back to article Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron, the front-runner in France's presidential election, has condemned the online leakage of what's alleged to be his campaign staff's emails. A 9GB cache of internal documents was dumped onto the Magnet file-sharing network on Friday night, less than two days before the French people go to the polls on Sunday. …

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    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: So, just another day in the office...?

      Given that Macron had a 20 point lead in the polls, that obviously isn't the case.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        Given that Macron had a 20 point lead in the polls,

        Are those polls like the ones for Brexit and the US presidential election, i.e. totally meaningless?

      2. Deckmunki

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        Whoops, good point DougS. Serves me right for posting after the pub...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, just another day in the office...?

      Am I being really naïve here, or is this just a sign of particularly sour grapes on the part of the party which is looking likely to lose at this time...?

      Yes, you are being naïve, because the bigger picture is that foreign interference with democratic elections has moved from being the stuff of spy novels to being the new normal. In the US it has been since long a question if the elections are indeed democratic as their voting system is so open to manipulation that it almost seems by design, but active FOREIGN interference was fairly new and only became foreground news with Trump (also because they have been quite brazen about their contacts with Russia which seems finally to be catching up with them).

      Now in France it is happening again, and I for one want to know who is doing it because it is IMHO pretty close to an act of war and ought to have consequences.

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        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          @ Oliver Jones

          'As the Left are so fond of saying, "If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear."'

          Yes of course, the rallying cry of such well known leftist institutions as police unions, intelligence agencies, and Theresa Stasi May.

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            1. Rattus Rattus

              Re: So, just another day in the office...?

              Some are, some aren't. What I am saying, however, is that "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is generally the favoured phrase of authoritarian right wing groups as they seek to give ever more power to their jackbooted thugs.

            2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: So, just another day in the office...?

              "So, you're saying that privacy advocates are now staunch Leftists?"

              Yes.

              See, here's how this works: right wingers are all about their own privacy. Those on the left care about everyone's privacy. It's really not that hard to work out. If you're on the right, your philosophy is "if I've got mine, then nobody else matters". If you're on the left, your life philosophy is "we all go together".

              So absolutely, there are right wing privacy advocates, but what they are advocating is privacy for them, and whatever group they self-identify with. Anyone who is not a member of that group shouldn't have privacy, and should probably be demonized and dehumanized so that the authorities "do it to Julia" instead of them.

              Leftists are all about pesky concepts like "universal human rights" that apply to everyone regardless of what identifiable group they're part of.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: So, just another day in the office...?

                Privacy is not a left right trait but a authortarian/libertarian trait.

                We have had both left and right try to take it off us.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So, just another day in the office...?

                "So, you're saying that privacy advocates are now staunch Leftists?"

                Yes.

                See, here's how this works: right wingers are all about their own privacy. Those on the left care about everyone's privacy. It's really not that hard to work out. If you're on the right, your philosophy is "if I've got mine, then nobody else matters". If you're on the left, your life philosophy is "we all go together".

                OK, I can see where you're coming from, but apologies for sound a bit Tony Blair-sih (perish the thought), but there is a third way, another reason why a right winger wants to advocate wider privacy: for simple, bare faced profit. There is money in privacy so we're buried under services that allege to offer privacy. Not all of them do (in fact, a shockingly large amount of them are simply security solutions with a cheap, hand-written sticker "Privacy" taped over the word security to take advantage of a "fashion"), but some do a reasonable job. They would be daft not to support privacy.

                Personally, I prefer a right wing, profit focused solution for privacy. My experience with lefties and fanatics is that they're not quite stable when it comes to business, whereas someone who does privacy for profit has a clear motivation that I can keep an eye on. I have been involved in some charitable setups and "group" solutions and they universally die off because of funding problems, politics or personality clashes - it's all too woolly in the non-cloud variety for me to be comfortable with. This is the trick with defending privacy in general: find a way to express it as profit. It can inspire trust, it protects customers' rights - I find that generally works better than mentioning that not doing it right means you soon run the risk of getting the crapjezus fined out of you. That doesn't directly affect people's bonus much..

                I'm not wholly disagreeing with you, but I think your view could be wider.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: So, just another day in the office...?

                  Way more money - and certainly more power - in stripping people of every single right and freedom you can. Starting with privacy, but by no means ending there. ANd when profit comes before people, it's the right that will be out there doing it.

                  In other words: you can't trust anyone whose only motive is profit: there will always be more profit in betrayal and lying about it than in doing right by one's customers. All of human history is nothing more than this lesson being relearned by subsequent generations of naive individuals desperate for some grand rationale to justify their own selfishness.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: So, just another day in the office...?

                    In other words: you can't trust anyone whose only motive is profit: there will always be more profit in betrayal and lying about it than in doing right by one's customers.

                    We'll talk soon. I may have news for you :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          As Wikileaks (and others) have already discussed, if it were truly the Russians, why not release the dirt 2-3 days earlier, and give everyone the chance to see what's inside, then drag Macron through the mud?

          Because the timing suggests that whatever is being released does not bear close examination. That could be because it's not quite as damaging as alleged, or because there's false information inserted that would immediately be detected if people had more time.

          I find WL's participation in that activity evidence that they too have been flying under a false flag of "information freedom" for too long to justify what is simply criminal activity. Time to deal with them - and no crime expiry dates so they can just find a convenient bolthole and wait out the time.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            Oh, it's much more serious than simple criminal activity.

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          >>Quite a few on the Right, Farage, (Fortuyn, Wilders, van Gogh, Le Pen, Trump.)

          That is not right wing, that is the nutjob list.

          I would not compare any of those to Cameron, Major, or Thatcher.

        4. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          if it were truly the Russians, why not release the dirt 2-3 days earlier, and give everyone the chance to see what's inside, then drag Macron through the mud?

          Because there WAS no smoking gun or bombshell scandal, apart from a few clumsy forgeries. Having hacked him and spent a month or more analysing it (how many France analysts are there in the GRU / FSB I wonder?) , and then found nothing terribly exciting, how could they achieve maximum effect with what they had? By dropping it right at the start of the quiet period and hoping innuendo, rumour and bot-primed social media would be enough to affect the result. Which is exactly what happened.

        5. Brangdon

          Re: unmasking

          It was called "unmasking" because that is the technical term for what happened. That is, voice calls intercepted and recorded, people's names not covered by the warrant were redacted, and later those names restored. Restoring the names is called "unmasking". There are people in government who have the right and duty to unmask such names (eg, when they are needed for context). The same term would have been used whoever was involved. The term does not indicate bias.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: So, just another day in the office...?

      It's an orchestrated campaign by Russia to disrupt its enemies. They interfered in the US election, probably interfered with the UK referendum, are definitely interfering in the Balkans and in states like Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Finnland etc.

      Wikileaks is nothing more than a Russian front and nationalist groups in these countries are easy pickings for them. Did you know Le Pen had a Russian bank fund her bankrupt party and was kissing ass with Putin even while the campaign was going on?

