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French hacker cuffed after bragging on telly

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Updated A French hacker who boasted of breaking into the systems of a government security contractor on national television has suffered some unsurprising consequences.

The alleged miscreant, identified only as Carl, appeared on a programme called Complément d'enquête (Further Investigation) to demonstrate how he broke into the network of the French Army and Thales, the information security group, at the start of April.

He was arrested in Paris six days later on 7 April, following a complaint by Thales. Investigating police reportedly recovered credit card and bank account data from his computer.

During the programme the hacker claimed to be a member of Anonymous. However, during the same programme, Anonymous issued a statement saying making "easy money" through cybercrime is not what it was about.

The Complément d'enquête producers stated they did not co-operate with French authorities in tracking down Carl and only learned of his arrest, like everyone else, when the story was covered by AFP (Google translation here).

Thales issued a holding statement, confirming it had initiated an investigation, and that it takes security seriously, while saying little else.

"As the investigation is underway, we are unable to make further comment until the full facts of the case are known," it said. "However, we would emphasise that we take our own data security incredibly seriously and we have industry leading procedures and safeguards in place to prevent unauthorised access." ®

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