Police didn’t name the 20-year-old but stated he resides with his parents, isn’t a computer expert and had no previous conviction. Despite this, he managed to access and flow personal data and records out of about 1,000 people, including Chancellor Merkel, other politicians
The student was arrested after police searched a property in the central state of Hesse on Sunday evening. Investigators recovered a pc that the suspect had eliminated two days prior to the search, and a data backup.
He has been published and is cooperating with investigators.
“The accused confessed to having acted alone in data mining and the unauthorised publication of data,” the Federal Crime Office (BKA) said in a statement.
“The investigations have so far provided no sign of the participation of a third party.”
Suspicion had fallen on Russian hackers blamed for previous German data 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 defendant may have but stated no radical material was discovered.
“The accused stated his motivation had been irritation more than public statements made by the politicians, politicians and public figures affected,” senior prosecutor Georg Ungefuk said.
Ungefuk told colleagues that the defendant, who faces a maximum of six years behind bars, was repentant and oblivious of the full consequences of their actions. He said the student also helped authorities on different regions of interest of cybercrime.
The breach has prompted calls for tighter data security legislation, particularly after the BSI cyber defence bureau said it had been approached 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 from 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 can be manipulated – with fake information, with false statements.
Konstantin von Notz, a Greens lawmaker who had been hacked, described the situation as a”final warning shot” and called for urgent actions to improve IT security.
Seehofer said steps to do this were already underway, such as production of an early warning system. One important lesson was to raise awareness that there are more effective passwords compared to”iloveyou” and”12345.”
But, Sabine Vogt, who heads the national police division for serious and organized crime, said it was up to people to secure their data.
“We don’t want a surveillance condition based on the fact that some thing like this could occur here,” she told reporters.