US warned France over Russian hacking of presidential election

The data and information were leaked following a hack attack on centrist Emmanuel Macron's successful presidential campaign.
By Tracy Williams | May 11, 2017
A US cyber official told the Senate on Tuesday that the United States watched Russians hack France's computer network during the elections, and tipped off French officials before it became public.

On Saturday, France's election commission said that "a significant amount of data", and some information that was likely fake, was leaked on social networks.

The data and information were leaked following a hack attack on centrist Emmanuel Macron's successful presidential campaign.

France's government cybersecurity agency is investigating what a government official termed as a "very serious" breach.

The leak took place 36 hours before France voted on Sunday in a crucial presidential runoff pitting Macron against far-right aspirant Marine Le Pen.

According to the election commission, the leaked data could have come from Macron's "information systems and mail accounts from some of his campaign managers."

The data theft was similar to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 U.S presidential election.

"We had become aware of Russian activity. We talked to our French counterparts and gave them a heads-up" Adm. Mike Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rogers added that the United States is still working on a comprehensive cyber policy to deal with what he called a "brave new world" in the cyber world.

The chief of France's cybersecurity body, known by its French acronym ANSII, declined to comment on Rogers' testimony.

On Tuesday, ANSII released a statement saying it had been assisting with the response to the hack since Friday.

The statement added that the information technology fraud division of Paris' police had since been tasked with investigating the breach.

 

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