Macron campaign emails leaked in hack days before France election

Nick Mcbride
May 7, 2017

Hollande is set to visit Angela Merkel hours after the victor of the French election will be known, at the invitation of the Chancellor, a brief statement released by the French Presidency on Saturday said.

ANSSI can only be called in for cases where the cyberattack is "massive and sophisticated", the official said.

He has led a remarkable campaign, defying the traditional mainstream parties courtesy of his En Marche! movement.

French citizens also turned out in droves to vote in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The French consul general in Montreal said more than 57,000 people registered to vote in the province, an overwhelming majority of them in Montreal. Scarves and jackets were the dress code at voting stations on the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off the chilly northeastern coast of Canada. For years, a complex web of financial ties has linked Le Pen to Russian lending sources, and she has received exceedingly positive coverage in Russian state media for months.

The Kremlin has denied it was behind any such attacks, even though Macron's camp renewed complaints against Russian media and a hackers' group operating in Ukraine. He cited similarities with USA election hacks that have been previously attributed to that group.

Marine Le Pen would be its first woman president. Macron is at 1-10 odds.

Le Pen, who was pelted with eggs Thursday in Brittany, was met by hecklers Friday at the Reims cathedral.

Children walk past election campaign posters for French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, in Osses, southwestern France, Friday May 5, 2017.

The commission urged French media not to publish the documents, warning that some of them were "probably" fake.

For many, however, the campaign has become less about backing Macron and instead about voting against Le Pen, the National Front candidate. Le Pen wants to pull France out of the European Union, a move that Vladimir Putin would applaud.

In February, Macron's staff said their campaign had been the target of cyber attacks targeting databases and e-mail servers.

Fears of hacking and campaign interference have simmered throughout France's high-stakes, closely watched campaign - and boiled over Friday night as Macron's team said it had been the victim of a "massive and coordinated" hack.

Noting the Macron dump may contain fake documents mixed in with authentic material, as some analysts have suggested, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the leak may represent "yet another unsafe escalation of cyber interference in a Western nation's democracy". "It's an important election".

Earlier in the day, anti-Le Pen crowds disrupted her visit to a renowned cathedral in Reims.

The 39-year-old Macron, a former economy minister and investment banker who has never held elected office, also helped upend France's traditional political structure with his wild-card campaign.

One Montreal voter, Victor Silvestrin-Racine, said Saturday it was important for people to exercise their democratic right in order to minimize Le Pen's chances of victory.

"You have a hashtag drive that started with the alt-right in the United States that has been picked up by some of Le Pen's most dedicated and aggressive followers online", Nimmo told Reuters. They fear her party's racist past, while worrying that his platform would demolish job protections for workers.

Comments about the email dump began to appear on Friday evening just hours before the official ban on campaigning began. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine. While the hack is shaking up the already head-spinning campaign, it's unclear whether the document dump would dent Macron's large poll lead over Le Pen going into the vote.

A campaign blackout starting minutes after the Macron team announcement means that Le Pen's campaign can't legally comment on the leak. Among other indicators, the firm said metadata contained in one of the leaked files showed it had been modified by someone who works in the technology industry in Moscow.

Other reports by VgToday

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