Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

German politicians' data published online

German politicians' data published online

Over the past week, someone using the Twitter handle "_0rbit" and claiming to be a "security researcher" and "artist" published archive files appearing to containing personal data belonging to an array of German politicians.

Data records of politicians like Chancellor Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and also of journalists, musicians and television presenters have been posted online by the hackers. The breach appeared to target lawmakers from every major political party but one: the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that there is no indication of direct attack on government entities, rather the data was likely obtained by accessing cloud services, e-mail and social network accounts.

"At first glance, it does not seem that politically sensitive material was included", RBB said.

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The armed forces were unaffected by the leak, the defense ministry said.

The BSI met to coordinate the response of intelligence and other federal agencies.

German cyber-security sleuths said yesterday they were aware of suspicious activity targeting a lawmaker's private e-mail and social media accounts last month, but could not make the connection with a mass intrusion targeting hundreds of politicians until the legislators' data was published on a Twitter account.

German cyber-security analyst Sven Herpig said Russian Federation was a suspect, due to the method used and also because the country was facing four state elections in 2019 as well as elections to the European Parliament, the BBC said. Experts held the same group responsible for an attack ahead of the 2016 USA presidential election.

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The Kremlin, responding to previous allegations of cyber attacks on foreign computer infrastructure, has denied any involvement and said the accusations are part of a Russophobic witch-hunt.

National and local political figures have had their details hacked.

Picture taken on January 4, 2019 shows the website of the German Bundestag (lower house of parliament) with a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel displayed on the screen of a laptop.

ARD reported earlier that the data, from hundreds of politicians and published on a Twitter account, included addresses, personal letters and copies of identity cards, citing affiliate rbb.

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She said the government was not yet certain that the data had been stolen by cyber-hackers.

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