’s leading presidential candidate has slammed a “massive” cyber attack against him which has been linked to American far-right activist who want him to lose.
Emails, accounting documents, contracts and other materials belonging to Emmanuel Macron’s party, En Marche!, were hacked and blended with fake news
, and then disseminated across the internet in a cyber attack against the camp.
“A massive and coordinated piracy action” was launched, Macron’s camp announced.
“Those who are circulating these documents added false documents to many original documents in order to sow doubt and misinformation,” the En Marche! movement said in its statement.
The attack was launched late on Friday, hours before a legal prohibition on campaigning went into effect across France.
“Intervening in the final hour of the official campaign, this operation is clearly a matter of democratic destabilization, as was seen in the United States during the last presidential campaign,” Macron’s campaign announced minutes before the official campaign deadline.
Shortly after thousands of documents were published, the hashtag #MacronLeaks began trending worldwide by online far-right activists in the United States who support Macron’s rival from the far-right, Marine Le Pen.
Far-right activists in the US have been making efforts on various internet websites like 4Chan and Discord to sway the French vote in her favor.
However, as of yet, there is no positive evidence as to who launched the cyber attack.
In the meantime, the French media has been ordered by the electoral commission not to publish the contents of the leaks.
Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a think tank in Riga, Latvia, says, “misinformation is increasingly used to achieve political ends”.
“Technology helps to amplify that message through fake news sites and social media,” according to the analyst.
Macron, 39, who is pro-EU, is leading in pre-election polls with 62 percent versus 38 percent for Le Pen.
French far-right Front National (FN) party candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen. (Photo by AFP)
The populist far-right candidate has portrayed herself as anti-EU, anti-NATO,and anti-immigrant.
Macron is seen as a Centrist who aims to continue the policies of outgoing president Francois Hollande.