Paris, France. The campaign of the French presidential frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron has said it has been the target of a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack after tens of thousands of internal emails and other documents were leaked online, supposedly by a group called “emleaks.”
In less than 48 hours before final voting, around nine gigabytes of data files were posted by a user called EMLEAKS to the document-sharing site Paste Bin that allows anonymous posting. Macron’s political movement, En Marche!, confirmed the hack, saying it had been the victim of a coordinated hack, as they termed it.
The statement added that the data consisted of “diverse documents such as emails, accounting documents and contracts” hacked several weeks ago from the personal and professional accounts of some of the movement’s staffers. Because the documents are not directly from Wiki Leaks, authenticity is marginal.
This close to the end of the campaign, many question the end goal of such a penetration by hackers, given there is not really enough time to reach most French voters even if something incredible was found in the documents.
Macron’s representatives now claim “many false documents” had been added to genuine stolen documents on social media “in order to sow doubt and disinformation” as part of an operation “clearly intended to harm the movement.” Further contributing to the chaos, they did not clarify what they agree is real and what they claim is added.
The authentic documents were all legal, and “reflected the normal functioning of an electoral campaign”, the statement said. Their publication “does not alarm us as to the prospect of any questions being raised about their legality”.
Wiki Leaks website posted a Twitter link to the cache of documents, saying it “contains many tens of thousands of emails, photos, attachments up to April 24, 2017,” indicating it was not responsible for the leak itself.
France’s interior ministry refused to give a comment to the media, reiterating French rules since any remarks could be held to influence an election outcome.
Tags: Emmanuel Macron; Fancy Bear hacker group; French 2017 election; French election 2017; French presidential election; French Presidential Election 2017; French Presidential Elections 2017; hackers