Cyber-blurring: the strategy used by Macron’s digital team to face cyberattacks

Cyber-blurring - the strategy used by Macron’s digital team
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May the 5th , 2017, two hours before the end of 2017 presidential campaign, thousands of documents owned by the campaign team of the candidate Emmanuel Macron have been leaked and have been made public on American forum 4Chan, relayed by Wikileaks. Social media have played an important role in the attack and content diffusion: internal discussion of the political party, briefing notes, pictures, bills, accounting, which represent 9 gigaoctets of hacked data.

Since the beginning of the presidential campaign, it wasn’t the first attack faced by the team of En Marche’s candidate.  Alerted of a potential attack a long time ago, they have set up a cyber-blurring strategy to defend themselves. This method creates dozens of false documents (false emails, false passwords, false accounts) trying to slow down hackers’ work. This strategy is often used in the banking field to protect their customers. (This diversion method is also called digital blurring.)


L'Express Twitter account - Cyber-blurring: the strategy used by Macron’s digital team to face cyberattacks
L’Express Twitter account


Even if Mounir Mahjoubi, digital director of the En Marche campaign, thinks to have slowed down the hackers’ job with this cyber-blurring method, despite these measures, the attack was not avoided.

The hackers didn’t ask for money in exchange of the documents publishing. These documents which are not compromising for the Emmanuel Macron’s team, were not monetizable because the hackers would have to sort out 9 gigaoctets of data in a few period of time.

Consequences are few on the presidential campaign and the En Marche staff was not really affected. This counterattack was well implemented.

The hackers who were against Macron, didn’t have the success desired. Nevertheless, this failure will get them to become smarter, more ingenious, less visible and better prepared for a next attack.

To be continued.

Author: Adriana Lecerf

Consultant - Nameshield group