      It's going to come to a head soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        Wikileaks is nothing more than a Russian front

        I don't think it's that specific. WL are simply naïve and thus very easy to manipulate. Offer them help against anyone they don't like and they'll be your pets. They don't strike me as having the ability to see the wider picture, so they're easy to enlist. That doesn't make them innocent, though, just stupid.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          "I don't think it's that specific. WL are simply naïve and thus very easy to manipulate. "

          That may have been how they started. These days they are a front.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          WL are simply naïve and thus very easy to manipulate.

          That's been their basic cover story for several years, but its looking increasingly likely that Mr Rapey and the WL organisation are straightforwardly Russian intel assets.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        >It's an orchestrated campaign by Russia

        So much concern about the actors and so little concern with the content. Are we really complaining about greater (if still imperfect) transparency for political parties? It is a good thing to find out their inner motivations before you let them into power.

        What we should be asking is, "When we know what these people are like, do we still want them in office?"

        Unless there is something really damaging in the dump (in which case they deserve to be found out) then its really too late for Le Pen to do anything with the information apart from laughing at their security. I don't care who did it or what their motivations were. If it does tilt the election and undo the 20 point advantage, that indicates that the French people happen to agree with the Russians about the candidates. There's nothing wrong with that.

        This assumes that the dump is real and has not been tampered with. Then we're in to a whole different ball game. However, we still have to respect democracy. If people want to believe what they see on the internet more than what they hear the politicians say, then perhaps that says something about our politicians. Maybe politicians need to build an honourable reputation for themselves such that people dismiss lies about them because they have a proven track record of honesty and integrity. Perhaps if you live by lies and half-truths, you die by lies and half-truths.

        1. Black Betty

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          That, or like the US elections, these dumps provide a "plausible" reason to "explain" the statistically improbable one sided difference between polls and outcome that has consistently crept into their election results since 2000.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            Hahahahaha. No.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          Unless there is something really damaging in the dump (in which case they deserve to be found out) then its really too late for Le Pen to do anything with the information apart from laughing at their security. I don't care who did it or what their motivations were. If it does tilt the election and undo the 20 point advantage, that indicates that the French people happen to agree with the Russians about the candidates. There's nothing wrong with that.

          There's everything wrong with that because either all are forced to be transparent or all are allowed their normal operation (which does not imply there are skeletons and/or smoking guns, just that organisations are not required to be transparent). By exposing one side and not the other, whoever hacked this setup had a very clear political goal that had nothing to do with transparency but everything with bias. Things discussed in confidence can be taken out of context when they are leaked, certainly when that takes place selectively (you don't know if this is really all or just a carefully selected collection).

          Stop trying to defend such hacks. This is and remains a crime.

          1. DropBear Silver badge

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            "There's everything wrong with that"

            In an ideal situation, sure, I'd prefer BOTH (all) parties be transparent / hacked / leaked / whatever. But we know that's quite unlikely to happen, and if I have to chose between unilateral and NO transparency, I choose the former every time, even if it's "unfair". As noted, if there's anything _specific_ that's particularly egregious in there, that's indeed something better seen in the open that the "victims" should have to answer for; on the other hand, as "simple" as the common folk may be, even they realise that any run-of-the-mill filth most likely applies equally to any participating parties - don't tell me when you hear something unpleasant but not extraordinary about a particular political figure you don't immediately think "and all of them are doing it probably". So terribly sorry, but NO, you will not have me support dirty laundry being kept in the dark in the name of "fairness" and "equality" with the other lucky bastards who didn't have it happen to them - if this trend continues (and I expect it will) we just need to get better at judging politicians without or _with_ them being "leaked".

        3. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          "If it does tilt the election and undo the 20 point advantage, that indicates that the French people happen to agree with the Russians about the candidates. There's nothing wrong with that."

          Okay. Fair enough. Let's see a dump of Le Pen's data. Then the people can compare one with the other. Without equality, it's a blunt and obvious attempt to subvert the elective process. And while you're all pointing at Russia, to dump the data just prior to the media embargo suggests some inside information in the French process.

          [Disclaimer: ex-pat living in France]

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            And while you're all pointing at Russia, to dump the data just prior to the media embargo suggests some inside information in the French process.

            You think a major intelligence agency might read Wikipedia?! This changes EVERYTHING!

            I'm with Pompeo on this:

            http://uk.businessinsider.com/cia-mike-pompeo-wikileaks-assange-2017-4 :

            ""WikiLeaks walks like a foreign intelligence agency and talks like a foreign intelligence agency," Pompeo said during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He added that "it's time to call out WikiLeaks what it is." "

        4. Palpy

          Re: So, just another day in the office: and parity.

          Transparency must be universal to be fair, P. Lee. Where is Marine Le Pen's campaign information?

          We know Le Pen has taken out a million-dollar-plus loan from Russian banks. What was discussed in her campaign's email? We know she supports the Russian aggression in the Crimea, and wants to lift sanctions on Putin's government. What did she tell her campaign staff privately, and what were her private instructions to them with respect to her sympathies toward Russia?

          You wrote, "However, we still have to respect democracy."

          Right: when one side is allowed to keep its discussions private and the other side has them revealed, then democracy is crippled.

          And that is part of the Russian strategy: to destroy Western respect for democracy. To lead the citizens of the West believe that their governments' democratic ideals are completely rotten, rigged, and corrupt -- and therefore no better than Putin's autocratic version of "democracy". Other goals are the disintegration of NATO and the EU -- hence the effort to tilt voters toward Le Pen, Trump, and Brexit. But the overarching strategy is to destroy Western democracy.

          Transparency, when it is applied impartially to all parties or all communication, is one thing. When it is targeted to reveal only one side, as the release of this material was, then it is profoundly anti-democratic.

        5. Ole Juul

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          "So much concern about the actors and so little concern with the content."

          And as it turns out, the content is apparently mundane. Obviously Americans have a different slant on politics entirely. Also, there seems to be a lot of Trump in this one. Here's an article about the "leaks".

        6. Stork Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          I could also imagine a counter-effect: More French voters think Le Pen is a Russian puppet and vote against her. In particular as there right from the beginning has been claimed there were planted/fake documents and nothing particularly damaging has been revealed so far.

          False flag? Just because you are paranoid it does not mean they are not out to get you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            I could also imagine a counter-effect: More French voters think Le Pen is a Russian puppet and vote against her. In particular as there right from the beginning has been claimed there were planted/fake documents and nothing particularly damaging has been revealed so far.

            .. and that appears to be exactly what happened. She did get a worrying high percentage of votes, but for now there has been a global sigh of relief. The problem Macron now has is finding parties that will want to go along with what he won the election with, and this is politics. It's not going to be easy, despite having found what voters want (which, by the way, is what is supposed to happen in a country that alleges to be a democracy, but which is something Theresa May would apparently be fighting all the way).

        7. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          @P Lee, you're not thinking it through. It doesn't matter that Macron was apparently pretty much clean, they dumped 9gb of data and made claims, and had some fake documents embedded in it which they immediately started to push.

          The idea here was clearly that they didn't have anything to report, so they lied and pretended they did!

