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Geopolitics

Hacker Attack On Sarkozy's Facebook Page

Internet hackers sabotage French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Facebook page, falsely announcing he will not run for a second term in office in 2012

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has again been targeted by Internet hackers, who posted a false announcement Sunday night on his Facebook page that he'd decided not to run for reelection next year. Sarkozy later responded good-humouredly on the same FB fan page that the "slightly hasty conclusions' of the message were not actually his.

For 15 minutes Sunday evening, Sarkozy's Facebook fans were reading a message in an approximate and abbreviated French that read: "Dear Fellow Countrymen, given the exceptional circumstances that our country faces, and after having searched my soul and good conscience, I have decided not to stand for office when my term ends in 2012." Though it was quickly removed, the hacker's work prompted hundreds of responses on both Facebook and Twitter.

The message recalled another real Facebook page, which counts 200,000 fans, announcing "Nicolas Sarkozy's farewell drinks' on May 6, 2012, the date he would leave office if not elected to a second term.

A few hours later, the Head of State posted a new message to reassure his supporters. He explained that he was hacked, evidence that "no system is foolproof."

Sarkozy has been a frequent target on the Internet, including repeated instances of "Google bombing", where the search engine is triggered to change where a visitor is directed when searching for a term or name. As for Facebook, the French president was at the center of controversy when he had recounted on the site his supposed first-hand memories of witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall. The authenticity of his testimony had been questioned.

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