New York Times:
On the eve of the most consequential French presidential election in decades, the staff of the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron said late Friday that the campaign had been targeted by a “massive and coordinated” hacking operation, one with the potential to destabilize the nation’s democracy before voters go to the polls on Sunday.
The digital attack, which involved a dump of campaign documents including emails and accounting records, emerged hours before a legal prohibition on campaign communications went into effect. While the leak may be of little consequence, the timing makes it extremely difficult for Mr. Macron to mitigate any damaging fallout before the runoff election, in which he faces the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has pledged to pull France out of the euro and hold a referendum to leave the European Union.
The hacking immediately evoked comparisons to last year’s presidential election in the United States, during which American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, ordered an “influence campaign” to benefit the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump.
Groups linked to Russia, that are also believed to have been involved in the hacking related to the 2016 United States presidential campaign, have previously been accused of trying to breach the Macron organization. Security experts tracking the activity of suspected Russian hackers say they believe those same groups were involved in this latest attack.
In a statement, the Macron campaign said the hackers had mixed fake documents along with authentic ones, “to sow doubt and misinformation.”
As stated in this article this is made worse by the fact that there is currently a news blackout, which is customary before an election in France, but which is keeping the Macron campaign from defending itself and keeping journalists from reporting on what is factual and what is false in the data dump.
Rachel Maddow tried to do her part last night by reporting on this in the hopes that some in France will watch the segment and realize that they are being manipulated.
It should be noted that Macron's opponent Marine Le Pen recently visited Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin so there is no pretense here that this is not designed to help her win the election, just like Russia's interference helped Donald Trump emerge victorious here in America.
Keep in mind that Putin is looking to break up the European Union and to destabilize the power of the Western countries. He wants to move Russia up the food chain and is working to accomplish that by turning the other big fish into minnows.
In my mind that should have people in France flocking to vote for Emmanuel Macron, but then again I made the same argument for why people needed to vote for Hillary in 2016.
Here's hoping that the French are smarter than the Americans.