          Fortunately the game was easily spotted and some of the fakes were hilariously bad - the fake "returned cheque" letter, for instance, wasn't flattened in Photoshop, so the layers showing the header and text are separate scans are still there!

          So it simply lowered the turnout. Not by enough to make a difference, fortunately.

          And so, the Nazis were defeated in Europe for a second time.

          The problem is, they are evolving, and worse, rebranding. What will come next?

        8. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          I don't care who did it or what their motivations were

          You damn well ought to. Why'd you think the UK recently went insane and voted to leave the EU? If you're unconcerned now, I suspect that in five years' time (once the consequences are clear) you'll be very interested indeed in that question.

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      4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        It's an orchestrated campaign by Russia to disrupt its enemies.

        Cannot really blame them. After all we invested tens of Billions after the fall of the wall into THEIR enemies around them after the fall of the wall and the end of the cold war.

        It is a classic case of "cannot stand the heat - get out of the kitchen" by all accounts. This includes the online aspect as in this case.

        The unnamed CIA staffer which facilitated the Panama leaks specially timed to last Russia elections and decided it is a good idea to filter out of all American content has a lot to answer for.

        You do not lob a small hand grenade at someone who can and WILL respond with a nuclear salvo. While they always had an order of magnitude higher attack capability (by having better STEM and being able to "draft in" from the criminal contingent), they restrained from attack until the Panama leak. That was considered by them as openly hostile, an open attempt to interfere in their last elections (that was voiced even by their opposition) and a form of "information warfare".

        We now reap what we saw and we are utterly unprepared for it - the information security of most political parties and other potential targets on our side is completely inexistent. There will be many more Macrons and DNCs going forward and very little for us to answer with.

        1. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          Russia under Communism perpetrated aggression against the Baltic states, the nations of Eastern Europe, condemning millions of people to life under tyranny as a result. Of course those countries will not think fondly of Russia, just as France doesn't think fondly of Germany.

          To say it is somehow a hostile act, to which Russia has a right to retaliate, to help these countries rebuild and maintain their independence in future makes no sense.

          One or more innocent people have died in Georgia and the Ukraine, independent sovereign states, as the result of actions by Russia. The only proper and just result is for Putin to be sent to Georgia to stand trial, and to meet the same fate as Hideki Tojo, while Russia is placed under occupation until such time, like Germany after World War II, democratic institutions are securely established and there is no longer a threat of future aggression on its part. Helped, of course, by removing nuclear weapons capability - and any significant conventional weapons capability - from the country.

          But since Russia now has nuclear weapons, justice cannot be done in any practical way for the time being.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: So, just another day in the office...?

            Encouraging states with a border with Russia to join NATO was clearly a strategic blunder.

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            @John Savard

            "But since Russia now has nuclear weapons, justice cannot be done in any practical way for the time being."

            Justice? Sounds a lot like you're advocating revenge. Revenge isn't justice.

            Justice would be finding individuals responsible for crimes and holding them accountable. Revenge is orchestrating a campaign of hatred, intolerance and economic or military reprisals against entire populations because of something their antecedents and/or the tyrants that held control over them did.

            The sins of the father are the burden only of the father. The child bears no responsibility.

            Alternately: "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind".

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          "We now reap what we sow and we are utterly unprepared for it"

          Speak for yourself. We have sown "openness" and most of the population is so prepared for it that they'd almost given up hope that it might eventually happen.

          These leaks all have the effect that politicians can't do one thing in private and another in public. Worse, for the politicians, the fact that some of the leaked material later turns out to be false doesn't nullify the damage because people just get into the habit of using the leaks as a list of leads that have to be followed until they are independently confirmed or denied.

          That, incidentally, is why you should ignore anything that is "leaked" just before an election (like this). A leaker who is trying to push a lie will leak some lies in amongst a lot of truth and do it at the last minute so that no-one has time to check.

        3. Indolent Wretch

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          By "their enemies around them" I assume you mean "their former victims".

      5. Suricou Raven

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        I wouldn't call Wikileaks a Russian front. More a convenient tool.

        Wikileaks exists in part to reveal state secrets to the common people. Russia knows that often, making sure their right secret leaks is to their advantage.

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          I wouldn't call Wikileaks a Russian front. More a convenient tool.

          Wikileaks exists in part to reveal state secrets to the common people. Russia knows that often, making sure their right secret leaks is to their advantage.

          If that were true, Wikileaks would have released the data dump two weeks ago or today, not yesterday.

          The timing is why it is obvious that Putin is behind this, and Julian Ass is clearly complicit.

          The brighter thing to have done, since Le Pen was clearly doomed (biggest loss since her Nazi dad's try in 2002, or possibly even since 1958!) would've been for them to leak *Le Pen's* secrets, so WL could at least pretend to be neutral. Then the next WL tampering attempt might have been more successful.

          Now, surely, since everyone predicted that WL would shill for the Russians, and did, it is confirmed we can't trust them any more.

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          Can you name anything WL has released that /hasn't/ been to Russia's tactical or strategic advantage?

      6. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        Tit for tat, we as in "the west" have been playing this same game for many decades... of course I dont like it, but it is to be expected...

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, just another day in the office...?

        > It's an orchestrated campaign by Russia to disrupt its enemies.

        While possible, in the real world when you want to mess someone up with actions that can't be hidden, you make sure they're attributed to an external party. Best choice is one whom is already known to have issues (eg Russian) with your target (France/EU in this case).

        Don't rule out the possibility of a careful, well resourced third party being behind this.

        1. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          One of the particularly interesting aspects to the current series of active ops the Russians have been running is their cavalier disregard for evading attribution. They want us, or the various intel agencies at least, to know it was them.

          Enumeration of possible reasons for this is left as an exercise for thre reader...

        2. breakfast

          Re: So, just another day in the office...?

          "Don't rule out the possibility of a careful, well resourced third party being behind this."

          But also don't rule out the possibility of Occam's Razor being applicable in most cases. I don't know whether there is anyone playing five-dimensional chess out there, but when you can follow the money to a logical explanation, going out of your way to search further could be a poor allocation of resources.

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  2. cirby

    Business as usual

    The early comments from Macron's people seem to be pretty predictable - "It was all perfectly normal internal communications, except for the bad stuff, which was all made up."

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Business as usual

      And probably they're telling the truth. The dump was timed to interfere with an election to be held tomorrow.

      It doesn't have to withstand any scrutiny, just look superficially convincing - dump a heap of legitimate low level stuff as filler (e.g. hacked party mailing list), and fake up some bank statements and hope it convinces some people to vote for the other candidate. Russia's candidate.

      Of course it could be real but since Macron has started legal proceedings on the matter, there is a perfect opportunity to find out for sure in court.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

    "However, it may be that many French voters will be unwilling to vote for Le Pen after such a crass attempt to influence a democratic election by hacking."

    Russia and China hack whether you cooperate with them or not. I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump for the fact that Hillary got hacked.

    1. cyke1

      Re: Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

      Its pretty much normal of liberals to blame other side as well as Russia it seems now. We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was russia but they expect people to believe it. They still push it was russia here in the US yet FBI that least 5 foreign gov hacked Clintons email server but that mostly ignored so. Likely we will never know who did it but you are expected to believe baseless claims.

