TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Hacker Steals Election Data from LePen

Hacker Steals Election Data from LePen

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 05 Mar 2007 12:42:43 -0600

A hacker stole sensitive data from a computer in the offices of French
far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, police said, fuelling his fears
that rivals used it to try and keep him out of the presidential race.

The security breach at Le Pen's National Front party headquarters
comes as the campaign intensified ahead of the April and May election
with several candidates facing smear scandals in recent weeks.

Le Pen, who shocked France by finishing second in the 2002 presidential
election, is struggling to secure the backing of at least 500 elected
officials needed to run this time round.

He says he has been the target of a well-prepared offensive to persuade
the officials, including mayors, not to sign and asked police to open an
investigation after suspecting that a mole might have leaked the names
of his potential backers.

After a visit to the headquarters of his National Front party on Friday,
the police said the list of officials who had agreed to back Le Pen had
been stolen by a hacker.

The hacker had gained access using an internet site specializing in
breaking entry codes. A National Front employee who used the computer
that was hacked into was detained but later released.

News of the electronic break-in, came just a week after the Socialist
party demanded an investigation into what it said was a spate of
burglaries targeting its campaign team.

Le Pen has until March 16 to gain the sponsorship of at least 500 of
France's 42,000 elected representatives, including parliamentarians
and mayors, to become a candidate.

He says he is 100 short and has accused a far-right rival of trying to
poach his sponsors.

Despite his success in 2002, when he won 16.8 percent of the vote, Le
Pen's National Front party does not have any mayors and he has
criss-crossed France for months to find backers.

Supporters of mainstream conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy have
appeared increasingly uneasy at the prospect of Le Pen being blocked
from running.

They believe National Front supporters will prove a vital pool of
potential voters in an expected second-round run off between Sarkozy
and Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, and fear a high abstention
rate if Le Pen is shut out of the first round.

Among other candidates who may not make the sponsorship grade are
anti-globalization leader Jose Bove who says he has accumulated just
350 signatures. Greens candidate Dominique Voynet says she has 500
pledges, but only 15 returned forms.

The candidates fear some mayors will not come good on their promises
and say they need at least 600 pledges to feel safe.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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