German cyber attack
News | 01/11/2019

Germany’s Major Cyber Attack: Private data of Politicians leaked by 20-Year-Old Man

About: German police arrested a 20 year old computer amateur for exposing the personal data of around 1000 influential personalities out of annoyance at statements made by them. Among the targeted people include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greens le...  Read More  

| News | Germany’s Major Cyber Attack: Private data of Politicians leaked by 20-Year-Old Man

German  Cyber Attack

A comprehensive confession made by a 20 year old man regarding the data breach attack has marked an end to the misery over the information leak of Angela Merkel and other public figures.

 

Styling himself G0d, the anonymous 20 year old published private information about journalists, politicians & celebrities on Twitter under the username @_0rbit.

 

The computer amateur managed to access & leak personal data of around 1000 people including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

The defendant is a student who lives with his parents. He is believed to have acted alone out of rage by the political statements made by public figures he targeted.

 

The target included politicians from every major political party except for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) raising a suspicion of their influence in this cyber crime activity. However there is no evidence of involvement of foreign intelligence or activists from the far-right AfD in this security breach.

Target Audience of the German  Cyber Attack

Investigation revealed that the information leaked & published online included:

  • Telephone Numbers
  • Addresses
  • Credit card Data
  • Photographs &
  • Private Communications

 

Almost 1000 politicians, celebrities & journalists were affected by the leak. Out of these some 50 attacks were more serious involving private correspondence or photos.

 

Among the targeted influential personalities include:

  1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel: The information published included her email address & several letters exchanged by her.
  2. Greens leader Robert Habeck: His credit card details & private chats with family members were leaked.
  3. TV satirist, Christian Ehring: It is known that the satirist’s 3.4 gigabytes of data was stolen & posted online including his holiday photos.
  4. Journalists, Public Broadcasters, TV stars & Rap groups: Public broadcasters ARD & ZDF, TV satirist Jan Böhmermann, rapper Marteria and rap group I.Z are known to have been targeted.
  5. Parliamentary Groups: These include the ruling centre-right and centre-left parties, The Greens, left-wing Die Linke and FDP. Only AfD was escaped.

 

Few of the affected personalities are known to have deleted their twitter & FaceBook accounts following the data breach.

Insights on how the German Cyber Attack occurred

The young man was arrested after police raided his parent’s house in west-central German State of Hesse on Sunday. They recovered a computer and a data backup that the suspect tried to destroy before the raid.

 

The anonymous German citizen is known to have cooperated with the investigators by blurting out the evidences that otherwise would have been impossible to find.

 

He is known to have exploited several vulnerabilities & learnt some hacking tactics online over a substantial period to carry out the operation.

 

Germany is still working to remove the exposed data from the Internet. The information that was leaked is not deemed as politically explosive & is known not to cause any harm to anyone in anyway.

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