"Le Cyberattaque?" Unnamed French officials have been cited in L'Express , claiming that the U.S. directed targeted attacks with the Flame malware, targeting computers belonging to top advisers to, then French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. The United States quickly rebutted such accusations, with an emailed statement by Department of Homeland Security spokespersons, "We categorically deny the allegations by unnamed sources that the U.S. government participated in a cyber attack against the French government." The alleged attacks were made during the cycle of elections in April and May of 2012, when Nicolas Sarkozy failed in his bid to maintain the French presidency against Francois Hollande in a runoff. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has never acknowledged the US sponsorship of Flame, "These programs were never attributed in any way to the U.S. government," and continued affirm her role of protecting civilian infrastructure and that of France as an ally.