Russia Reportedly Used Facebook to Try to Spy on Emmanuel Macron
Russian intelligence agents created phony Facebook accounts to troll French president.
Russian intelligence agents created dozens of phony Facebook accounts to spy on Emmanuel Macron and his campaign during the French presidential election this spring, according to Reuters.
The agents posed as friends of friends of Macron associates and tried to get them to divulge personal information, reports Reuters. Reuters cited a member of Congress and two other people briefed by Facebook.
About two dozen fake Facebook profiles were created, said the report, in an effort to monitor Macron campaign official and others close to the presidential candidate. Macron beat far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in a landslide this May.
Facebook discovered the efforts during the first round of the election and traced it back to tools known to be used by Russia’s GRU military unit, Reuters reports. The Russian cyber-espionage unit, known as Fancy Beat or APT 28, was the same unit behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election.
However, Facebook says the Russia cyber-spies were unsuccessful in their attempts. Facebook believes the main intent was to get their targets to download malicious software or unwittingly turn over their login information, the report says.
Russia denies interfering with the French election, but U.S. intelligence officials have concluded they were involved.
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