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France Warns Media Not To Publish Hacked Macron Emails, Threatens With Criminal Charges
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 6 2017

After 9 GB of Macron-linked documents and emails were released on an anonymous pastebin website on Friday afternoon in what Macron’s campaign said was a “massive and coordinated” hacking attack, France cracked down on the distribution of the files, warning on Saturday it would be a “criminal offense” to republish the data, and warning the French media not to publish content from any of the hacked emails “to prevent the outcome of the vote being influenced.” Quoted by Reuters, the French election commission said in a statement:

On the eve of the most important election for our institutions, the commission calls on everyone present on internet sites and social networks, primarily the media, but also all citizens, to show responsibility and not to pass on this content, so as not to distort the sincerity of the ballot.

Following a rushed meeting on Saturday morning, the commission which supervises the electoral process, said that the data been “fraudulently obtained and could be mixed with false information.” It is unclear, however, how it hopes to enforce any punitive claims, especially when much of the initial document distribution appears to have taken place offshore. French TV news channels chose not to mention the hack, although the left-leading Liberation prominently featured the news on its website. Liberation author Cedric Mathiot wrote that the leak, and its timing, “wants to create chaos” adding that the information was distributed in an “unethical method.” On Friday night, as news of what has been hashtagged as @MacronLeaks on twitter spread, Florian Philippot, deputy leader of the National Front, tweeted:

Will Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism has deliberately kept silent?

In a tweeted response, Macron spokesman Sylvain Fort called Philippot’s tweet “vile.” Macron’s En Marche! party said the leaked documents dealt with “the normal operations of a campaign and included some information on campaign accounts.” It said the hackers had mixed false documents with authentic ones to “sow doubt and disinformation.” As reported on Friday evening, WikiLeaks tweeted that the leak contained “many tens of thousands” of emails, photos and attachments dated up to Apr 24, but it noted that it had come “too late” to affect the election results. In a follow-up tweet, Wikileaks shared the location of all #MacronLeaks archives, which are “now available as uncensorable magnet links http://archive.is/aULcm.” Since there has been no suggestion WikiLeaks is responsible for this hack, speculation about the source of the hack has grown, with Russia once again emerging as the “usual suspect.” Cited by Reuters, Vitali Kremez, director of research with New York-based cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said his review indicates that APT 28, a group tied to the GRU, was behind the leak. He cited similarities with Pindosi election hacks that have been previously attributed to that group. Kremez also said that APT28 last month registered decoy internet addresses to mimic the name of En Marche, which it likely used send tainted emails to hack into the campaign’s computers. Those domains include onedrive-en-marche.fr and mail-en-marche.fr. Kremez said:

If indeed driven by Moscow, this leak appears to be a significant escalation over the previous Russian operations aimed at the Pindo presidential election, expanding the approach and scope of effort from simple espionage efforts towards more direct attempts to sway the outcome.

We expect the Kremlin to deny all allegations shortly. To cover all bases, others have also accused the “Alt Right” of being responsible for the leak:

Ben Nimmo, a UK-based security researcher with the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council think tank, said initial analysis indicated that a group of Pindosi far-right online activists were behind early efforts to spread the documents via social media. They were later picked up and promoted by core social media supporters of Le Pen in France, Nimmo said. The leaks emerged on 4chan. An anonymous poster provided links to the documents on Pastebin, saying, “This was passed on to me today so now I am giving it to you, the people.” The hashtag #MacronLeaks was then spread by Jack Posobiec, who said he had simply reposted what he saw on 4chan. Nimmo told Reuters: “You have a hashtag drive that started with the alt-right in Pindostan that has been picked up by some of Le Pen’s most dedicated and aggressive followers online.”

Sunday’s election, whose result is expected in just over 24 hours, is seen as “the most important in France for decades, with two diametrically opposed views of Europe and the country’s place in the world at stake.” Tune in then to find out if Wikileaks is correct, and the #MacronLeaks is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot, unable to chisel away at Macron’s lead over Le Pen which the latest polls calculate to be as much as 25 points.

Moratorium on discussion:

Two ppl express the same thought at MoA:

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 15.18.17

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