Macron campaign suffered a huge hacking attack 48 hours before French vote

Pierluigi Paganini May 06, 2017

The campaign of the Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted once again by hackers that leaked a 9GB dump of stolen data from its staff.

Information warfare and politics are even more strictly correlated. It has happened again, after the DNC hack, hackers have targeted also French presidential elections. The target of the hackers is the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and its staff.

Emmanuel Macron Presidential campaign

Emmanuel Macron has publicly condemned the online leakage of alleged email belonging to members of its staff less than two days before the final voting day.

Hackers leaked a 9GB batch of internal documents through the Magnet file-sharing service.

The Macron data leakage has happened while candidates are banned from publicly discussing the campaign, clearly such kind of events can subvert the final result of the election.

Giving a look at the events just before the data leakage, Macron was considered by the analysts well ahead of the other candidate Marine Le Pen.

The leaked documents believed to contain personal correspondence from Macron’s En Marche! campaign and the strategy of its party.

Of course, we have no information about the authenticity of the documents, but in this specific temporal interval, this is not important because anyway even fake news could damage the election.

“The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” reads the statement issued by Macron’s political movement En Marche!

The dump includes “diverse documents such as emails, accounting documents, and contracts” hacked several weeks ago from the personal and professional accounts of some staffers.

“Coming in the final hours of the campaign, this operation clearly amounts to democratic destabilisation as was seen in the United States.” [En Marche! had]“consistently been targeted by such initiatives” through the campaign.

En Marche! ‘s statement added that  “many false documents” had been included in the original stolen batch of documents “in order to sow doubt and disinformation” as part of an operation “clearly intended to harm the movement”.

The attribution of the attack is quite impossible, but cyber security experts speculate the involvement of a Russian state actor. Le Pen is considered a potential ally by the Russian Government, she both supports Russia’s annexing of the Crimea and has called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia.

Le Pen has admitted having taken out loans worth €9.4m from the First Czech-Russian Bank.

However, it may be that many French voters will be unwilling to vote for Le Pen after such a crass attempt to influence a democratic election by hacking.

In April, researchers from Trend Micro confirmed that the campaign of the French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by the notorious cyber espionage APT28 group.

Russia always denied any involvement in the attacks.


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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –Emmanuel Macron, data leakage)

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