German IT security agency criticized over hacking response

German IT security agency criticized over hacking response
FILE---In this picture taken Nov.21, 2018 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) speaks in the Bundestag. (Ralf Hirschberger/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s IT security agency is coming under fire for its response to a massive online leak of hundreds of politicians’ and celebrities’ private information.

Several German lawmakers on Saturday criticized the agency’s apparent failure to inform affected politicians when it first learned of the leaks.

The head of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, Arne Schoenbohm, said the agency had been aware of individual cases of hacked data being posted online in December, but only appeared on a large scale Thursday evening.

Social Democratic Party lawmaker Jens Zimmermann told the Handelsblatt daily it was “extremely unsatisfactory” some parliamentarians had only learned of the hack through the media.

Authorities are investigating how the data, which included private addresses, cellphone numbers, chat records and credit card numbers, was obtained and by whom.