      1. Schultz
        Facepalm

        "... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

        There is ample proof for Russian trickery online and offline. Take the Crimea invasion and all the FUD Russia spread while it was ongoing. Yet we now have ample evidence of what they did, when they did it and how they did it. Take the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine. Thorough international investigations established a lot of details that pinpoint the origin of the rocket, yet Russian sources spread ever more intricate stories of FUD (most of which got disproven quite quickly).

        It's hard to give 'absolute proof' for anything, but when it comes to online malfeasance, Russia has a well established history of mucking about. Someone obviously created and financed an infrastructure in Russia to lead propaganda warfare against western Governments and I would be thoroughly astonished if that source of misinformation would suddenly vanish. It's people being payed to do that stuff and they will continue doing it while the money flows. So the only question is: what are they going to focus on after the French election? We can expect the same for the German election and for every major news story that puts Russia and the West in conflict.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

          Of course powers respect each other's political processes to a very limited degree, to say the least. That is hardly novel, or unique to one particular actor, but ...

          > Take the Crimea invasion and all the FUD Russia spread while it was ongoing.

          That seems like a terrible example to use, considering that the Crimean population (the demographics of which are complex) chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a vote the legitimacy (as opposed to the legality) of which to my knowledge has not been questioned by anyone, including Ukraine. From that point onwards, and with Russia having accepted the re-annexation, it seems natural that they would provide defence to their (once again) homeland, with a degree of openness befitting the diplomatic situation at the time.

          I am sure there are good examples of Russian covert intervention in other countries' affairs, but this is not one of them.

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          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: "... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

            How make the logical leap that accepting that Russia is actively trying to subvert the elections of other countries implies you should support nuking them? There is a long history of statecraft/spycraft where countries have historically tried to undermine each other in all sorts of ways, and they've rarely escalated into shooting wars, let alone wars of mass destruction.

            The correct response is 1) hack Putin and his lackeys and air that dirty laundry and do your best to make it known to Russia's citizens and 2) figure out ways to shore up security so it is harder for Putin to do these sort of hacks in the first place.

            In an ideal world an altruistic organization like Wikileaks claimed to be would take the position that the problem isn't that Clinton and Macron got hacked and had their dirty laundry aired, but that Trump and LePen did not suffer the same fate. If politicians knew that all their skeletons would be made visible to the public, maybe we'd have a better class of candidate and we wouldn't have ended up with the Hobson's choice between Clinton and Trump in the first place! Because there's surely no way either could have survived the process if we knew all their secrets during the primaries.

            1. YetAnotherLocksmith

              Re: "... We will never see 1 piece of proof that it was Russia ..."

              I remain fairly convinced that Clinton's emails was a storm in a tea cup. It was overblown to say the least. Not least because trump and his cronies have and are doing the exact same thing.

              And the more that comes out about trump, the worse he looks - the access to visas scandal (from what, yesterday?) as just one obviously criminal example.

              Clinton was a bad candidate, but she'd have won against a clearly worse candidate if not for a dozen different reasons, including the hacks, sexism, Comey's dubious FBI statements on the eve of the election, voter disenfranchisement, and Gerrymandering. Each only affected the outcome by a few percent, but it added up to a victory for trump - where she won by 3 million votes, but lost the electoral college FPTP system.

              Russian attacks and dark money are clearly also in there too, but there it was just more grist to the mill that wore HRC down.

              France was way more obvious - Russian funding of the one side, and targeted leaking against the other.

              Meanwhile the BBC sits there having a go at French reporting for "not being balanced"! One side is a nice enough guy, the other is a woman who wants concentration camps again! Fecking "balance"! From the organisation that has 2/3rds of UKIP's seats, on Question Time every week!

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

        As the Roman said, 'cui bono'

        In the Cold War, there was the allied Western Europe with US behind them. But that was balanced by a Warsaw Pact bloc which could trade within itself on USSR terms. And the Westen Europe became a trading bloc. Then the Eastern bloc dissolved and the Western allied group developed into an EU, and got bigger with several of the former Warsaw pact countries joining in.

        The Russian sphere of influence into the rest of Europe has weakened. And if the EU is more distracted by its internal politics or even disorganized or diminished by members leaving, that would put Russia in a stronger political and hence trade position.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

          >The Russian sphere of influence

          Don't disagree with you, but the Warsaw Pact was largely imposed on most of its members. The Russians believe they should have a say in their "near abroad" but not many of their former vassal states agree nowadays.

          Putin needs to stir s&*t up because at core Russia is a near bankrupt, corrupt, country and he hasn't delivered much good to his people. So electoral trickery, home and abroad, playing on nostalgia for Soviet era "greatness", xenophobia, foreign enemies and gtetting in bed with Orthodox bigots are all in the game plan.

          However, I also think that Putin should have kept his powder dry - too much of this blatant crap and he's risking not having the desired effect.

          I used to think he was at least fairly non-corrupt himself and just a control freak. However we are slowly learning that the top Russian govt folks have skimmed tons of money.

          Le Pen, whatever her numerous other faults are, deserves special oppobrium for licking his butt. I refer to taking Russian $ for her party. Something that she controlled, unlike these hacks which are not provably her idea.

      3. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

        Perhaps liberals (I am happy to be called liberal in the classical sense) see that Russia has both the interests and the capability?

    2. Schultz
      Stop

      "I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

      I would assume that there is a good number of French patriots who would fundamentally oppose electing a leader that is beholden to foreign interests. Only US party politics are so messed up that such a thing could count as 'business as usual'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

        "electing a leader that is beholden to foreign interests"

        Russia is a broke, weak country, and Putin a 4th-rate leader. The idea that he influences US policy is just a late-night TV comedian's meme. No serious student of geopolitics believes it.

        1. HausWolf

          Re: "I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

          They are not so broke that they can't purchase influence from a self serving greedy narcissist who wants a title more than actually doing his job.

      2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: "I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

        If the Russian connection is proven/believed--Russia wins because of doubt and discord sown against Le Pen supporters in the divided electorate in France.

        If the Russian connection is disproven/not believed--Russia wins because of doubt and discord sown against Macron supporters in the divided electorate in France.

        The problem is not Russia, its the division between more globablization/immigration/Brussels and more nationalism/immigration restrictions/home rule.

        1. Uffish

          Re: "I doubt French voters will blame her any more than American voters blamed Trump"

          Plenty of French voters will criticise her, same as plenty of US voters criticise Trump. My own opinion is that Russia has tried to influence the elections, not so much to get 'their guy' in but just to bugger up the countries by fomenting as much argument and recrimination as possible, and just possibly get a less competent politician in a position of power.

          It is less effective than shutting down the infrastructure but arguably not an act of war. The problem is Russia, but I agree, it is not that big a problem.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      @Andy Prough

      Given the timing of some statements from Trump campaign officials who appear to have known about the timing of Hillary data dumps, and going from initial blanket denials of any contact to ever lengthening lists of team Trump members who were in contact with Russians, I think suggesting "well the Russians will do it anyway" (while it may be true) is an increasingly specious argument to make.

