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'Russian Hackers' Could Be Restored to French Politics 'at the Right Moment'

© REUTERS / Kacper Pempel/IllustrationA projection of cyber code on a hooded man is pictured in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017
A projection of cyber code on a hooded man is pictured in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On Thursday, Guillaume Poupard, director of the French National Agency of Information Systems Security (ANSSI), said that France has found no traces of Russian involvement in a cyberattack on Emmanuel Macron’s campaign.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting with the media after a session of the Russian-French Council for economic, financial, industrial and trade issues in Moscow, Russia, January 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
France Finds No Traces of Russian Hackers in Attack on Macron's Campaign
In an interview with The Associated Press, Poupard said that the Macron campaign hack was "so simple and generic that it could have been practically anyone."

The director said that no trace was found to suggest that the Russian hacker group known as APT28 was involved in the hack.

He noted that the simplicity of the attack "means that we can imagine that it was a person who did this alone. They could be in any country."

"It really could be anyone. It could even be an isolated individual," Poupard told AP.

A large trove of emails from Macron’s campaign was dumped in early-May, just days before the vote. It consisted some nine gigabytes of data consisting of thousands of emails, images and email attachments. The candidate's campaign admitted that it had been hacked, but claimed that fake documents had been mixed in with authentic ones to spread lies and confusion ahead of the vote.

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) in the Galerie des Batailles (Gallery of Battles) as they arrive for a joint press conference at the Chateau de Versailles before the opening of an exhibition marking 300 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries in Versailles, France, May 29, 2017 - Sputnik International
French MP on Putin-Macron Talks: 'France Needs Strong Alliance With Russia'
In an interview with Radio Sputnik, specialist in political psychology Alexander Konfisakhor pointed out that groundless allegations against Russia follow the typical logic of looking for external enemies.

"There was nothing surprising about these claims, because some want to find an enemy; in this case Russia was blamed. They want to see Russia’s 'evil grin' and blame Moscow for everything, from incidents during the electoral campaign to natural disasters. This is typical for political struggle," Konfisakhor said.

He suggested that for now the issue of "Russian hackers" is over in France but some political forces may bring it up again if necessary.

"Apparently, it is over for now. But whatever happens in politics it always has consequences. When the moment is right some forces may bring the issue back on the agenda," Konfisakhor concluded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with representatives of international news agencies in St. Petersburg, Russia - Sputnik International
Hackers Come From Any State, Russia Refrains From Hacking on State Level - Putin
Initially, it was claimed that the APT28 hacker group was responsible for the cyberattack on Macron's presidential campaign, but no evidence was provided.

The hacker group was also blamed for other attacks, including during the presidential campaign in the United States.

Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have repeatedly said that claims of Russia's alleged attempts to interfere in the elections of foreign countries, including those in the US, France and Germany, are groundless.

 

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