German Police have made an arrest over a mass leak of politicians’ personal data.
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel was among those who had their data gathered and published on Twitter, along with a host of other German politicians.
According to the BBC, around 1,000 politicians, celebrities and journalists were targeted by the cyber-attack. This may well be the largest attack of this kind in German history.
The data leaked included private messaging conversations, financial records and contact information, which were posted online by Twitter user @_0rbit.
Initial reactions looked to Russia, who have been accused of previous similar attacks on Germany.
However, a 20-year-old unnamed suspect from Hesse, confessed to the breach and has been detained since Sunday. However, the confession has not yet been confirmed by German police forces.
Hesse local papers branded the attacker as a ‘loner’ who lives with his parents. Police forces believe he acted alone out of anger.
According to the police, “the defendant stated that he acted out of anger at the public statements of the politicians, journalists and public figures concerned”.
Although there were reports of suspicious activity from a member of parliament in December, the attack went unnoticed, which has led to criticism of the German security forces.
However, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer defended the security forces on Tuesday, saying “the authorities have acted very quickly, very efficiently, very effectively”.
Who was attacked?
Federal chancellor Angela Merkle had email addresses and letters stolen, along with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The majority of all major Bundestag parties, including The Greens, Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Die Linke. Green leader Robert Habeck had his credit card details posted online.
The right-wing part, Alternative Fur Deutschland (AfD), were not targeted.
This has created large-scale anxiety, with many prominent politicians deleting social media accounts altogether.
This had led to many calls for German security law to be reformed.
Seehofer is due to make a statement in the coming week, but has said no vital government data had been leaked.
This has provided a wake-up call for German security forces, after being successfully attacked by a 20-year-old lone worker.