      Given the Russian loan for LePen, which was supposedly personally approved by Putin himself, it looks even more specious in her case. If the only loan you can is from a guy whose government hacks your opponent an hour before French law imposes a media blackout on the election, the idea she wasn't colluding with him is frankly ridiculous.

      1. tedleaf

        Re: @Andy Prough

        And of course the idea that French or western banks would refuse a loan to a party that might do something to force the said banks to operate in a more open style for the benefit of all their customers instead of themselves,criminals and a tiny rich elite has nothing to do with the fact that Russia is probably the only ones who would lend her the money ?

        Of course if all political parties had to stay within in very strict limits of spending,all had to be fully open about sources of money might help a bit too..

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Seems presumptuous to blame Le Pen personally

      "I doubt French voters will blame her"

      Maybe not, but they may well take umbrage at such shenanigans and vote against her as a protest against such interference. That would be their only options given that there can be few French voters also entitled to vote against Putin.

  4. TDog

    I'm not sure. It is easy to say "Guess who". But the real question is "What is the game that is being played?". And just to add to the fun of this is the question "Who is playing?". As there I such a short time period, between now and the French vote, then there is a serious question about the game.

    In simple terms, even if this were a marginal vote it is unlikely to make a difference to the result (if the reported pollster margins are even about accurate). So this is either a braggadocio statement (as in "look what we can do / have done") or it is a long ball game. And that is where the analysis without information becomes somewhat problematic.

    It could be a false flag (as in "I know I am safe and so this will be a very good way of proving they are baddies")

    Or it might be a false flag (as in "if we release this then no-one will believe it is us; so we shall get brownies in the long term")

    Or it might be a false flag (as in "well we know we knew it but everyone is going to blame one of the other two players and this will destabilise both of them and their country in the long term")

    Or it could be...

    Well - no source, no evidence trail, quite a lot of potential players -

    Why not select the one's you would like to see as culpable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Add: For how long?

    2. HereIAmJH

      swaying elections

      Before you say the margins are too wide in polls for this to sway the election, remember that going into election day Clinton was expected to beat Trump by a landslide. This is definitely an attempt to influence voters. A hack that apparently took place several weeks ago dumped just as the candidates go into a quiet period where they cannot respond. You have to wonder if this is the new weapon in the assault on democracies. Hack the candidates and then selectively release information when it can do the most damage and sway opinion to the party that will support the most favourable policies.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: swaying elections

        I'm not sure this is the point "when it can do the most damage". A week or two ago, giving time to analyse the massive cache, would have been far better.

        1. John Gamble

          Re: swaying elections

          "A week or two ago, giving time to analyse the massive cache, would have been far better."

          No, it's the classic "surprise" strategy. Dump the so-called incriminating evidence just before the voting takes place. It allows no time for analysis or rational thought, which means one's tendency towards suspicion takes hold.

          The only difference between this and the decades-ago technique of stuffing "scandal" flyers under windshield wipers the day before an election is that this can be done on a far more widespread scale.

        2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: swaying elections - timing

          @Chris Miller

          it was certainly too late for the presidential election, and whoever did that knew it, but next month are the parliamentary elections, which will be almost as important for the 5 years to come. Macron's party is hardly 1-year old and they've not elected 1 député (MP) yet, so a lot of people doubt that he'll manage to get a majority to from his government.

          *IF* there was a smoking gun in the leaked documents, a few weeks is all it takes to ruin his campaign (see how fast FIllon went from 1st to 3rd place after the revelations over his wife's alleged "fake" parliamentary assistant job) and put him at the mercy of a government that opposes him.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: swaying elections

        "Before you say the margins are too wide in polls for this to sway the election, remember that going into election day Clinton was expected to beat Trump by a landslide. "

        Heard this before, but not sure where it's come from. On polling averages Clinton was 3% ahead the day before the election - pretty close to the actual result (+2.1%).

  5. J.Smith

    Noobs

    The Russians need to up their game a little, and take a leaf out the USA's book, and plain invade more countries. This is just quaint meddling. Where's the coup's? Where's the bombs? They're such noobs.

    1. PTW

      Re: Noobs

      Have an up vote! Even if you include the USSR, Russia must still lag the US of A on interfering with other nations. IIRC hasn't the USA only had about 2 years in its history when it has not been at war?

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Noobs

      >Where's the coup's? Where's the bombs?

      The Crimea? Ukraine?

      I suspect they laugh at the US' ham-fisted and massively ill-judged attempts at controlling the middle east.

      But in this case, yes, I think its just for the lulz.

      1. ChrisPv

        Re: Noobs

        If I remember correctly, the Ukraine coup was "our guys" kicking out "their guys".

    3. Suricou Raven

      Re: Noobs

      The last time Russia decided to invade a country they did so by first using some highly skilled political manipulations and organised propaganda campaigns. When the need for military action came the ground was so well-prepared that their troops were able to simply stroll into Crimea with barely a shot fired - and officially still in a state where there was no formal war and their presence could be denied. Faced with a lack of support from the rest of Ukraine due to the aforementioned political manipulations the defenders mostly surrendered, allowing Russia to secure control with a minimum of resources expended. They then proceeded to establish a government effective enough to maintain peace, and embarked on a well-run campaign to win the support of the people through both open means such as investment in infrastructure and more repressive means including controlling the media and ensuring critics of the new regime were removed from positions of influence.

      Now compare that to the total clusterfuck that was the US's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Sorry, but while I have to oppose Russia on the grounds of being an oppressive tyranical regime bent on world domination, I still must admit: They are *good* at it.

      1. JLV Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Noobs

        >US's invasions of Afghanistan

        yes... the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan was a total success

        Sorry, agree with your points in general but couldn't resist ;-)

    4. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Noobs

      Get real. Russia is almost broke. Invasions are terribly expensive. Hacking is cheap. Not gonna happen.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    I rather hope...

    ...the French take their democracy a whole lot more seriously than do their US cousins.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      counting the number of molotov cocktails being thrown at police

      I would say they definitely do take it seriously. A bit too seriously it would seem.

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Coat

    the hackers MAY be Russian, but...

    the hackers MAY be Russian, but... is it so certain that the RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT would be sponsoring them?

    Or is it possible they aren't pro-Putin hackers?

    Same with other alleged "connections" to Russian hacking and politics. It seems to be a favorite 'whipping boy' these days.

    /me getting my coat now

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: the hackers MAY be Russian, but...

      Resoundingly yes of course the government is behind it.

      I'd point out the question was put to FBI director Comey last week and he said Russia was definitely behind the attacks there too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the hackers MAY be Russian, but...

      Also - no one talks about the Chinese, but they are hacking as much if not more than the Russians, and are far more powerful and capable of action.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unable to keep vital information from thieves, check.

    If you leave the door unlocked and Nixon steals your campaign plans, tough luck.

    But, I would vote for Macron anyway, because he reminds me of a delicious sandwich cookie.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Unable to keep vital information from thieves, check.

