Chancellor Angela Merkel, hundreds of German politicians' details leaked online in massive data breach

The country's cyber defence body BSI met held a crisis meeting immediately after the news of the hack emerged.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, hundreds of German politicians' details leaked online in massive data breach
Reuters photo

In a massive data breach, personal information of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and hundreds of other German politicians were published online by anonymous hackers. Details include credit card details, mobile phone numbers, addresses and private chats. 

A government spokeswoman later clarified that no sensitive information from Merkel`s office was among the personal data published online.

"With regard to the chancellery it seems that, judging by the initial review, no sensitive information and data have been published and this includes (from) the chancellor," the spokeswoman told a regular government news conference, as reported by Reuters.

The country's cyber defence body BSI held a crisis meeting immediately after the news of the hack emerged.

Taking to Twitter, the agency wrote, "Hacking attack against politicians: The BSI is currently intensively probing the issue in close cooperation with other federal institutions. According to what we know so far the government's confidential networks were unaffected.”

Political parties affected by the breach included Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria, the Social Democrats (SPD), Free Democratic party, the Left party and the Greens.

Politicians from the far-left Linke party were among those affected, including Dietmar Bartsch, leader of its group in the lower parliamentary house, a spokesman said. 

The details dumped on a Twitter account included addresses, personal letters and copies of identity cards, reported the country's media.

Twitter account @—0rbit started posting details from December 1. Initially, it leaked details of German celebrities and journalists including Jan Böhmermann, Christian Ehring, Til Schweiger, LeFloid and Sido. 

Details of politicians were published from December 20 onwards.

By midday Friday, Twitter had suspended the account. However, some users claimed to have accessed the archived pages.