German Politicians Suffer Mass Hacking

Just before Christmas the personal and private data, mobile phone numbers and financial information of German politicians including Angela Merkel and President Steinmeier was leaked via Twitter.

This attack included all parts of German politics and also journalists and well-known actors, comedians and artists. This attack seems not be for commercial or financial theft but for political destabilisation and was a focused attack that would have taken the hacker a number of months to achieve and so it certainly was a focused attack.

There are suggestions by Sven Herpig, a German cyber analyst, that because of some of the techniques used that Russia was probably the attacker as they reflected aspects to other Russian attacks, but there is no clear evidence of who is behind the attack which, must have been masterminded over a number of months in order to get such detail information. 

As no information from the far right party the AfD was exposed this suggests that this could have been a political attack rather than from another government, as Germany has four state elections in 2019 and elections at the EU Parliament. 

Now other governments are concerned that they also may have been similarly attacked. Twitter has taken down the account that showed links to the hacked data. However, the tweets are still on-line.

Justice Minister Katarina Barley said it was a "serious attack". "The people behind this want to damage confidence in our democracy and institutions," she said. 

The Berlin government is not sure who or what organisation might have been involved in the attack and some suggest it might have been a lone attacker, although the sheer volume of the information released is shocking and some German politicians believe this about an attempt to destabilise Germany. 

The Interior Minister Seehofer has also said that the preliminary analysis of the attack suggests that the data had been obtained by, "wrongful use of log-in information for cloud services, email accounts or social networks".

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