Hackers steal 2 million tonnes of EU carbon credits

Jan 20, 2011
The Department of Water and Power (DWP) San Fernando Valley Generating Station is seen in Sun Valley, California. Hackers have stolen two million tonnes of polluting rights in a five-day raid this week on the European Union's carbon emissions trading system, an EU source has said.

Hackers stole two million tonnes of polluting rights in a five-day raid this week on the European Union's carbon emissions trading system, an EU source said on Thursday.

The volume of carbon credits stolen in online action, which a spokeswoman was "possibly concerted", represents just a fraction of global industrial greenhouse gas permits, but is potentially worth many millions of euros.

The scale of the theft, which involved five unnamed EU states, was revealed a day after Brussels shut all 27 national trading registries for a week, citing inadequate online protection.

Credits stolen just from the Czech Republic were worth seven million euros.

Fourteen of the 27 European Union states need to boost their online security to minimum standards, the spokeswoman said.

The EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is the largest multinational, trading scheme in the world, but has repeatedly suffered .

Maria Kokkonen, spokeswoman for Danish EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard, did not list the countries immediately, but said powerhouse Germany was not among them as it had already reinforced security after a previous attack.

"We very much hope that this series of incidents speeds up the process" of tightening security ahead of a planned switch to an EU-wide registry in 2013.

"The sooner states take security measures, the sooner we can reopen the system," she stressed.

Last year a series of emails sent to trick users into divulging their passwords, a type of attack known as "phishing," sparked panic and forced a halt in trading in numerous countries.

The European police organisation Europol estimate a value added tax (VAT) scam on carbon credits in 2008 and 2009 netted criminals five million euros.

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User comments : 9

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nuge
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2011
Why can't they learn? Whomever smelt it, dealt it.
gwrede
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 20, 2011
I can't help it, but I actually lauhed with tears in my eyes.

I've got a little SQLite database, in which I'm going to add a new table, called MyToyMoney. I'll deposit into it a thousand play Euros. When someone hacks out 500 of them, I'll be utterly helpless, and cry.

There's nothing I can do, until the thief gives them back. Gasp, what if he sells them to someone??
MorituriMax
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 20, 2011
Dammit, we wouldn't be having this problem if Al Gore hadn't invented hackers.
abhishekbt
3.5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2011
@gwrede: Exactly my concern!

What are those hackers going to do with these credits anyway? Last I checked there was no bank which accepted CCredits and returned cash with interest.
Quantum_Conundrum
2 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2011
@gwrede: Exactly my concern!

What are those hackers going to do with these credits anyway? Last I checked there was no bank which accepted CCredits and returned cash with interest.


presumably, the "thief" is a government or corporation, OR someone who intends to sell the credits to a government or corporation on a black market.

How they could possibly facilitate this transaction in a useful manner without getting caught is another matter.
dogbert
3.3 / 5 (9) Jan 21, 2011
Wow! [Stops to laugh some more!]

The common retort is "You can't make this stuff up!", but apparently, you can.

Even massive international scams can be scammed.

Somewhere, a cow is farting, and there are insufficient funds to pay for the act.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2011
Who gives a ****?
Evil_Conservative
2.7 / 5 (3) Jan 21, 2011
In the theme of this whole Carbon credit trading system being a crap job of redistribution of wealth, maybe the intent here wasn't to try and offload these on the black market, maybe its simply to take them OFF the trade completely so they cannot be purchased or traded? Call it a pre-emptive attack against global socialism? hmmmm... Okay gotta go I see a black chopper circling.
zslewis91
2 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2011
@gwrede: Exactly my concern!

What are those hackers going to do with these credits anyway? Last I checked there was no bank which accepted CCredits and returned cash with interest.


presumably, the "thief" is a government or corporation, OR someone who intends to sell the credits to a government or corporation on a black market.

How they could possibly facilitate this transaction in a useful manner without getting caught is another matter.


first let me say your guys are great, very funny stuff.....minus......CC, once again you fail me with your lack of thought...i thought i was starting to like you:) guess not...well...the black heli's are going round and round and me and my husband(im a man with a hubby) are have gay sex in church right on the alter...think its time to go read my bible...thanks CC