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24th Sep 2017

US neo-Nazis linked to Macron hack

  • Trend Micro: "It could even have been some alt-right activist in the US hacking Macron’s team" (Photo: wikipedia)

The spread of stolen emails designed to harm Emmanuel Macron was linked to US-based neo-Nazis, according to a French investigation.

France’s Le Monde newspaper reported on Thursday (11 May) that a website called nouveaumartel.com, which was named as a go-to place for the purloined emails, shared the same digital infrastructure as dailystormer.com, a website created by the US neo-Nazi activist Andrew Auernheimer.

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The emails were dumped online on 5 May, shortly before Macron won the French presidential election by a landslide.

The dump came two days after an anonymous user of an online message board called 4chan.org published fake documents purporting to show that Macron had an offshore fund.

“The French scene will be at nouveaumartel.com later”, the anonymous 4chan.org user said.

The dailystormer.com’s Auernheimer is a white supremacist convicted of cyber crimes in the US.

His website often popularises the work of Nathan Damigo, another US far-right activist who gained notoriety after physically assaulting an anti-fascist protester.

Auernheimer, in a posting on his site on 4 May, suggested that Damigo was about to publish anti-Macron material.

“The prophet of the white sharia Nathan Damigo is about to release the frogs from pederasty”, he wrote.

Frogs could be a derogatory reference to French people or to a cartoon frog, Pepe, adopted as a symbol by US neo-Nazis.

Pederasty could be a homophobic allusion to unsubstantiated claims, first spread by Russian media, that Macron was gay, or to the fact that he fell in love with an older woman in his adolescence.

The stolen Macron emails were eventually dumped on the website Pastebin and were popularised online by other US-based far-right conspiracy theorists such as William Craddick and Jack Posobiec.

The National Security Agency in the US said earlier this week that the Russian regime stole the Macron emails.

Trend Micro, a Japanese-based cyber security firm, said in April that the Russian regime had previously tried to hack Macron’s team.

But one of the firm’s experts, Loic Guezo, told EUobserver this week that the 5-May dump of stolen Macron emails was more amateurish than the Russian state’s modus operandi.

“It could even have been some alt-right activist in the US hacking Macron’s team. It’s fully open”, he said.

The links between US far-right activists, the Russian state, and the campaign team of US president Donald Trump are the subject of an FBI investigation in the US.

Trump this week caused a furore by firing the FBI chief.

He did it one day before he met the Russian foreign minister in the White House and gave a Russian photographer exclusive access to the event.

Meanwhile, Jack Posobiec, who has previously said that Macron is controlled by telepathy and by drugs, has obtained a White House press badge.

He attended a press briefing on 11 May on the FBI affair and later broadcast a video from the White House grounds praising the FBI chief’s sacking.

Investigation

Lessons for Germany from the Macron hack

The way the Macron team defended itself against hackers contained lessons for other political parties in Europe, but experts do not agree whether Russia did it.

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