German police search flat of 19-year-old man after data breach: rbb

BERLIN (Reuters) - German federal police on Sunday searched the apartment of a 19-year-old IT worker in the Southern city of Heilbronn as part of investigations into a far-reaching data breach, broadcaster rbb said on Monday.

Police searched the apartment and household rubbish of Jan Schuerlein, who it currently being treated as a witness, and took away technical devices, rbb said, citing security sources.

Germany’s government said on Friday that personal data and documents from hundreds of politicians and public figures, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, had been published online in what appeared to be one of Germany’s biggest data breaches.

According to rbb, Schuerlein previously said on Twitter he had been in touch with user “0rbit”, who is suspected to have committed the data breach via a Twitter account which has been shut down.

Schuerlein on Twitter posted a screenshot of an online chat he had with “0rbit” on Jan. 4, in which the latter said he would destroy his own computer equipment. Schuerlein told journalists he cooperated with police, rbb said.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Michael Perry