French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was the victim of a “massive, co-ordinated hacking” on Friday, BBC reports. According to Macron’s campaign staff, a number of internal documents were leaked on a file-sharing website late Friday night, less than 48 hours before the election.
The front-runner’s staff said some of the leaked files were fake, while others were authentic, in what they believe is an attempt to introduce “doubt and misinformation” into the campaign. The documents contained emails and financial data, but demonstrated nothing more than the normal workings of a presidential campaign, the staff said.
“The leaked files were obtained several weeks ago by hacking personal and professional email accounts of several officials of the movement,” reads a campaign statement. They added: “The seriousness of this event is certain and we shall not tolerate that the vital interests of democracy be put at risk.”
Friday’s hacking appears to have been timed to coincide with the start of the official ban on election campaigning, which is now in place. The ban will remain effective until polling stations close late Sunday, and forbids commentary that might influence the election. As a result, an interior ministry official declined to comment on news of the hacking.