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French Power Company Fined for Hacking Greenpeace

| 14 Nov 2011 18:51
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Security chief stole documents from Greenpeace France about their anti-nuclear protests.

A French judge found the state-owned nuclear power company EDF guilty of hacking the email of Greenpeace France back in 2006. The security chief hired a private firm called Kargus Consultants to infiltrate the environmental group to determine their plans for protesting the opening of nuclear plants in the UK. Judge Isabelle Prévost-Desprez fined EDF €1.5 million ($2,062,610) and ordered the company to pay damages of half a million euros ($687,535) directly to Greenpeace. Several executives were also fined and will serve up to three years in jail for the hacking.

Kargus Consultants got into the computer system by installing a piece of malware on the computer of Yannick Jadot, a director at Greenpeace in 2006, and used it to pilfer more than 1,400 documents.

"The fine against EDF and the damages awarded to Greenpeace send a strong message to the nuclear industry that no one is above the law," said Adelaide Colin from Greenpeace. "This case should send a signal to any country considering building reactors with EDF that the company can't be trusted."

In a world where hacktivism has become a household word for groups that use hacker methods to battle against corporations or states that hold the power, it is often forgotten those institutions wield the same weapons that Anonymous does. Here is a case where a state-funded business to provide electrical energy employed computer hacking for its own ends, something I would have thought silly ten years ago. Why would a power company need to hack anyone?

I wouldn't consider myself an alarmist, but the scary part is that if EDF got caught, how many other state agencies are hacking protester's computers? Is Occupy Wall Street being infiltrated the same way?

Source: Eweek

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