French candidate hit with 'massive' hack days before election

A large archive of emails from the campaign of French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron appeared to leak online Friday, two days before the election. 

A user known only as EMLEAKS posted a series of links to the website PasteBin that allow visitors to download nearly nine gigabytes of emails and attachments.

In a statement reported by Reuters, the Macron campaign said that it had been the target of a "massive and co-ordinated hack."

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"The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and co-ordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information," the statement said.

En Marche's statement said that the emails did not show anything out of the ordinary for a presidential campaign, but that fake documents were posted on social media to spread "doubt and misinformation."
 
It's unclear who is behind the leaks. WikiLeaks initially suggested it might be inauthentic – either a prank or an attempt to smear Russia – although after downloading the documents it updated its assessment to "A significant leak."  

Trend Micro, an antivirus firm, revealed in a report last week the Macron campaign had been targeted by the Russian hacking groups behind the Democratic National Committee leaks, but there is no evidence this is the cause of the leak.

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaClinton suggests Russia grooming Gabbard to run as third-party 2020 candidate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings Obama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' MORE this week endorsed Macron, a center-left candidate facing nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday's runoff election.

“I know that you face many challenges, and I want all of my friends in France to know how much I am rooting for your success,” Obama said in a video announcing his support.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday declined to voice a preference in the race, saying that President Trump would work with whoever wins the election.

Trump previously praised Le Pen as the "strongest on borders" and "the strongest on what’s been going on in France" ahead of the first round of voting last month.

Updated: 7:07 p.m.