BERLIN • Private data stolen from hundreds of German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been released online, the government said yesterday.
The information, comprising home addresses, mobile phone numbers, letters, invoices and copies of identity documents, was published via Twitter in December but inexplicably came to light only this week.
It was not immediately clear whether the officials were targeted by hackers or were the victims of an internal leak.
"Personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the Internet," government spokesman Martina Fietz told reporters, confirming that Dr Merkel was one of them.
"The government is taking this incident very seriously."
Among those affected were members of the Bundestag Lower House of Parliament, and the European Parliament, as well as those from regional and local assemblies, she said.
Deputies from all parties represented in the Bundestag were affected, as well as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
But Ms Fietz said a preliminary investigation indicated that "no sensitive information or data" from Dr Merkel's office had been leaked.
The leak also exposed the private data of celebrities and journalists.
The daily Bild and public broadcaster RBB first reported the leak.
Bild said it was not clear when the data theft began but said it continued until the end of October.
Ms Fietz said the amount of Dr Merkel's data that was leaked was "not excessive" but warned that some of the documents and information published might be faked.
Parliamentary group leaders were notified of the attack late on Thursday.