Private data stolen from hundreds of German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have been released online, the government said Friday.
Deputies from all parties represented in the Bundestag were affected, as well as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Home addresses, mobile phone numbers, letters, invoices and copies of identity documents, was published via Twitter in December but inexplicably only came to light this week. "Personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the internet," government spokeswoman Martina Fietz told media. She also affirmed that "the government is taking this incident very seriously." Trying to find a motivation for this leak of data, Justice Minister Katarina Barley said in a statement „whoever is behind this wants to damage faith in our democracy and its institutions.”
Parliamentary group leaders were notified of the attack late Thursday and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the domestic intelligence service said they were investigating. By midday Friday, Twitter had suspended the account which made the stolen information public. For the instant, no supposition about the authors of this attack was made. Last March,almost a year ago, computer networks belonging to the German government came under sustained attack and data from foreign ministry staff were stolen.