A hacking group linked by cybersecurity experts to Russia’s military intelligence apparatus has begun taking aim at France’s centrist presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron, the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro said in a report published on Tuesday.

On March 15, the group — known as Fancy Bear, Pawn Storm, Sednit, APT28, Sofacy, or STRONTIUM — began registering domain names such as “onedrive-en-marche.fr” and “mail-en-marche.fr” in an attempt to trick members of Macron’s campaign team into clicking on links that looked affiliated with his political party, En Marche.

“A huge revelation in this Trend Micro report is that Fancy Bear has significantly upped the sophistication of its cyber attacks,” said Greg Martin, the CEO of cybersecurity firm JASK. “They’re taking advantage of vulnerabilities in cloud-based email services like Gmail to trick people into downloading fake applications, and compromising their inboxes without even having to steal a password.”

Martin said that when targeted by this kind of attack, known as “OAuth phishing,” the victim can’t just change their password to regain access to their account.

“It’s a new style of attack is very deadly and unprecedented,” he said. “It’s the first time we have seen this in the wild.”

 

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