Update: 20-year-old arrested for doxing German politicians and stars
It seems that the culprit concerning the data leak on Twitter is found. The allegedly responsible person is a 20 year old German student who still lives with his parents. It seems that his motive was being unhappy with different public statements of politicians and stars – which lead him to gather and then release his massive trove of private data.
According to the Bundeskriminalamt the suspect claimed that he had acted alone. The authorities seized his PCs and are now looking for additional evidence.
Original article: Data of hundreds of German politicians and celebrities in Twitter
Christmas is a festive time. A time to relax, a time for your family and friends. Apparently it’s also the best time to start and publish lots and lots of personal details on hundreds of politicians, artists, and other celebrities on Twitter. That’s what happened last year, just before the Holidays in Germany.
Starting on December 1st an unknown individual released more and more mostly private information on German politicians and celebrities. According to RBB basically all German parties were affected: CDU, CSU, SPD, Grüne (Greens), Linkspartei (Left Party), and the FDP. The one without any data being released was apparently the AfD.
The data leaked was rather personal: names (obviously) addresses, email addresses, smartphone numbers and documents – things like internal communication and membership lists. Other data includes chats, IDs, credit card information, and more.
Amongst the people whose data was leaked were Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greens leader Robert Habeck, as well as German stars Jan Böhmerman, Til Schweiger, LeFLoid and Sido. The Twitter account on which the data was released was finally closed on January 4th.
Where did the data come from?
As of now no one is sure where all the information stems from. It is highly likely that it is the result of several hacks, breaches, and scams that some of the politicians fell for. The only thing that one can be certain of right now is that the data was definitely real. While some of it was older already, a lot of it is also up-to-date.
How can you make sure that the same thing does not happen to you?
While breaches of potential online services are outside of what you can control, there are a couple of things that can be done in order to protect your online (and offline) privacy:
- Change your password: If you still use the password from the mail make sure to change it.
- Use a unique password for each of your accounts.
- Don’t write down your passwords and never ever share them.
- Use strong passwords: Either come up with some good and secure ones or use a password manager, which will do the work for you
- Two-factor authentication: If available – use it. While some extra work is involved your accounts and data will be safer.
This article is also available in: German