Over the past week, someone using the Twitter handle “_0rbit” and describing themselves as a “security researcher” and “artist” published archive files appearing to containing personal data belonging to an array of German politicians. The apparent victims include Chancellor Angela Merkel, members of the Bundestag (Germany’s parliamentary body) and the European Parliament, as well as regional and local officials.
Today, a German government spokesperson acknowledged that at least some of the documents appear to be genuine, dating back to 2017. German deputy government spokesperson Martina Fietz told reporters that “personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the Internet… the government is taking this incident very seriously.” The data includes home addresses, mobile telephone numbers, letters, invoices, and copies of identity documents.
While the Twitter account, Blogger page, and other websites associated with the breach have been taken down, dozens of mirror sites remain up and running. Fietz said that none of the data regarding Merkel reviewed thus far contained sensitive information—Merkel’s data included copies of letters she had sent and received, two email addresses apparently tied to the Chancellor, and a fax number.