BERLIN — German police raided the home of a 19-year-old man identified as a witness in a massive hack of politicians online accounts as Berlin scrambled to coordinate a response to the breach.
Police officers raided the home in Heilbronn, in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, on Sunday, and confiscated some of his technical equipment, German media reported. The man, identified as Jan S. in reports, confirmed to German public broadcaster ARD that he had been questioned “for several hours” by police.
The raid came as German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer planned to meet the president of the German Federal Office for Information Security, Arne Schönbohm, as well as the head of Germanys federal police agency, Holger Münch, on Monday.
The leaders are scrambling to respond to a breach that exposed data of hundreds of politicians, journalists, comedians and activists. The stolen information also concerned German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as members of the national parliament, regional state parliaments, the European Parliament and local officials. Among political parties, only the far-right Alternative for Germany appears not to be affected.
A Twitter user claiming to be Jan S. — who according to German media works in the IT industry — said he had “only been listed as a witness.”
He earlier wrote in a tweet that he knew the presumed hacker known as “Orbit” who is believed to be behind the breach and had also published screenshots of conversations between the two. He further claimed the hacker contacted him shortly after the data breach, announcing he planned to destroy his computer. The 19-year-old man stressed he “would clearly distance himself” from the hackers actions.