A 20 year old man has been arrested over a major data breach that leaked the details of nearly a thousand notable German politicans and celebrities.
The hacker, who has not been named, was arrested in the German state of Hesse on Sunday, and confessed to the crimes the following day.
The man said he acted alone, and that he had committed the crime in frustration at comments statements made by many of his victims, which included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The hacker, who used the pseudonyms “G0t” and “Orbit", was able to access many of the private accounts due to weak passwords.
Interior minister Horst Seehofer confirmed that many accounts were compromised thanks to poor security, saying “Bad passwords were one of the reasons he had it so easy...I was shocked at how simple most passwords were: ‘ILoveYou’, ‘1,2,3’. A whole array of really simple things.”
The man was traced through digital tracks he left online, as well as through witnesses, including a 19-year-old man who said he had spoken to the hacker via an encrypted messaging service.
If convicted, he faces a three-year prison sentence, however there is speculation this may in fact be lower, thanks to the wake-up call he has provided to German internet security chiefs about chronic weaknesses in their systems.
It's possible that the hacker could even work with the government or other organisations to help them improve their systems in the future.