Hackers have released private data linked to Chancellor Angela Merkel and hundreds of other German politicians in the biggest data dump of its kind in the country.The information includes email addresses, mobile phone numbers and personal chat transcripts, according to a review by Bloomberg News on Friday. The data were leaked over the past weeks via a Twitter account called “G0d” that identifies itself as based in Hamburg and describes itself using the words “security researching,” “artist” and “satire & irony.”
It looks like the hackers got the passwords to Facebook accounts and Twitter profiles and worked their way up from there, said Simon Hegelich, a political scientist at Munich’s Technical University who has studied the manipulation of social networks.
“It’s a very elaborately done social engineering attack,” he said Friday by phone. “It’s a lot of data that’s been dumped.”
The German government is taking the attack “very seriously,” spokeswoman Martina Fietz said at a briefing with reporters on Friday.