The presidential election is on Sunday.
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s party En Marche claims hackers have hit the campaign just two days before the country hits the polls. Reuters reported:
Some nine gigabytes of data were posted by a user called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a document-sharing site that allows anonymous posting. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of them were genuine.
In a statement, Macron’s political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed that it had been hacked.
“The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and co-ordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.
The contents of the campaign started to leak on Friday night, “just hours before the official ban on campaigning began.” France has rules that “forbid any commentary liable to influence an election” and that went into effect at midnight local time.
In its statement on Friday, En Marche! said that the documents released online only showed the normal functioning of a presidential campaign, but that authentic documents had been mixed on social media with fake ones to sow “doubt and misinformation”.
“The seriousness of this event is certain and we shall not tolerate that the vital interests of democracy be put at risk,” it added.
But the campaign has said in the past that hackers targeted them:
Former economy minister Macron’s team has already complained about attempts to hack it systems during a fraught campaign, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyber attacks.
On April 26, the team said it had been the target of a series of attempts to steal email credentials since January, but that the perpetrators had so far failed to compromise any campaign data.
In February the Kremlin denied that it was behind any such attacks, even though his camp renewed the charges against Russian media and a hackers’ group operating in Ukraine.
The Macron email dump came minutes before France's campaign blackout started at midnight. Candidates can't respond before polls open Sunday
— Rachel Donadio (@RachelDonadio) May 5, 2017
— Taniel (@Taniel) April 18, 2017
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