The email-based cyber attack involved the victims clicking on a link which gave them access to nude images of the former model, but – at the same time – let them fall prey to the hacker’s ‘espionage-focused malware’.

The attack is believed to be part of an ongoing, wider, operation and originate in China, according to research published yesterday by US-based computer security firm FireEye.

‘In 2011, a campaign labelled “snake” by the attackers, started using the theme of nude photos of the French Prime Minister’s wife, Carla Bruni, as a lure,’ states the FireEye report.

The malicious photo link was labelled ‘Carla Bruni Nude Pics’ and the campaign’s host name was “g20news”, leading experts to conclude that it may have been related to a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Paris in October 2011.