Emmanuel Macron's campaign team confirms cyberattacks, says no data stolen

Emmanuel Macron waves as he leaves after a visit at the Raymond Poincare hospital in Garches, outside Paris, on April 25, 2017.
Emmanuel Macron waves as he leaves after a visit at the Raymond Poincare hospital in Garches, outside Paris, on April 25, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS/AFP) - French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign team on Wednesday (April 26) confirmed it had been the target of at least five advanced cyberattack operations since January, which it said had failed to compromise any campaign data.

"Emmanuel Macron is the only candidate in the French presidential campaign to be targeted," Macron's "En Marche!" party said in a statement. "It's no coincidence if Emmanuel Macron, the last remaining progressive candidate in this election is the priority target."

Macron's campaign cited as evidence the results of a study by security firm Trend Micro, which said it had found proof that the spy group, dubbed "Pawn Storm", had target its campaign.

The spy group, also known as APT28, is believed to be behind the attacks last year on the US Democratic National Committee, thought to be aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.

 APT28 is widely suspected of having links to Russia's security services, and Moscow has been seen as a keen backer of Macron's rival in the presidential race Marine Le Pen, who met President Vladimir Putin in a surprise visit to Moscow ahead of the vote.

Macron and Le Pen were the top two finishers in the first round of voting on Sunday, moving on to the second-round run-off on May 7.