German Student Admits to Data Hack That Hit Merkel and Others

A student confessed to one of Germany’s biggest data breaches, Authorities said on Tuesday, Finishing the Puzzle over who Murdered Angela Merkel and other public figures but doing little to ease the Humiliation of cyber-security Government.

Police did not mention the 20-year-old but said he resides with his parents, is not a computer pro and had no prior conviction. Despite this, he was able to get and leak personal data and documents out of about 1,000 individuals, including Chancellor Merkel, other journalists and politicians.

Investigators recovered a pc that the defendant had removed two days prior to the search, and a data backup.

He’s been released and is cooperating with investigators.

“The accused confessed to having acted independently in data spying and the unauthorised publication of information,” the Federal Crime Office (BKA) said in a statement.

“The investigations have provided no indication of the involvement of a third party.”

Suspicion had dropped on Russian hackers blamed for German information breaches, though denied by the Kremlin.

There had also been speculation that the hack may have entailed German far-right activists. Prosecutors declined to comment on any political sympathies the suspect may have but said no radical substance had been discovered.

“The accused stated his motivation had been irritation over public statements made by the politicians, journalists and public figures changed,” senior prosecutor Georg Ungefuk said.

Ungefuk told colleagues that the suspect, who faces a maximum of six years behind bars, was repentant and unaware of their full consequences of their actions. He said the student also helped authorities on other regions of interest of cybercrime.

The breach has prompted calls for tighter data protection laws, particularly after the BSI cyber defence agency said it was contacted by a lawmaker in early December about suspicious activity on private email and social media.

Shoring up safety is considered especially significant by German officials given a threat by Steve Bannon, former chief strategist of US President Donald Trump, to utilize the May European Parliament elections to undermine the EU.

“I see a threat the European election could be manipulated – with bogus information, with false statements. There are a lot of ways you are able to influence an election,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer Seehofer told Reuters after a news conference in Berlin.

Konstantin von Notz, a Greens lawmaker who was murdered, described the situation as a”final warning shot” and called for urgent actions to enhance IT security.

Seehofer said steps to do this were already underway, such as creation of an early warning system. One significant lesson was to increase awareness that there are more powerful passwords than”iloveyou” and”12345.”

But, Sabine Vogt, who heads the federal police branch for serious and organized crime, said that it was up to people to secure their data.

“We do not need a surveillance condition dependent on the simple fact that some thing like this can happen here,” she told reporters.


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