Data breach hits all German Bundestag parties except AfD

, by Juuso Järviniemi

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Data breach hits all German Bundestag parties except AfD

A large-scale data breach has revealed personal information of German politicians from all parties in the Bundestag, apart from the far-right AfD. Among other information, the published data includes phone numbers, credit card data, addresses, private conversations and party membership lists.

The victims include Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Beside politicians, journalists and celebrities such as comedian Jan Böhmermann have also been targeted. The German broadcaster ARD reports that it has not found “incriminating content” among the released data so far.

According to BBC, the data were released in December on a now-suspended Twitter account but the breach only came to German officials’ knowledge this Thursday. Interviewed by BBC, British expert Graham Cluley said that the data theft “isn’t about extortion or financially motivated [but] about attempting to destabilise German society”.

Because of earlier incidents where Russia was suspected of stealing data from the German Parliament, and because all parties except AfD were targeted, Russia and German right-wing groups are the immediate suspects.

In a statement, German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said that “whoever is behind this wants to damage faith in [German] democracy and its institutions”.

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