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A person sits in front of a computer screen in Germany A person sits in front of a computer screen in Germany  (ANSA)

Germany seeks clues after massive data hack

Several hundred German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have had personal details stolen and published on the internet.

By Nathan Morley

As the news of the data breach spread quickly across Germany, it became clear the few people in public life had been omitted from the attention of hackers.

Sensitive data belonging to hundreds of German politicians – including the Chancellor - has been leaked onto the internet via a Twitter account. The data hack also exposed the personal information of well-known celebrities such as Sido and Jan Böhmermann.

According to RBB, the regional broadcaster in Berlin, the huge cache of documents includes credit card details, identity card numbers, internet chat transcripts, emails and private phone numbers. Members of the European parliament, German parliament and regional parliaments have all had data stolen.

The hack, which was discovered this week, is the largest ever reported in Germany, but where the data originally comes from or why it was stolen and made public, is currently unclear.

Leaked data concerning Chancellor Angela Merkel included a fax number, an e-mail address and several pieces of correspondence, but there was "no sensitive data", neither from the Chancellery nor specifically to the Chancellor according to the government.

Germany's Ministry of Defence has confirmed they were not affected by the alleged hacking.

It is not clear when the hacks happened, but it is being reported much of the information appears to have been stolen in October 2018.

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04 January 2019, 16:57