Hacking incident prompts improvements in German cyber defences ahead of European Parliament Elections

After a 20-year-old student managed to hack and leak information in January about approximately 1,000 individuals - including high-ranked politicians such as Chancellor Angela Merkel - Germany is seeking ways to heighten its cyber defences, Reuters reports.

Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer shared his plans for improving Germany’s cybersecurity with Reuters earlier this month, which includes hiring hundreds of experts to join the BSI cybersecurity agency and the federal police force. He also outlined his plans for setting up warning systems that would monitor and detect cyber attacks, as well as updating current laws on security. Moreover, Seehofer said politicians and the general public should undergo cybersecurity training as they often fail at taking proper security measures, for instance, choosing easy-to-crack passwords.


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“We have to think about preventive measures,” Seehofer told the news agency.

The updates are time-critical with the European Parliamentary elections scheduled for May, and authorities keen to eliminate any loopholes that could influence the vote.