      "If you leave the door unlocked and Nixon steals your campaign plans, tough luck."

      The door was locked.

      Which, among other factors, is why Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James McCord, Eugenio Martínez and Frank Sturgis were charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications. On September 15, a grand jury indicted them for conspiracy, burglary, and violation of federal wiretapping laws. The five burglars who broke into the office were tried by a jury, Judge John Sirica officiating, and were convicted on January 30, 1973.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I was selfish which I'm not I potentially would be hoping Le Pen wins to weaken the EU in it's negotiations with the UK. I'm sure others have thought of that scenario.

    What exactly is going on here? It's all a bit too convenient for my liking especially with the email situation in the US with their election.

    It's definitely state sponsored but I'm not sure Russia is the right state to blame. I mean as a country would you really be that obvious? What do they actually gain from Trump and Le Pen? More chance of war due to far right tendencies. Sure you could argue about instability but what's that going to get you? It just seems very odd to me.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's their own states and actors within them that want far right governments to give them more freedom to act in ways they wouldn't usually be able to under centre or left leaning governments. Think totalitarian.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "far right" is a misnoma

      All we have is left and far left. The left love to label and compartmentalise everything, especially people, then everyone is a minority. Leaving no cohesion for revolution or "it's only a tiny minority" to victimise. The "far right" is simply another leftist label, this time to try and distance themselves from Nazism. Which the most current leftists seem so uneducated to know it was a socialist movement. [They're also too stupid to know that the reason there was such a fuss over Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech was, as a Conservative, he was siding with the Labour Party]

      The 'right' would be conservatism with a very small "c" and in no way connected to the current Conservative Party in the UK, and 'far right' would be libertarianism.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        "far right" is a misnoma

        "There is no left or right. There is no enemies." - quote is from one of the best movies on politics ever made and probably the best french movie about french politicians and politics: "Mort d'un pourri".

        It took 30+ years for English subtitles to be finally added to this gem and it to be put on sale in the UK (the rest of the world has been watching it in the meantime).

        I suggest grabbing a copy of Amazon. It is definitely worth it.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        It seems being unable to spell misnomer is the least of your worries.

        1. Richard 26

          Re: "far right" is a misnoma

          "It seems being unable to spell misnomer is the least of your worries."

          I'm sure it comes after "trying to reproduce the transporter accident that brought him here from the mirror universe".

      3. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        All we have is left and right - what about authoritarian and libertarian?

        Political Compass French Election

      4. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        "The "far right" is simply another leftist label, this time to try and distance themselves from Nazism. Which the most current leftists seem so uneducated to know it was a socialist movement. "

        It's OK if you don't understand that socialist means a lot of different things. You're probably a left-pondian, so anything that the rest of the world would view as socialist is classified as something else, since the commies are bad, or something.

        National Socialism, that's the nazis to you and me, is a very particular form of socialism. It's socialism for corporations, as long as those corporations are doing the bidding of the government. The general theory is to make profits private, and losses public. Thus if your arms factory goes bankrupt, the state will step in and bail it out, but if your arms factory is making a killing, then you just pay your taxes.

        The reason that (in particular in the US, but UK et al are pretty bad at this too) that the nazi's as described as some complete "other", be it them being far-right-wing, socialists or extremists, is because there are an awful lot of similarities between our corporate run democracies and nazism. The military-industrial complex (or military-industrial-congressional as Eisenhower first termed it) is pretty literally nazism. Same for bailing out "vital" industries, be it the banks or cars.

        Citizen's United ruling reads like something from nazi Germany.

        Remember, if profits are private, and (corporate) losses public, then it's nazism. If profits and losses are public, then it's socialism.

      5. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        Far left wraps around to become far right and vice versa. Authoritarianism, secret police, purges, torture, assassination, oppression, idolatry etc. Out on the fringes however they possess their own distinct and extremely unpleasant characteristics which are very easy to see.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "far right" is a misnoma

          DrXym observed, "Far left wraps around to become far right and vice versa. "

          This is the same as my 'The larger Political Spectrum is a Circle' concept, invented years ago and posted in various forums. If you've independently arrived at this, congratulations. I'm happy to see the idea spread.

      6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "far right" is a misnoma

        Zoom out and you'll eventually see that the political spectrum's one-dimensional Left-Right line actually bends into a circle. On the near side of the circle are normal Left-Right Moderates; and on the far side are the wide-eyed, frothy-mouth Extremists.

        Point being, the ultra-Extremists, Left and Right, are completely indistinguishable from each other. Spittle and blind rage are unflavored.

        Also, perhaps the Left and Right Moderates need to take in this wider view and realize that there's a larger battle.

    2. graeme leggett

      Given the French reputation for 'I'm all right Jacques' and general self-interest, I should think that a Le Pen presidency would be more likely to aim to screw the best deal for itself out of the Brexit negotiations thereby prolonging or confounding them to such an extent that UK ends up with an extra shifty end of an extra large stick to hold.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @graeme leggett

        I'm not so sure, she is campaigning a decidedly anti-European stance, referendum on membership, bring back the franc, reform into separate European states, close the borders. That's why I think it would weaken Europe's stance maybe breaking the EU completely.

    3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Russia gains...

      "I mean as a country would you really be that obvious? What do they actually gain from Trump and Le Pen?"

      I take it you've not actually been paying any attention to Russia communications. Lets take Crimea, where the blanket denials of Russian support and action where contradicted at the time. After things had settled (ie the West wasn't going to counter attack*) in Putin's annual press conference he straight up admitted that the Russian troops had seized it, but it was all OK, since that was what people clearly wanted.

      Same way as the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines plane, so much FUD spread from the Russian press, as well as meddling with the physical evidence still didn't change the actual facts that is was a Buk, and highly unlikely to have been under the control of rebels (versus Russian control). But the FUD is enough, if you make it look like everyone is dirty, then you get away with your crimes.

      As for wanting Le Pen or Trump, it's much more about who doesn't get in. Clinton was always going to take a hard line on Russia, she's more hawkish than Obama, and Russia needs those sanctions lifted in the next few years or things might start unraveling. That Trump is uninformed, weak and unpredictable is not great for Russia, but he's clearly easy to manipulate. They've got plenty of experience dealing with puffed-ego dictators, and there's the bunch of shady money that Trump has borrowed which, like Le Pen, is not "officially" Russian state assets.

      Le Pen and Brexit is about weakening the other geo-political bloc that is anti-Russian. Well, the EU would actually probably be OK (economically) with lifting the sanctions on Russia, the very public dicking with the elections is somethng them technocrats are not happy about.

      I'll also note that hacking and then releasing information on wikileaks to discredit a candidate is something that the USA (or at least anti-Russian types) has done before, the Panama papers and Putin's hidden fortune being splashed just before the Russian election. It's just that Putin is massivly popular (and feared, so a proper Machiavellian leader) in Russia, so no-one really cares he's nicked off with a few tens of billions.

      TL&DR: Yes, it does suit Russia to visibly interfere to elect divisive nationalistic candidates or agendas (Brexit). But it's not new, the USA certainly has been using the same tools.

