Links to nine gigabytes of zip and torrent files were published under the profile of someone called EMLEAKS on Pastebin, an anonymous publishing website. The archive was shared on the popular forum 4chan and promoted on Twitter by far-right activists, before WikiLeaks gave it extensive exposure online.
So far, the leak appears to mostly include documents that show the mundane inner workings of a presidential campaign, including professional and private emails, memos, contracts and accounting documents.
Mr. Macron’s campaign said in a statement shortly before the blackout went into effect that the professional and personal email accounts of some of its staff members had been hacked “some weeks ago.”
The campaign said that all of the stolen documents were “legal” and “authentic” but that fake ones had been added to “sow doubt and disinformation.” It denounced the breach as an attempt to destabilize democracy.
The National Commission for Control of the Electoral Campaign, a French regulatory body, warned on Saturday that publishing the documents might qualify as a crime. It called on the news media and French citizens to “show a spirit of responsibility” before the election.
En Marche! has been the target of hackers since last year. Last month, Trend Micro, a cybersecurity firm, said that a hacking group believed to be a Russian intelligence unit had attacked Mr. Macron’s campaign, sending emails to campaign officials and others with links to fake websites designed to bait them into turning over passwords.
What We Don’t Know About the Hack
• What is genuine and what isn’t. It will presumably take experts weeks to sift through and assess all the leaked documents.
• Whether different individuals or groups were behind the thefts and the leaks, who they are and what their motives…