French Presidential Front-Runner Reportedly Hit By Russia-Linked Hackers

The campaign of French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron appears to have been targeted by hackers who may be linked to Russian Federation, according to research by the Japanese anti-virus firm Trend Micro. For example, a fake domain called mail-en-marche.fr was set up on April 12.

Furthermore, Gashkov recalled that Macron's party is saying that "not a single email address was cracked by the hackers".

"It's serious, but nothing was compromised", Mahjoubi told the Associated Press on Monday night.

The report has heightened concerns that Russian Federation may turn its playbook on France in an effort to harm Macron's candidacy and bolster that of Macron's rival, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen, in the final weeks of the French presidential campaign.

"These are usual cyberattack tactics".

"We have set up a security team and every member of the staff is trained to report these attempts".

"No sensitive data ever leaked from our apparatus". She said that the attempts were "absolutely not successful" at accessing campaign workers' passwords to retrieve their email.

Macron, who won the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday, will face Le Pen in a runoff on May 7.

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The hackers have been sending emails to campaign officials, some with links to fake websites created to lure them into turning over passwords. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the us election, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that allegations the country was now trying to influence the outcome of the French election are "utterly erroneous".

Hacking culprits can be hard to track back and identify with certainty. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a declassified report in January stating that Russian Federation was behind the hack and that it weaponized leaked documents by sharing stolen material with media outlets and via social media. Another cybersecurity group, ThreatConnect, says the hackers are linked to the GRU, an elite Russian military intelligence unit.

"Russian intelligence have certainly been hacking inside France, and will continue to do so", Columbia University's Jason Healey said to CNN. The attacks coincided with highly slanted articles about Macron on the French language services of Sputnik and RT, formerly Russia Today. Like France, Germany has Federal elections in 2017.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, brushed aside Trend Micro's findings on Monday. Both are state-funded Russian news media outlets.

And reports of Russia's unhappiness with Macron's first-round victory are "utterly erroneous allegations, and rather primitive", Peskov said.

He described it as the "invisible" side of Russia's anti-Macron operation, alongside overt attacks by Russian state media. "She has a very populist right-wing message that plays to Putin's narratives - it undermines Western institutions".

Mr Hacquebord said telltale techniques of the group lent weight to the idea that the people involved in the French attacks were behind ones seen previous year in the US.

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