German authorities looking into cyber leak of data from politicians, Merkel

German authorities are reportedly investigating the leak of personal data belonging to hundreds of German politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The leak affected individuals tied to left and centrist political parties, but not Germany's populist right-wing party, the AfD, according to multiple German news outlets.

While the hack affected Merkel, a government spokesperson told multiple news outlets that no sensitive data tied to Merkel or the government was leaked.


The perpetrators uploaded the personal details of these politicians — including names, home addresses, phone numbers, photo IDs, chat histories, personal photos and others — and then pushed the leaked information out on Twitter. The social media giant later removed the posts.

The data, some of which reportedly dates as far back as 2012, appears to be taken from victims' smartphones.

German artists and other prominent figures were also affected in the hack, according to the reports.

BSI, a cyber defense body, has met to help coordinate a response across intelligence and other federal agencies following the attack, CNBC reported.

It still remains unclear who the hackers are and what their motives were.

Germany's government has faced a series of serious cyberattacks. 

Early last year, security experts said a hacking group widely believed to be linked to the Russian government has been executing cyberattacks against diplomats in North America and Europe, including Germany.

Germany disclosed that its security services discovered that Sofacy infiltrated its Foreign and Defense ministries in December, according to media reports at the time. 

"We can confirm that the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and intelligence services are investigating a cybersecurity incident concerning the federal government's information technology and networks," a German Interior Ministry spokesman reportedly said at the time.

Sofacy is also believed to be the likely culprit behind other attacks on European countries, including a 2015 attack on the German parliament as well as NATO.

Russia has denied involvement in the attack.