Data belonging to hundreds of German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, were exposed online due to a massive leak that is the biggest data dump of its kind in the country.
According to Bloomberg News, the exposed data includes email addresses, mobile phone numbers, invoices, copies of identity documents and personal chat transcripts.
The data were leaked online via the Twitter account “G0d” (@_0rbit) that has been suspended. “The 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.” reported France24.
The leak was first reported by the German newspaper the Bild and the broadcaster RBB. According to the Bild, the theft of the data continued until the end of October but at the time it is not clear when it started.
“At first glance it does not seem that politically sensitive material was included,” RBB said.
“However the damage is likely to be massive given the volume of personal data published.”
“Personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the internet,” government spokeswoman Martina Fietz told reporters.
“The government is taking this incident very seriously.”
According to Fietz, the hackers leaked data belonging to political officials included members of the Bundestag lower house of parliament, the European Parliament, deputies from all parties, regional and local assemblies.
She highlighted that “no sensitive information or data” from Merkel’s office had been leaked.
The data was leaked online in December, but inexplicably the news was reported only this week.
The list of affected people also includes President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, celebrities and journalists.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the domestic intelligence service confirmed they were investigating the data leak
“According to our current information, government networks have not been targeted,” BSI tweeted.
The attack was reported by Parliamentary group leaders late Thursday.
Simon Hegelich, a political scientist at Munich’s Technical University, told to Bloomberg that it looks like the hackers got the passwords to Facebook accounts and Twitter profiles and worked their way up from there.
“It’s a very elaborately done social engineering attack,” he said Friday by phone. “It’s a lot of data that’s been dumped.”
Stay Tuned …
(SecurityAffairs – Data leak, German politicians)