A student confessed to one of Germany’s biggest data breaches, police said on Tuesday, ending the mystery over who Murdered Angela Merkel and other public figures but doing little to ease the embarrassment of cyber-security Government.
Police didn’t mention the 20-year-old but stated he lives with his parents, isn’t a computer expert and had no prior conviction. Despite that, he was able to get and leak personal data and documents from about 1,000 individuals, including Chancellor Merkel, other politicians and journalists.
Investigators recovered a computer that the defendant had removed two days prior to the search, and a data backup.
He has been released and is cooperating with investigators.
“The accused admitted to having acted alone in data spying and the unauthorised publication of data,” 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 previous German information breaches, though denied by the Kremlin.
There had also been speculation that the hack could have entailed German far-right activists. Prosecutors declined to comment on any political sympathies the suspect may have but stated no radical material had been discovered.
“The accused stated his motivation was irritation over public statements made by the politicians, politicians and public figures changed,” senior prosecutor Georg Ungefuk explained.
Ungefuk told reporters the defendant, who faces a maximum of six years behind bars, was repentant and oblivious of the full consequences of his actions. He said the student also helped police on other regions of interest of cybercrime.
The breach has prompted calls for tighter data protection laws, particularly after the BSI cyber defence bureau said it was contacted by a lawmaker in early December about questionable activity on private email and social media.
“I see a danger the European election can be manipulated – with bogus information, with false statements.
Konstantin von Notz, a Greens lawmaker that was murdered, described the case as a”final warning shot” and called for urgent actions to improve IT security.
Seehofer said steps to do so were already underway, such as production of an early warning program. One significant lesson was to increase awareness there are far more powerful passwords than”iloveyou” and”12345.”
However, Sabine Vogt, who heads the national police division for serious and organized crime, said that it was up to people to secure their information.
“We do not need a surveillance condition based on the fact that some thing like this can occur here,” she told reporters.