Personal data belonging to Chancellor Angela Merkel included in hack of hundreds of German politicians
Personal data belonging to hundreds of German politicians, celebrities and public figures has been leaked online by unknown holder of a Twitter account.
The Twitter data leak came to light last Friday, and included contacts, private chats and financial details that belonged to senior figures from every political party in the German political establishment, except the far-right AfD party.
The data was leaked by in the form of an advent calendar, but only came to light late last week. TheTwitter account @—0rbit began posting links on a daily basis in early December to the data, and has been hastly closed down.
However the Hamburg-based Twitter account reportedly had more than 18,000 followers, and described its activities as “security researching” and “satire and irony”.
Der Spiegel reported that the Twitter account followed only a couple of others, including anonymousnews.ru, a website known for spreading far-right hate speech.
It all began, according to the Guardian newspaper, when data belonging to German celebrities and journalists was posted online from early December.
But then on 20 December the Twitter account also began posting information from German politicians, including personal phone numbers and addresses, internal party documents, credit card details and private chats.
Among those caught up in the data leak are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cabinet members and the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Letters both to and from Merkel were among the documents leaked, and reportedly showed email addresses and a fax number.
A government spokeswoman said no sensitive information from the chancellory had been leaked.
But the Guardian reported a government spokeswoman, Martina Fietz, as saying that the leaks affected politicians of all levels including those in the European, national and regional parliaments. “The German government is taking this incident very seriously,” she reportedly said, adding that faked documents could be among the cache.
In 2013 Merkel was said to have had her mobile phone hacked by US intelligence agents, according to Edward Snowden NSA whistleblowing leaks.
After the revelations, she demanded a full explanation.
That report soured Germany’s relationship with the US at the time.
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