were not regular readers of Scamicide because if they were, they would have known, as I repeatedly warn you, that you should never click on links in emails unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate because, as in this case, they often come tainted with keystroke logging malware that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft by stealing your personal information from your computer.  In this particular instance, the goal of the hackers from China who perpetrated this crime was most likely to obtain important financial information from these minsters and governors.  The promise of nude photos being used to lure people into clicking on tainted links is nothing new.  Every year this type of scam catches many unwary people.  Last year, purported photographs of Lily Collins were the most dangerous on the Internet.  You can go to the archives of Scamicide to see last year’s full list of the most dangerous women on the Internet.  Along with not clicking on links from strangers or even links in emails from friends until you have verified that the email actually was from your friend and not from someone who hacked and took over their email account, you should also make sure that your anti-malware software is up to date with the latest updates.