Fancy Bear Hackers Target French Presidential Candidate

A phishing campaign is targeting the emails of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign staff. All fingers are pointing towards Russia once more.

According to security firm Trend Micro who published a new report today, there are signs of a phishing attack targeting Macron, in what feels like deja-vu. The sites that are trying to trick staffers require their usernames and passwords before injecting malicious software into their computers.

Macron is the opposing candidate of Marine Le Pen, a politician who intends to take France further away from the European Union, in an effort to step in the footsteps of the United Kingdom.

Emmanuel Macron’s campaign staff confirmed for the Wall Street Journal that they have been receiving emails leading to fraudulent websites, but said the attempts were blocked.

Fancy Bear linked to attack

According to Trend Micro this is the work of ATP28, also known as Fancy Bear and a plethora of other names, including Pawn Storm. This is a Russian group of hackers that focuses on cyber espionage and has been linked to numerous attacks, including the famous DNC hack that exposed Clinton emails during the US election. Most recently, the Dutch Defense Ministry accused the same group of hacking into emails of employees in 2015 and 2016, stating, however, that no classified information was accessed.

It is believed Fancy Bear has strong connections to the Russian intelligence agencies, which would explain their widespread powers and the targets it chooses. It has long been believed that, following the US elections where Trump was elected, the Russians would try to influence European elections as well. Many nations have taken steps to counter this, including going offline with their voting process.

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