      * That the West was also dicking around in Ukrainian politics is also pretty indisputable

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "If I was selfish which I'm not I potentially would be hoping Le Pen wins to weaken the EU in it's negotiations with the UK. I'm sure others have thought of that scenario."

      So you're saying that GCHQ did it? That might actually be quite clever because everyone is going to blame the Russians> However, it is less clever since it will probably backfire and damage Le Pen tomorrow. So maybe it is the work of someone who is pro-EU. Ah, the possibilities are endless...

  10. MatsSvensson

    At least he doesn't fuck dolphins, like Putin does.

    (Just google : Putin dolphins

    , but not if you have just eaten)

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
  11. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Hmm... could this have been a deliberate action of the PR team?

    I mean this was apparently done so shortly before the election, nobody can actually say what nuggets are inside of it. So simply put, he can claim himself to be a victim, which usually gives people sympathy points, particularly with the people who know nothing about computer security.

    I mean being the "lesser evil" slowly fails to bring you a majority.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The country is called Crimea. No 'The' before it. The Britain, The France, The Google, The Russia? You only use definite article for states, republics, kingdoms etc. Stop. you'll be saying Legos next

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      There's a country called Crimea now?

      I suppose that depends who you ask...

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      >The country is called Crimea. No 'The' before it. The Britain, The France,

      La France?

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: >The country is called Crimea. No 'The' before it. The Britain, The France,

        I kinda like "The Britain".

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      The country is called Crimea. No 'The' before it.

      Maybe if your post had stopped at that point then there may have been some agreement, but it was followed by the spurious assertion that countries of the world are not prefixed "The".

      https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Exc%2Bda49L._SX355_.jpg

      (In the event the above link goes cold try googling Gambia).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this talk of Macron

    Makes me want to play Quake 2.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blah Blah it's all a commie plot, smacks of paranoid McCarthyism.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      North Korea is involved, too?

      Will President Fat Thing make an official announcement?

  16. Baldy50

    Well...

    Wikileaks is currently authenticating Macron Emails, if he does what he says and gets rid of all the border patrols we need to think about blocking that chunnel up!

  17. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)
    Holmes

    Fancybear popped macron's campaign computers a few months back and the ANSSI investigated at the time, but because there were no dumps their conclusions haven't been widely reported up to this date. This dump was timed perfectly that its in purdue for the vote, so at the moment the ANSSI can't get involved directly in the response, though they do seem to be significantly better prepared than other countries for the onslaught of external influencers. ANSSI have their own NIST like standards for device security and have pushed that out long since (you can get a ANSSI report template for nessus for eg), reporting requirements and incident handling proceedures for national infrastructure etc that other countries have been talking about for years but never quite implemented.

    What was really fun was monitoring twitter etc, and for example during the big debate, all the "warriors of kek" accounts were doing co-ordinated work, but in english or google translate level french. So the french twitter users were mostly spared the experience. They won't make that mistake next time they get the chance however.

    Its also said to be chopped with real & fake news, with the real dump to add credibility to the lies. Classic social engineering and with all that duration to prepare in advance.

    I really hope the crayon (what my kids call her) gets battered at the polls, like her dad did last time it happened when the left fielded so many candidates their vote was split too thinly. I think if its by a large margin, her next problem will be the FN disowning her. If so couldnt happen to a more deserving person. The only real shame is I live in a area that voted for a FN candidate (by a single vote!). I'm not sure I can look some of them in the eye in quite the same light after that.

  18. Baldy50

    9 Gigs Of #Macron Campaign Emails Are Confirmed To Be Authentic.

    1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)
      FAIL

      I've given you a upvote for the sheer comedy value of your timing in response to my post above.

  19. SnowPatrol
    Alert

    French law forbids the mainstream media from reporting election-related news within 48 hours of the vote, but social media has no such restrictions so allegations can go round and round without being disproved. Unlike the DNC/Podesta leaks, which AFAIK have never been shown to be faked in any way, this leak does seem to have fakes mixed in with real, boring emails. One tech news website is claiming that a PDF showing Macron applying for a Cayman Islands bank account is faked; apparently the forger forget to merge layers correctly.

    (Actually, reading the article it seems that this PDF came out on 4chan before the email leak in response to a claim by Le Pen in the presidential debate this week that Macron had an offshore account in the Bahamas)

    http://www.numerama.com/politique/254983-compte-offshore-demmanuel-macron-une-intox-venue-de-4chan.html (in French)

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      It did not only "come on" on /pol/, it was immediately declared B8, too.

      (Same as the document about Trump pissing on Obama's bed in Moscow, as I remember)

      https://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/123933076#p123934632

      The most hilarious thing is the french journo trying to uncover some kind of conspiracy instead of low-brow asshattery with bad shops.

  20. HAL-9000

    Pattern?

    Anyone else seeing a pattern emerging? Will the hackers/leakers ever be revealed? State actors anyone?

    Whoo cannot wait to read le pens' personal communiques, and business dealings. Silly me that won't heppen.

  21. Absent

    Electionmanipulation.ru

    I've noticed recently that the typical Russian bot nets that used to leave names in sever logs about buttons and stuff now are leaving the name Electionmanipulation.ru guess it's just a joke though.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would Macron's wife have been up on charges in a post Savile world ?

  23. pharmacyst

    The 'Russians are coming' has been a fact of life for the past 70 years. I still haven't yet seen a horde of unshaven, unwashed Cossack invaders watering their horses in the Thames - maybe it's all hysteria and fake news ?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      They did invade Crimea

      And won.

      We're just a bit further away.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: They did invade Crimea

        They did invade Crimea ... And won.

        Seems to me it was more a case of Russia relinquishing control over Ukraine a little, the west coming along to take Ukraine and Crimea, Russia taking Crimea back.

        Ukraine was a loss but it was a Russian red line that we would never take Crimea. And that's why there's been no significant mention of Crimea at the international level because all sides understand how the game is played; you win some you lose some, some things aren't worth risking world war over.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: They did invade Crimea

          Crimea

          A very difficult history here, I think it is best for the rest of world to keep out of it and let the former Communist block countries sort it out.

          It was Russian, then Ukrainian, now Russian.

          Are the people there happy?

          What do they want?

  24. Jason Hindle

    The real problem?

    Whoever is doing the interfering is doing so with apparent impunity. Someone (GCHQ? MI6? CIA?) needs to get a handle on this!

    Edit: Oh, just had a look at some of the other comments. It seems El Reg is finally important enough to attract Putin-bots. How lovely!

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: The real problem?

      And do what about it? Declare cyber-war? Fire the nukes?

      There's only one thing which can be done, and that is what is being done: Try to improve security, send a strongly-worded letter via the UN condemning the hacks, ignore the inevitable denials, and maybe impose some sanctions that will make the common people miserable but do nothing to harm those who are in charge.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: The real problem?

        Also, send a stiff letter informing them that unless they stop being so damn unsporting, their ticket allocation for the FO's next Gilbert & Sullivan production shall be severely reduced.

  25. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    This was just the starter

    The Fish course will be all of T. May's email's plus photos of Boris in a hotel plus... plus ....

