Russian hackers targeting Emmanuel Macron, cyber experts warn

Introduction — April 26, 2017

The day before the following report appeared, psychic Craig Hamilton-Parker warned that we would hear reports about Russian interference in the French election (at 10:37).
He doesn’t say that Russia will actually interfere in the elections but that:
“there will be accusations of the Russians interfering in both the French and British elections…
“There is something about computers going down just before the elections in both countries and accusations flying around”.
This adds only weight to his other observations/predictions; which included the decline of Britain’s Labour Party and the Scottish Nationalists and the emergence of a new opposition party. Ed.
Macron: celebrations at the first round of the French elections. Click to enlarge

Macron: celebrations at the first round of the French elections. Click to enlarge

Sam Jones — Financial Times April 25, 2017

The Russian hackers accused of seeking to manipulate the US election are targeting Emmanuel Macron, the frontrunner in the French presidential race, according to cyber security experts.

Researchers at Trend Micro, the Japanese cyber-security company, said they had evidence that APT 28, the hacking group linked by western intelligence to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, was mobilising its resources in the French contest.

Western intelligence officials have raised fears that Russia is looking to interfere in key European elections this year using the same tactics hackers deployed against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic challenger in the US presidential race.

The Kremlin has thrown its weight behind Mr Macron’s rival, the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, in the race for the Elysée. Ms Le Pen advocates closer ties with Russia, an end to EU sanctions enforced following the invasion of Ukraine and the withdrawal of France from Nato.

The FN leader was feted in Moscow last month by Russian president Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s state media, including French and English-language channels, have been pumping out content in support of her candidacy for weeks.

In February, Richard Ferrand, Mr Macron’s campaign manager, accused the Kremlin and its state-owned media of hacking and spreading fake news to tamper with the French presidential race.

Moscow has consistently denied interfering in foreign elections or any connection to APT 28.

In a report published on Tuesday, Trend Micro says APT 28 began ramping up its efforts against Mr Macron in March as the odds of him winning the election shortened.

The group has bombarded officials close to Mr Macron with emails luring them to fake websites set up by the hackers, Trend Micro says. The sites mimic official pages and web accounts run by Mr Macron’s En Marche! movement.

For example, the hackers registered the domain and built a webpage there resembling an official account run by the campaign, with the intention that officials would unwittingly enter their login credentials.

APT 28 was registering similar fake websites aimed at En Marche! as recently as last week, the report says. The method is the same as that used by APT 28 to gain access to the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee during the US presidential election race.

The move led to the release of thousands of private emails that embarrassed and damaged the Clinton campaign.

Mounir Mahjoubi, the Macron campaign’s digital chief, said on Tuesday that En Marche! had recorded 10 phishing attempts since December but that none had been successful.



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