"To see naked pictures of Carla Bruni click here" said an email sent to those attending the G20 summit in Paris in February 2011.
The recipients included finance ministers and central bank representatives, and they got a little more than naked snaps. The email secretly unloaded a Trojan Horse virus, while all the recipients could see were some x-rated photos of President Sarkozy's third wife.
Once accessed, the Trojan Horse infected the computers of senior officials as well as forwarding the offensive email on to others.
"Almost everybody who received the email took the bait," said a government source in Paris, saying that this included representatives from the Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia.
The attacks are thought to have come from China, and are believed to be aimed at extracting political information.
America is thought to have been the primary target.