France

Facebook hacker posts fake Sarkozy withdrawal from 2012 poll

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

A message posted by a hacker on French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page on Sunday night said that he was not going to run for re-election in 2012. The message was riddled with spelling errors and taken down after the legitimate account holder reclaimed the account.

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"Dear compatriots, given the exceptional circumstances our country is experiencing, I have decided in my spirit and conscience to not run for office against at the end of my mandate in 2012," the bogus message declared.

A few minutes after the message was posted, some 123 people indicated they 'liked' the message. The page went back to its original message "Happy New Year 2011" 15 minutes later.

The faux message also had a link attached to it with an invitation for "leaving drinks" at Le Fouquet's café on the Champs Elysées for 6 May 2012 - election day. Sarkozy celebrated his 2007 victory as president at the swanky café.

"My Facebook account was hacked into this evening, perhaps to remind me that no system is infallible," Sarkozy's account posted a few hours after the account was hacked.

Sarkozy has not officially said that he would stand for elections in 2012, but part of his response to the hacker on his Facebook page said he does "not subscribe to the rather hasty conclusions of the message".

This is not the first time hackers have caused havoc in Sarkozy's life. In 2008, two people were arrested for hacking into his bank account and withdrawing money.

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