The German Central Office for the Suppression of Cybercrime and the Federal Criminal Police Office announced Tuesday that they have arrested a 20-year-old German citizen suspected to have hacked and released the personal and financial data of hundreds of German public figures, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, along with members of their respective political parties.
Other high profile politicians, journalists and other figures’ information was also published.
The hacker, whose identity has been kept secret by the authorities, released cell phone numbers, credit card information, photographs and other private communications of the victims. He has confessed that he worked alone and that “he acted out of annoyance over public statements made by the politicians, journalists and public figures concerned.”
Links to the information hacked were reported to have been sent out in links via twitter and had gone unnoticed until a prominent German YouTube creator reported that his account had been hacked.
The suspect was tracked down within days by a special police cyber task force that was formed using the combined resources of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security and the National Cyber Defense Center.