WikiLeaks said on Monday it had published a searchable archive of what it said was more than 21,000 verified emails associated with key figures in the election campaign of French President Emmanuel Macron. The stolen data was originally dumped on the internet in May, on the eve of the run-off between Macron and far-right opponent Marine Le Pen. Within hours of the leak, Macron’s staff had said it had been targeted by a “massive and coordinated” hacking operation. His Republic on the Move (LREM) party on Monday said the mails published by WikiLeaks seemed to be the same as the ones leaked on May 5 and warned that fake documents were mixed with authentic ones. “Republic on the Move calls for vigilance over these publications,” it said in a statement. “Under the guise of novelty, WikiLeaks is taking over as its own the destabilisation operation from May.” The document dump came too late in the campaign to have any direct influence on the election, in part because the electoral commission warned it was a crime to republish any details from the emails before the vote.
French newspapers which have pored over the documents since then said they found nothing scandalous to report. By turning the dump into a database, WikiLeaks has made the documents easily searchable for any internet user. The hack drew comparisons with the 2016 U.S. election campaign, during which U.S. intelligence agencies alleged Russia had interfered to benefit Donald Trump. Russia denies that. Macron’s team also blamed Russian interests in part for earlier attempts to interfere with his campaign.
The Kremlin has denied it was behind any such actions. WikiLeaks said it was publishing the leaks now after verifying the authenticity of the email addresses. It did not say how the emails were obtained but cited a comment by a government cyber security official saying the data dump appeared to be the work of an “isolated individual”, apparently playing down the theory a foreign state was involved.
French law enforcement and intelligence officials have not accused anyone of the campaign attacks. WikiLeaks said it found 21,075 verified emails in an archive of 71,848 emails, along with 26,506 attached documents, which it also published. They date from March 2009 and April 2017, the month of the first round of the French election. Macron was an investment banker in 2009 and joined president Francois Hollande’s government in 2012. He announced his bid to become president in November 2016.