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RT refused; Macron

Macron party recites the tired old accusation of ‘Russian hackers’

This week's accusations aren't the first time En Marche! has accused "Russian hackers" of interference in presidential elections.

Published: April 27, 2017, 2:37 pm

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    In February, French candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign alleged that a hack registered on Ukrainian territory caused the En Marche! site to crash temporarily. Russia, too, was blamed for that attack.

    Macron, French presidential candidate and leader of the movement without voters, En Marche!, blamed Russia once again during a news conference following the first round of the election. But it remains to be seen whether and how the claims will impact next month’s second round of voting in the race for the Elysees Palace.

    As in all other cases so far, claims of so-called Russian interference in the French political process, are based solely on innuendo and vague accusations which cannot be independently confirmed.

    The Tokyo-based cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, had found that unknown hackers had set up several fake web domain names similar to those of the Macron campaign, in an effort to trick Macron campaign workers into compromising their email accounts, The technique is known as “phishing”. The report has only revealed the e-mail addresses, not the IP-addresses, which makes it impossible to blame any party.

    Pierre Curien, a regional director of Russian anti-malware company Dr. Web, told Sputnik News: “A simple check with an online tool which can trace the status of a domain using the French domain names registry AFNIC showed that the domains were registered by a company with GmbH extension, which implies Germany. The associated phone numbers had Ukrainian and French regional codes.”

    Meanwhile, he said, that the police have seemingly not even attempted to identify where the attacks through these domains came from.

    Russian reporters from RT, were refused accreditation for the second time over the past week after these baseless allegations surfaced. RT broadcaster’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan on Thursday slammed the headquarters of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron for the decision to refuse reporters.

    “So this is how the freedom of speech ends in such an inelegant way in the country, which is proud of its freedoms almost more than of Camembert and Brie [types of cheese],” Simonyan said in a statement.

    Voting intentions for Macron have slipped for the first time since March 17 ahead of the May 7 runoff, according to the daily Presitrack poll produced by pollsters Opinionway. The rolling three day poll of 1 800 people included intentions collected on Wednesday, a day when Macron was booed and Le Pen hailed at a Whirlpool factory in Macron’s home town of Amiens.

    A relentless information warfare campaign is being waged against Russia to create the impression that any negative event in the world is the work of its hackers, Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

    “The countries of the West are picking up the scale of the information warfare waged against Russia,” Gerasimov told the VI Moscow Conference on International Security.

    The disinformation campaign, the general noted, aims to “blacken Russia as much as possible and belittle its role in the fight against international terrorism, in solving other international problems”.

    “If you look through the European and US mass media messages, you get the impression that almost every the negative event taking place in the world is the work of either Russian special services or Russian hackers,” he stressed. Gerasimov said NATO has launched “collective defense” training “in the event of cyberattacks on the technical means of the NATO member states’ government and military command structures”.

    But it is all but impossible to identify the real sources of cyberattacks, making it viable to assign blame and act militarily without justification, Gerasimov pointed out.

    “In modern conditions, the true sources of such attacks are virtually impossible to identify. In this regard, there is the possibility of absolutely unjustifiably assigning those to blame and to deal with them by military means,” he said.

    “The conditions to reverse the influence of multiple destructive factors are currently missing … The confrontational rhetoric toward Russia is only increasing. Russia is frequently accused by the European Union and NATO of increasing tensions. The NATO-Russia council is a platform where the sides could meet and clarify their positions, intentions and concerns. But there is no military dialogue. Almost all contacts via military experts have been halted today,” he said.

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