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French election campaign hit by ‘massive hacking attack’

Updated May 5th, 2017 11:50PM EDT
French election: Macron hack

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has condemned a “massive hacking attack” on his election campaign, after a number of emails purporting to be from his campaign were leaked online late Friday afternoon.

A 9GB trove of data was posted to Pastebin, an anonymous link-sharing website, by a user titling themselves “EMLEAKS.” The files mostly appear to be archives of emails from the Macron campaign, including the candidate and advisers.

The authenticity and content of the emails has not yet been examined, but the Macron campaign’s condemnation would appear to point towards the emails being authentic.

No individual or group has yet claimed responsibility for the hack. However, a user on 4chan’s popular /pol/ did promise a dump of Macron’s data in a post made yesterday. In the post, the anonymous user claimed to have “swiftnet logs going back months” that prove Macron’s tax evasion, but that doesn’t appear to be contained in today’s data dump.

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 election is due to take place on Sunday, but French law mandates a “quiet period” for the day preceding the election. That period took effect at midnight Friday evening (local time), just hours after the data was pasted. The quiet period limits official commentary on the hack, the results of any investigations from being made public, and will put a damper on media coverage. Social media users in France are supposed to abide by the quiet period rules, but the election and data dump are currently trending on Twitter in France.