The German government is seeking to improve its cyber defences in the wake of the country’s largest data breach of its kind, which exposed the personal data of hundreds of politicians. The move comes after it was revealed that an unnamed teenager was responsible for the breach, which affected German chancellor Angela Merkel, federal president Frank Walterand and Greens party leader Robert Habeck. The hacked data, comprising about 1,000 records belonging to celebrities and journalists as well as politicians, included contacts’ email addresses, private chats, mobile numbers, photographs and credit card details. However, the German information security agency (BSI) said no government networks were affected and a government spokesperson said no sensitive data from the chancellor’s office had been leaked.
The breach data was published on Twitter in November 2018 and several cases of suspicious activity on email and social media accounts were reported, but these were not immediately linked and German officials were made aware of the extent of the breach only in the first week of January.
The scale of the breach ahead of European parliamentary elections in May raised concerns about foreign powers seeking to influence the outcome of the vote. In 2017, data was leaked from Emmanuel Macron’s French presidential campaign just ahead of his election and in 2016, hackers accessed and stole data from the US political computer networks before the presidential elections.
Full Article: Germany races to boost cyber defences after breach.