French presidential election candidate for the En Marche movement Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a campaign rally in Reims on March 17.
Macron led the first round of the election with 23.7% of the vote.
The Macron campaign's digital chief, Mounir Mahjoubi, confirmed the attempted intrusions late Monday but said they had all been thwarted. "It confirms the suspicions we have had since February", Mahjoubi told AFP.
(AP Photo/Francois Mori). French far right leader and presidential candidate Marine le Pen, right, adjusts her hair during a ceremony for slain police officer Xavier Jugele, in the courtyard of the Paris Police headquarters, Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Fr.
He will face off on May 7 against anti-immigrant, anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen, who came second with 21.3%, beating establishment candidates from France's two largest political parties.
He described it as the "invisible" side of Russia's anti-Macron operation, alongside overt attacks by Russian state media.
Trend Micro said hackers try to trick users into using lookalike websites to give up their passwords.
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The Tokyo-based firm recently detected four Macron-themed fake domains being set up on digital infrastructure used by a group it calls Pawn Storm, according to Trend Micro researcher Feike Hacquebord.
She contends Macron's plan for France amounts to "fratricide" because, she says, it pits people and companies against each other, with the strongest winning.
Trend Micro did not name any country as being behind Pawn Storm's activities, but the group is widely suspected of having links to Russia's security services.
Several political officials and government agencies also see the group behind sophisticated attacks, including ones targeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, government ministries in Denmark and the Czech Republic, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Fancy Bear was infamously linked to hacks during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as emails from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee were released and later tied to interference from the group, which the United States government has alleged is back by the Russian government.
French officials have also tended to be more circumspect than their American counterparts, repeatedly declining to tie Pawn Storm to any specific actor. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the USA election, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that allegations the country was now trying to influence the outcome of the French election are "utterly erroneous".
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed allegations of any Russian interference in the French elections on Monday.
Unmasking groups behind any spying campaigns is one of the most challenging aspects of cybersecurity, but Hacquebord said he was confident that Trend Micro had succeeded.