French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s team on Friday claimed that a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack had been organised against his campaign after a large number of internal documents were released online, barely 24 hours before the second phase of the voting on Sunday, AFP reported.
The candidate’s staff said the release of thousands of emails, accounting documents and other files was an attempt at “democratic destabilisation, like that seen during the last presidential campaign in the United States”.
The documents appeared on social media just before midnight on Friday, when 39-year-old Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen officially wrapped up campaigning for Sunday’s election. Macron’s team said the files had been stolen weeks ago when several officials from his En Marche Party had their personal and work emails hacked. “Clearly, the documents arising from the hacking are all lawful and show the normal functioning of a presidential campaign,” his aides said in a statement.
WikiLeaks said it was not responsible for the breach, but added that it was “examining” parts of the cache, amounting to around 9 gigabytes of data in total.
Polls released earlier on Friday showed Macron gaining momentum with around 62% votes as against Le Pen’s 38%. On the same day, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner on the Eiffel Tower protesting against Le Pen. Their message included the French republican slogan, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and the word “Resist”.