    The Main course will come with the German Elections. Merkel will have to watch out.

    Even Paris could not get this much dirt on her!

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: This was just the starter

      "The Main course will come with the German Elections."

      Nah, Vladimir Vladimirovich wouldn't dare to mess with Mutti.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: This was just the starter

      I really don't want to see shops of merkel in compromising situations.

  26. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Trollololo

    Russian Nationalist Blogger Anatoly Karlin's take on the Topkek show: The French Elections 2017 (Round Two)

    Needless to say, this has created quite the stir on cyberspace. Wikileaks and Jack Posobiec spread the message on Twitter; as I write this, #MacronLeaks is the number one trending hashtag on French Twitter. The French police have taken a formal interest in ascertaining the identity of the leaker.

    Problem: The French media has entered its election silence period, so there will be no substantive discussions of the MacronLeaks in the MSM. (I checked the front pages of the major French newspapers and Le Monde is the only one to have prominent coverage of MacronLeaks).

    Which begs the question of whodunnit.

    The MSM has, of course, rushed to blame the Russian hacker Ivan. However, as more level-headed people have pointed out, what would be the point of doing this at the last moment? Macron is the least Russia friendly of the four major candidates – his campaign has scandalously barred the Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik from his events – and, the logic goes, would now be even less well disposed towards Putin.

    On the other hand, a more cynical view might be that the Kremlin views the prospects for cooperation with a Macron-led France as being so dismal anyway that it might as well begin destabilizing him straight away.

    Two other possibilities:

    (1) Bryan MacDonald: “My bet is other state actors trying to ruin any chance of a future Macron-Putin arrangement or freelance Russians acting the maggot.”

    (2) Technically competent, disgruntled Leftist/Communist supporter who wants to undermine Macron, but who doesn’t want Le Pen to benefit from it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marine Le Pen and the pro-Russian hackers

    "No one has claimed responsibility for the data dump, but it's widely thought to be the work of pro-Russian hackers seeking to influence the election in Le Pen's favor."

    What evidence is there that 'pro-Russian hackers' did the leaking? Why would the Russians be in favor of Marine Le Pen? Isn't it more likley the leak was done by Frence nationalists seeking to dilute the influence the multinationals and NATO has over France.

    1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)
      Stop

      Re: Marine Le Pen and the pro-Russian hackers

      "Why would the Russians be in favor of Marine Le Pen? "

      Wonders if poster has been living under a rock, or maybe a stone bridge...

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11515835/Russia-bought-Marine-Le-Pens-support-over-Crimea.html

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/marine-le-pen-crimea-russia-putin-ukraine-illegal-annexation-france-front-national-fn-a7507361.html

      http://www.france24.com/en/20170106-france-marine-le-pen-defends-trump-putin-policies-russian-cyber-attacks

      Google is your friend for more.

  28. trashsilo
    Childcatcher

    What a load of guff

    The main political parties are not in the race.

    The people seem no longer represented by the main stream parties or main stream media and have voted accordingly.

    Those scared by the actions and lack of control over this election script, should maybe consider the upcoming German election a real challenge.

    Joie de vivre le reg.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: What a load of guff

      In the UK if you think the UK is better off in the EU you have lost your place.

      Try being of centre right anti authortarian persuasion.*

      Now a bit stuffed.

      Basically in the gap between Lib Dem and Conservative.

      * This means

      1) Leave me alone, stop checking everything I do, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

      2) Do not take everything in tax.

      3) Do not micro manage.

      4) Allow businesses to make money so they can employ people and pay out to their shareholders####

      BUT control in form of

      1) Do not allow businesses to rip us off.

      2) Provide a safety net.

      #### Shareholders = everyones pension funds

      1. trashsilo
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: What a load of guff

        Personal freedoms are being lost or given a levy at an ever quicker pace.

        Privacy is arguably going to gone for future generations. This incompetent economic system puts price discovery on it all. I love to find free campsites though.

        The question is scale ?

        Do you want these bigger global corporates, bigger super rich, bigger govts, bigger amounts being skimmed off ?

        It does affect us all really.

        As to your persuasion I sympathiSe, though its democracy and its coming down to political lines besides left v right, in this case it was a clear rejection of main parties and then maybe elite nationalism v old nationalism.

        The future with automation does hold a reckoning.

        I see the middle getting crushed by the elite with the aid of automation, aided by corporate influence on weak unaccountable government policy and systems.

        So for me local accountability is the right side of history, Mac-Ron is odd and the 9Gb data stuff is fluffy guff.

        Good luck and remember the PS5 with the true VR, may well be closer than 2 years away, vive le PS5.

  29. handleoclast
    Coat

    I thought...

    I thought Macron made memory chips. Or am I confusing them with some other company?

  30. c1ue

    It is interesting how the fact that Macron is a bankster with little experience, a transparent exit from the Socialist party and even an actual Rothschild background - that doesn't seem to matter. Truth again stranger than fiction.

    Instead, this conversation is all about big bad Russia and the National Front.

    The National Front's rise in the polls has nothing to do with Russia - and everything to do with globalization, the 1% and the alienation of the 99%. The fact that center right, center left, and even the "socialists" all cleave to the same bankster/globalization principles - that's why the far right is rising.

    There's even a French Bernie - Melenchon - who also like Bernie is frozen out of the "official" left movement.

    I, for one, am fascinated by the ongoing events.

    Macron is the French Obama, only facing a female Trump with far more baggage in the form of Le Pen.

  31. notmyusername

    Hypocrisy

    The US has invaded, intervened, manipulated elections, killed democratically elected leaders, installed puppet extreme right-wing/terrorist military governments, etc. for a long time, and keeps "winning" markets, stealing raw materials, cheap labor force, etc., just like the UK, France... do and have done in the past.

    Colonialism is STILL a thing (Mali, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, all of them in recent times).

    Yet I barely see anyone here crying about it.

    You are a bunch of hypocrites, of the worst kind.

    I'm not justifying Russia if the interventionism was really the case, but, if we will compare the supposed reality vs. your reaction regarding govt. actions...

    Also: some leaked CIA documents clearly show how they can stake fake russian hacking... It's kinda ironic to read in a supposed "tech" forum, that people still believe everything they read from journalists and marketing from infosec companies. Attribution, in an era when the technology allows us to hide ourselves, and even impersonate anyone, and when the NSA can practically intercept all communications all over the world, is *very* difficult...

    Plus, what if they leaked emails of politicians? Aren't these politicians PUBLIC people, that we should know what they do, INCLUDING the details? Lets not forget, for example, that, thanks to leaked emails, Hillary Clinton got a LOT of money from shady middle eastern governments, stuff that apparently wasn't well known before, and that her campaign had previous knowledge of the questions her and other candidates would be asked...

    Even funnier is that they keep telling people they believe in an "open society", but clearly don't want to give us the details of their own lives. And these people are supposed to REPRESENT nations.

    Oh, and before you call me a "russian troll" (because of my weird english or something): I'm from South America, specifically Chile.

  32. PTW
    Pint

    Upvote 100+

    see title

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