Phone numbers, addresses, as well as private messages of German politicians, journalists and celebrities have been stolen and uploaded online by unnamed hackers. The massive leak did not spare Angela Merkel either.
German politicians and prominent newsmakers have fallen victim to what appears to be a brazen hack attack on their private data. MPs and government officials had their contacts, home addresses, chat entries, and personal messages hijacked.
The leaked files were uploaded to multiple sharing platforms and forums, and links to them were distributed through a Twitter account that had 17,000 followers. According to Bild, some of the file-sharing websites have servers outside Germany which makes removal of sensitive data quite challenging.
The Twitter account in question was being run by an “online platform” based in Hamburg, the tabloid has learned. The Twitter account used to spread personal data has since been deleted, according to the Hamburg data protection agency.
Justice Minister Katarina Barley has already called it a “grave attack” on the country’s democracy.
The leaks weren’t limited to contact information, as photographs of their IDs, letters, and even credit card information also emerged online. Yet, the majority of them only featured private data and didn’t include anything relating to politics.
Also, some of the data isn’t up-to-date. The files were uploaded in several packages and the last bit of information was published on Twitter in late December but was not spotted until Thursday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among those affected, according to local media. Among the information published were letters sent by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Chancellor Merkel. Other leaks, for instance, featured a chat exchange between Robert Habeck, leader of the Greens, and his wife and children.'
Read more: Massive data hack: Merkel among 100s of German politicians, journos & celebrities affected
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