Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2017 Contents A24 world
guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 27, 2017
PARIS---Researchers with the Japanese anti-vi-
rus firm Trend Micro say the campaign of French
presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron
has been targeted by Russia-linked hackers,
adding more details to previous suggestions
that the centrist politician was being singled
out for electronic eavesdropping by the Kremlin.
The campaign's digital chief, Mounir Mahjoubi,
confirmed the attempted intrusions in a telephone
interview late Monday but said they had all been
"It's serious, but nothing was compromised," he
Trend Micro said it discovered the campaign by
monitoring the creation of rogue, lookalike websites
often used by hackers to trick victims into giving up
their passwords. The Tokyo-based firm recently de-
tected four Macron-themed fake domains being set
up on digital infrastructure used by a group it calls
Pawn Storm, according to Trend Micro researcher
Mahjoubi confirmed that at least one of the sites
had recently been used as part of an attempt to steal
campaign staffers' online credentials.
Unmasking which group is behind this or that spy-
ing campaign is one of the most challenging aspects of
cybersecurity, but Hacquebord said he was confident
Trend Micro had gotten it right. (AP)
AMIENS---Far-right presidential candidate Ma-
rine Le Pen turned an appliance factory into a
battleground yesterday for France's blue-collar
vote, upstaging rival Emmanuel Macron with a
surprise campaign stop at the plant threatened
Chaotic scenes followed as Macron, a pro-Eu-
ropean Union centrist, sought to wrestle back the
initiative by making his own, impromptu stop at the
Whirlpool clothes-dryer plant in Amiens, spending
over an hour in Le Pen's wake trying to reason with
angry employees who asked why the former finance
minister hadn't come there earlier.
The remarkable drama, broadcast live on French
news channels, transformed the plant in northern
France into a symbol of the diametrically opposed
campaigns of Le Pen and Macron before their May
7 runoff election.
As Macron met elsewhere with the workers' un-
ion leaders, Le Pen displayed her political guile by
grabbing the spotlight and popping up outside the
factory itself. Surrounded by employees in bright-yel-
low hazard vests, she declared herself the workers'
candidate and vowed that if elected, she would not
let the factory close.
"We'll get you out of here," Le Pen said as she hugged
a woman in the crowd outside the plant, its fences
decorated with workers' banners. "I am the candidate
of workers, the candidate of the French who don't
want their jobs taken away."
Her wily campaign manoeuvre stole Macron's
thunder and put him on the defensive. It prompted
him to make his own trip to the factory a few hours
later---which quickly looked like he had fallen into
a trap set by Le Pen. Live TV coverage of his visit
looked chaotic and potentially damaging, with people
whistling, booing and chanting "Marine, president!"
in the background.
"Why didn't you come before?" one woman asked.
"Save our jobs, Monsieur Macron!" yelled a man.
But Macron, appearing in a suit and tie amid the
workers, held his ground. Where Le Pen's visit was
short---with a few selfies, hugs, kisses and a quick
speech to the cameras---Macron spent over an hour
patiently, and at times passionately, explaining in of-
ten-heated exchanges that as president, he wouldn't
be able to stop companies from laying off workers.
The back and forth was shown live on Macron's Face-
book page, signalling a desire not to let Le Pen hog
"I won't lie to you," he said. "There is no miracle
The contrasting images of Le Pen smiling with
workers and Macron debating them spoke to her polit-
ical experience and laid bare their contrasting styles.
Needing millions more votes to beat Macron in the
runoff, Le Pen hammered home her arguments that
more French jobs would be lost abroad under Macron's
more economically liberal program. (AP)
French centrist presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron, centre, talks to
workers at the Whirlpool home appliance factory, yesterday in Amiens, northern
France. AP PHOTO
Le Pen upstages Macron in
battle for blue-collar votes
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