Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Massive data attack in Germany targets Merkel, hundreds of politicians

Massive data attack in Germany targets Merkel, hundreds of politicians

All major parties except the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) were affected, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

According to RBB, the regional broadcaster in Berlin, the huge cache of documents includes credit card details, identity card numbers, internet chat transcripts, emails and private phone numbers.

He said it made ideal sense that none of the targets in this hacking campaign was from Germany's far right, and that it appeared aimed at "undermining the German political process and essentially stoking fires of the mob".

Personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians and public figures have been published online, the government said on Friday, adding that no sensitive material from Chancellor Angela Merkel's office was released.

However, Dietmar Bartsch, parliamentary head of the left-wing Die Linke party, called the secrecy "completely unacceptable" and asked if the office had "something to hide".

The BSI said in a statement that it was contacted by a lawmaker in early December about suspicious activity on their private email and social media accounts.

Bild newspaper said all the data stolen in the attack dated back to before October 2018 but it was not clear when it began.

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She told reporters that "as regards the chancellery, it appears at first sight that no sensitive information and data are included in what was published, including regarding the chancellor".

Taking to Twitter, the agency wrote, "Hacking attack against politicians: The BSI is now intensively probing the issue in close cooperation with other federal institutions".

An interior ministry spokesman refused to confirm or deny whether the documents had been published following an external hacking attack on the German parliament or an internal leak.

However, Merkel's fax number, email address and several letters to and from her were among the leaked data.

As for the possible motive of the move, it is yet unknown.

Germany's BSI federal cyber agency said Friday it was as yet unclear who had perpetrated the hack.

Germany Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the federal government condemned the cyberattacks and said the perpetrators sought to damage confidence in the country's democracy and its institutions. MPs, Euro MPs and MPs from state parliaments were affected, said Martina Fietz. Spiegel reported that the Twitter account only followed a couple of others, including anonymousnews.ru, a site known for spreading far-right hate speech.

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