German politicians targeted in mass data attack

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 05 January 2019
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The leak appears to have originated on a Twitter account operated from Hamburg and the authorities in the north German city say they are now working with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to stop the spread of German politicians' data.

Although nothing politically explosive is known to have been leaked, the sheer volume of personal data involved suggests the consequences could be considerable, says Michael Götschenberg, a reporter for German broadcaster RBB, who researched the attack.

UK-based expert Graham Cluley said the breadth of the latest attack suggested it was a co-ordinated effort involving a determined group over many months.

"This hack clearly isn't about extortion or financially motivated. This is about attempting to destabilise Germany society," he told the BBC.

It is suprising to see how many instantly consider this an attack on democracy "to destabilise Germany society". For now it looks like it is nothing more than what happens all the time online: weak passwords allow access to personal data. However, this one affects politicians and celebrities and not the average John and Jane Does; suddenly, data protection is their personal problem. Interestingly, this happened at the same time when digitalization officer Dorothee Bär wants to weaken data protection to make it easier for companies in the healthcare sector to handle private data of patients.