A massive hacking attack hit Emmanuel Macron’s Presidential campaign
Seeing hackers intervene in elections is already starting to not feel like news anymore, but as to something that happens in every recent election, all over the world. On Sunday, Emmanuel Macron did not disappoint his supporters and won the presidential elections in France with a landslide victory over Marine Le Pen.
Even though this sounds like good news to France and the free world, 48 hours before the election, Macron’s political party confirmed in a statement that they have been in a digital attack and sensitive files containing confidential information might have been stolen by cyber criminals. They were referring to a nine-gigabyte file uploaded on PasteBin. The initial research revealed that Russian hackers might have been involved in the attack. WikiLeaks confirmed they had nothing to do with the leak but tweeted a link to PasteBin on Twitter, highlighting the leak exists and “contains many tens of thousands of emails, photos, attachments up to April 24, 2017.”
More than 4000 attacks detected
However, this is not the first time Macron’s team has been targeted: during the campaign they were victims of constant attacks (more than 4000 attacks detected), these attacks have been of all types:
- DNS attacks and denial of service to the party’s website.
- SQL Injections, a type of attack used to recover data without authorization.
- Phishing attacks.
- Port scans, in order to try to identify faults and enter through the back door.
- APT Attacks (Advance Persistent Threat).
In a panic move, the electoral commission of France pressured the media not to publish anything from Macron’s leaked information. The command was set in place to prevent the leak from influencing the elections, and further destabilizing the fragile current situation in the EU. Even though the documents were published, and ready for the media to evaluate, not much information was released in the press until the end of the elections. Luckily, the leak did not manage to influence the results of the elections and Macron met the expectations by getting more than 66% of the votes. He will be the next president of France.
What do we know so far?
The information was stolen through multiple phishing attacks. These are the very same type of attacks that cause millions of dollars in losses for the general public every year. Members of Macron’s team have fallen victims of websites pretending to be trustworthy. Long story short, multiple passwords of key figures from Macron’s team were stolen and then used to access sensitive information. No one knows what percentage of the documents uploaded to PasteBin are authentic.
So how is this affecting you?
Last year, a similar incident happened here in the US. The so-called Podesta Emails were released by WikiLeaks, and some claim this is one of the reasons why Trump managed to become POTUS. The Democratic Party in the US is still disputing the results from the last presidential election here in the US, and there are plenty of influential people who say that Hillary Clinton would have been elected if the Podesta Emails had not been leaked. There are still speculations around the notion that hackers might have been able to access some of Trump’s personal information too, and cyber criminals may soon pressure him. Fingers crossed this is just a false rumor as we surely do not want to see the golden showers! The last thing we want is to see the president of the free world being blackmailed by hackers.
With this in mind, we sincerely hope Macron does not have skeletons in the closet, and the leaked documents will not affect his future presidency. And we certainly hope he is not a hostage! We surely do not want hackers to dictate the course of the history of Europe.
If someone hacks you, your mistake most likely won’t change the course of history. However, it may drain your bank account and ruin your summer plans. Be prepared by checking out our top 10 tips to avoid being a victim of a phishing attack.