A stranger last month leaked the details of credit cards, private communications and other information from German politicians, as well as data from rappers and other media personalities. The leak includes information from the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel and people belonging to all political parties in the German parliament, with the exception of the far-right Alternative Party for Germany.
German press point RBB first reported the news this morning. According to Associated press, a clutter of files was linked to a now-suspended Twitter account, which had about 17,000 subscribers. Arne Schönbohm, head of the German cybersecurity agency, said the leak contained information about 1,000 people, and one political party in Parliament was not affected, although he did not confirm that .
The data dump was released in the month of December, but has only been noticed now.
The information was revealed in the form of an Advent calendar throughout December. During the first half of the month, the Twitter account revealed detailed information about rappers and TV presenters, according to the daily. BBC. He started making the link with the data of the politicians later this month, with his last message on December 28th. However, some reports – including the BBC – stated that the authorities only realized it yesterday. Schönbohm told the Associated press that his agency was aware of individual leaks in December, but that the data files had only been "brought online on a large scale" yesterday.
Martina Feitz, spokeswoman for Merkel's office, said: "It seems, at first glance, that no sensitive information or data is included in what has been published, including with respect to the Chancellor. " Bild Schönbohm did not exclude this information, although some details were confirmed. "The German government takes this incident very seriously," said Feitz.
Among other details, the leak would contain copies of letters sent to Merkel, private family conversations by Green party leader Robert Habeck, and information on the financial accounts of Social Democratic Party member Florian Post – although Post also claimed to have seen at least one false message. Justice Minister Katarina Barley called the attack "serious". "The people behind that want to undermine confidence in our democracy and our institutions," she said.
The German government has been the victim of multiple cyberattacks in recent years. He had previously blamed Russian state-sponsored hackers. Last year, Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the national intelligence agency, accused Russia of trying to collect data for political influence campaigns, comparing the attacks piracy by the US Democratic National Committee in the 2016 elections.
But for this recent leak, Schönbohm said the investigators are still figuring out who might be responsible for the attack. It is not clear either whether it was an external attack or a leak from within the agency. The Guardian reports that a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior has not ruled out this possibility.