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Details of hundreds of German politicians and celebrities hacked, published online

Friday, 4 January, 2019 - 18:47

Photocopies of identity documents, account numbers, addresses and personal telephone numbers of German politicians, journalists and celebrities  have been published online in a massive data breach according to German public television RBB.

The documents were put online via an anonymous Twitter account, which appeared as that of a “computer security researcher”, and which has also published from time to time, since 2017, confidential information on public personalities, including many German youtubers.

The content of the documents is confidential, but they do not contain, according to the German media who could read them, any significant political revelations. Regarding the Chancery in particular, no sensitive data has been made public, said one of the spokesmen of the federal government, Martina Fietz, on Friday morning. However, the documents could be used as the basis for new attacks or identity theft.

Information on MEPs from all major parties has been revealed, with one notable exception: the documents do not contain any information on the elected representatives of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), the main opposition force in the Bundestag (92 elected out of 730). However,  the documents do contain the contact details of about 80 members of the left-wing Die Linke party, as well as those of more than 350 members and activists, of the Chancellor Angel Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union.

The origin of the files remains mysterious. They contain both internal documents of the main political parties and instant messaging, suggesting that they may come from several different hacks. The timing of the publication of the documents is surprising: the information began to be put online on December 1, in the manner of an advent calendar, but had not attracted attention until more recently. The last publications date from December 28th.


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