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Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online


Macron’s French presidential campaign emails leaked online

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PARIS – Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online one and a half days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Macron, who extended his lead in the polls over Le Pen on Friday, is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades. 

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 it was 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. 

An interior ministry official declined to comment, citing French rules that forbid any commentary liable to influence an election, and which took effect at midnight on Friday. 

The French presidential election commission said in statement that it would hold a meeting later today after Macron’s campaign informed it about the hack and publishing of the data. 

It urged the media to be cautious about publishing details of the emails given that campaigning had ended, and publishing it could lead to criminal charges.

Comments about the email dump began to appear on Friday evening just hours before the official ban on campaigning began. The ban is due to stay in place until the last polling stations close on Sunday at 8 p.m. 

Opinion polls show independent centrist Macron is set to beat National Front candidate Le Pen in Sunday’s second round of voting, in what is seen to be France’s most important election in decades. The latest surveys show him winning with about 62 per cent of the vote. (Reuters)