Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category
Over the past week, someone using the Twitter handle "_0rbit" and describing themselves as a "security researcher" and "artist" published archive files appearing to containing personal data belonging to an array of German politicians. The apparent victims include Chancellor Angela Merkel, members of the Bundestag (Germany's parliamentary body) and the European Parliament, as well as regional and local officials.
Today, a German government spokesperson acknowledged that at least some of the documents appear to be genuine, dating back to 2017. German deputy government spokesperson Martina Fietz told reporters that "personal data and documents belonging to hundreds of politicians and public figures were published on the Internet... the government is taking this incident very seriously." The data includes home addresses, mobile telephone numbers, letters, invoices, and copies of identity documents.
While the Twitter account, Blogger page, and other websites associated with the breach have been taken down, dozens of mirror sites remain up and running. Fietz said that none of the data regarding Merkel reviewed thus far contained sensitive information—Merkel's data included copies of letters she had sent and received, two email addresses apparently tied to the Chancellor, and a fax number.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany's renewable power sector produced more electricity than coal in 2018 for the first time ever, with renewables providing 40 percent of the year's produced electricity and coal providing 38 percent.
Of course, "renewables" include an aggregate of different sources—solar, wind, hydroelectric, and biomass—while coal is just a single fuel source (renewable energy has not yet displaced all fossil fuel use in Germany, you'll note). But coal has long been a staple of the country's energy mix, and Germany looks poised to reduce the amount of coal-fired power on its grid significantly, even shutting down its last coal mine in November. From now on, coal for the approximately 120 coal-fired power plants that still power the German grid will be imported from the US, Russia, or Colombia, according to Bloomberg.
The massive year for renewables was led by continued expansion in the wind energy sector. German wind power output was up 5.4 percent year over year, and output is expected to increase again in 2019. Alone, wind contributed to covering 19 percent of Germany's 2018 electricity demand, the largest source second only to lignite coal.