WikiLeaks published Monday a cache of more than 70,000 emails related to the recent campaign of French President Emmanuel Macron and other correspondence going back to 2009.
There were no immediate bombshell disclosures in the latest major online dump of leaked material, but the publication of the material appeared certain to bring further scrutiny to online security among political campaigns and other organizations.
The documents – dated between 2009 to April 24, 2017, the day of the French election’s first round – include many routine exchanges such as travel schedules and appointments. But it could be days before all the documents are reviewed.
The data dump came at a time when cybersecurity remains a concern in France and in Europe.
Just minutes before campaigning closed in the second and final round of the French presidential election in early May, the Macron campaign issued a statement claiming that it had been the victim of a major hacking operation in which thousands of emails and other internal communications were thrust into the public domain.
Although that earlier data dump had virtually no effect on the polls – Macron still defeated his opponent, the far-right Marine Le Pen, in a landslide – it nevertheless stoked fears of a Russia-backed cyberattack, given that the Kremlin had openly supported Le Pen in the election.
But in early June, following the results of a French government investigation, Guillaume Poupard, the head of France’s National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI), told the Associated Press that the earlier Macron hack was likely the result of “an isolated individual.”
“The attack was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone,” Poupard said.
With German elections approaching in September, fears of potential cyberattacks – especially by those whom Russian President Vladimir Putin has called “patriotic hackers” – remain high.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · James Mcauley