An anonymous group has posted nine gigabytes of emails and other data, purportedly taken from the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. In a statement to the BBC, the Macron campaign said it had been the victim of a “massive hacking attack” and confirmed that some of the documents were taken from campaign officials, although it claimed other portions of the archive may be fabricated.
The attack is conspicuously similar to a string of hacks against the Clinton campaign during the US election last year. In April, independent researchers detected a phishing attack against the Macron campaign, although the campaign insisted that no data had been compromised by the attack. The techniques showed significant technical similarities to the hacks against the Democratic National Committee, which US intelligence agencies attributed to an active intelligence campaign by the Russian government, directly ordered by President Vladimir Putin. In both elections, the attacks targeted the candidate less favorable toward the Russian president.
French election law prevents domestic outlets from reporting on election-related issues until polls have closed. Nonetheless, the files have circulated widely among LePen supporters on 4chan’s /pol/ board after being posted to Pastebin earlier today. Pastebin has since removed the post itself, although archived versions remain.
France’s presidential election is set to conclude on Sunday, with Macron facing off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Recent polls show Macron heavily favored to win.