The Russian cyber-spying group Pawn Storm (also known as Fancy Bear) has targeted French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron, according to Japanese cyber-security experts. Macron campaign officials, however, say the group has so far failed. Barely two weeks before the critical second round of the French presidential election, fears of Russian meddling in the 2017 campaign mounted with the publication of a report accusing Pawn Storm of targeting Macron’s En Marche! (Forward!) movement, employing identical tactics used to attack the Hillary Clinton campaign during the US presidential race. A 41-page report, “Two Years of Pawn Storm,” by the Japanese cyber-security firm Trend Micro detailed a long list of the group’s targets, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party ahead of the September German general elections.
Reports of Russian cyber attackers targeting Macron’s campaign have been circulating for months, but the publication of the Trend Micro report provided details of the dates and domains targeted. They included a March 15 attempt to acquire sensitive information and passwords, a process known as “phishing” among cyber-security experts.
Responding to the report on Wednesday, Macron’s campaign team confirmed that they had been the target of at least five advanced cyber-attack operations since January. The campaign, however, maintained that the attacks failed to gain access to sensitive material or compromise any campaign data.
“Emmanuel Macron is the only candidate in the French presidential campaign to be targeted,” said an En Marche! statement released Wednesday. “It’s no coincidence if Emmanuel Macron, the last remaining progressive candidate in this election, is the priority target.”
Full Article: Cyber experts ‘99% sure’ Russian hackers are targeting Macron – France 24.