Angela Merkel among hundreds of German politicians hacked amid blast targeting far-right

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Updated

January 05, 2019 00:05:49

Data and documents belonging to hundreds of German politicians have been hacked and posted online via Twitter.

Key points:

  • The far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) was the only party not affected by the hack
  • However the right-wing party was the target of a bomb blast outside its offices in Saxony
  • Nobody’s owned up to the hack, but police have detained three men over the blast

The leak, which saw the data posted in daily batches before Christmas on a Twitter account that has been active since mid-2017, affects all parties in parliament except the far-right Alternative for Germany, public broadcaster RBB reported.

It said there appeared to be no system to what was post as all major German parties except for the far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) were affected.

Although it reportedly includes personal information such as mobile phone numbers, addresses, internal party communications and in some cases bills and credit card details — some of the data years old — there seem to be no politically sensitive documents.

Politicians from the far-left Linke party were among those affected, including Dietmar Bartsch, leader of its group in the lower parliamentary house, a spokesperson said.

Local media reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were also victims of the leaks.

The identity of the hackers and their motive were not known.

Bild newspaper said the secure internal network of Germany’s government was not hit by the hackers, citing sources inside the BSI.

Three men arrested for blast outside of far-right offices

The hack comes amid an explosion that targeted an office of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) far-right party in the eastern state of Saxony.

Local police have detained three men, and the motive for the attack is not yet clear.

No one was injured in the explosion outside the AfD office in the city of Doebeln.

The blast set the office on fire and damaged vehicles and nearby buildings, Saxony’s LKA criminal investigation office said in a statement.

The LKA said its anti-terrorism unit had determined that the explosion was an escalation in politically motivated attacks targeting AfD offices in Saxony that are usually limited to acts of vandalism.

“The attack against the AfD office in Doebeln is special given that the explosion was intended to harm people,” the LKA said.

Saxony was the site of far-right riots and demonstrations sparked by the stabbing to death of a Cuban-German man in the city of Chemnitz in August, initially blamed on two migrants from Iraq and Syria.

The riots, which featured skinheads performing the Hitler salute and chasing migrants in the streets of Chemnitz, highlighted the depth of a rift created by Ms Merkel’s decision in 2015 to welcome almost one million asylum seekers, mainly Muslims from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

While Saxony has been a large home for Germany’s far-right, it is also home to many supporters of the hard-left Die Linke, which is the second-largest party in the regional assembly.

Police said the three men it detained were aged 29, 32 and 50.

The LKA’s anti-terrorism unit is still investigating the incident.

Reuters/ AP

Topics:

hacking,

world-politics,

government-and-politics,

police,

law-crime-and-justice,

germany

First posted

January 05, 2019 00:03:56



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