AN email address and fax number belonging to Angela Merkel, along with several letters to and from the German Chancellor, were reportedly among personal data and documents on hundreds of German politicians and others that have been posted online.

Authorities are investigating how the information, which was posted on a Twitter account was obtained. A spokeswoman for Merkel, Martina Fietz, said the government was taking the matter “very seriously”.

The data reportedly includes information such as mobile phone numbers, addresses, internal party communications and in some cases personal bills and credit card details, with some of the data years old.

Public broadcaster RBB said there seemed to be no politically sensitive documents.

Fietz, who said the Chancellery was informed of the leak on Thursday night, added: “As regards the Chancellery, it appears at first sight that no sensitive information and data are included in what was published, including regarding the Chancellor.”

News agency dpa reported that the information included a fax number and email address belonging to Merkel and several letters to and from the Chancellor.

The Twitter account in question, which was still online early yesterday with about 17,000 followers but had been suspended by around midday, had been

active since mid-2017.

The links it posted suggested that information on politicians from all parties in parliament except the far-right Alternative for Germany had

been shared in daily batches before Christmas, along with data on YouTubers and other public figures.

However, Interior Ministry spokesman Soeren Schmidt

said it appeared that all parties in parliament had been affected. The last post was on

December 28.

“By what means these data that have now been published were obtained can’t be stated with certainty at this time,” Schmidt told at a regular government news conference in Berlin.

He added that that means authorities cannot say whether a hacker attack was to blame.

The government’s IT security agency said its initial analysis was that government networks were not affected.

Germany has seen cyber attacks on government

and parliament computer

systems in recent years. Fietz cautioned that previous experience suggested such data dumps can include fake information.