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Hackers publish personal data of hundreds of German politicians via Twitter

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
German chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Reuters

Hackers have stolen personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians and published them online via a Twitter account, according to German public broadcaster RBB.

Members of all parties, at both federal and state government levels, have been affected, with the exception—so far—of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD). Members of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) were particularly badly hit, with some 400 CDU politicians’ data leaked, reports German daily Bild. A number of journalists, celebrities, and musicians were also victims of the data theft.

The stolen information includes a variety of personal data, including politicians’ address-book contacts, and in some cases photographs of their ID cards, credit card details, bills and payment information, and even personal chats.

The identity of the hacker, or hackers, is as yet unknown, however the acquired personal data—some of which dates back to 2017—began to be published on a Twitter account in the days leading up to Christmas, and was reportedly only noticed on Thursday (Jan 3).

RBB reported that fraction leaders in the Bundestag were notified of the hack late Thursday. According to a spokesman for the Federal Office for Information Security, the National Cyber ​​Defense Center has convened an emergency meeting for Friday morning to coordinate a response between the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the intelligence services and the criminal police.