Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hackers leak personal data of hundreds of German politicians

Hackers leak personal data of hundreds of German politicians

The data released does not appear to be politically sensitive (and some of it is out of date).

"Those responsible want to damage confidence in our democracy and their institutions", Katarina Barley, the German justice minister, said.

The Rheinische Post newspaper said in its online edition that Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were also victims of the leaks.

The private information included credit card details, phone numbers and email addresses, party spokeswoman Sonja Giese said. Nearly all politicians from major parties have had their personal information stolen and leaked, with the exception of the far-right AfD.

Hackers have stolen personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians and published them online via a Twitter account, according to German public broadcaster RBB. The authenticity of the leaked data could not be immediately verified and no discernible pattern could be detected to the leaked documents.

Bild said it was not clear when the data theft began but said it continued until the end of October.

The German Federal Office for IT Security said it was "intensively examining the case in close cooperation with other federal authorities".

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But he warned the amount of documents and personal data leaked could still have a considerable impact.

Given the vast range of data hoovered up, RBB said it seemed unlikely that it was taken from a single source.

German cyber defence services are working to coordinate the response of government agencies including the domestic and foreign intelligence agencies following the attack, Reuters reported.

"There are no concerns that the government network has been affected, however we will continue to investigate", the spokesperson added.

The now-suspended Twitter account @_0rbit published the links daily in the style of an advent calendar, with each entry representing a "door", behind which was a link to new information.

The account, which calls itself G0d, was opened in mid-2017 and purportedly has more than 18,000 followers.

She said the political officials included members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, the European Parliament as well as regional and local assemblies. It described its activities as "security researching", "artist" and "satire and irony" and said it was based in Hamburg.

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