Credit card numbers are so passe. Today’s hackers know the real powerhouse data to steal is emission certificates.

That’s exactly what hackers went after last week when they obtained unauthorized access to online accounts where companies maintain their carbon credits, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

The hackers launched a targeted phishing attack against employees of numerous companies in Europe, New Zealand and Japan, which appeared to come from the German Emissions Trading Authority. The workers were told that their companies needed to re-register their accounts with the Authority, where carbon credits and transactions are recorded.

When workers entered their credentials into a bogus web page linked in the e-mail, the hackers were able to hi-jack the credentials to access the companies’ Trading Authority accounts and transfer their carbon credits to two other accounts controlled by the hackers.
According to the BBC, it’s estimated the hackers stole 250,000 carbon credit permits from six companies worth more than $4 million. At least seven out of 2,000 German firms that were targeted in the phishing scam fell for it. One of these unidentified firms reportedly lost $2.1 million in credits in the fraud.

  1. ChuckM says:

    So, there is no tracking from where a credit came from… specifically what was done to the environment (or not done), by a specific company… to actually earn the credit?

    If not, then this system is ripe for the picking…. they may as well be handing out cash.

  2. chuck says:

    So how long before the companies that have been buying carbon credits realize they can just “counterfeit” their own?

    (I use the word “counterfeit” carefully – is it really counterfeiting to make something that has no value? Or that another company (or Al Gore) can just generate without doing anything?

    Suggestion for John/Adam on NoAgenda: start the “NoAgenda carbon credit exchange” – then you won’t have to beg for money every week.

  3. Ah_Yea says:

    ChuckM, you mean ripe for corruption??

    Oh wait!!

    BTW, I find it amusing that it’s now ok to parody the sacrosanct global warmers.

  4. Greg Allen says:

    You know a story is a load of crap whenever a right wing blogger tries to attach Al Gore to a story.

    Those guys have some creepy obsession with him.

  5. Uncle Dave says:

    #4: Wow! If there is ever something no one — and I mean NO ONE — has ever accused me of being is a right-wing blogger!

    Cap and trade is a scam, pure and simple. You don’t have to be right-wing to see and understand that. It is a blight, tarnishing those who want to do something about improving the environment.

  6. Greg Allen says:

    >> # 5 Uncle Dave said, on February 4th, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    >> #4: Wow! If there is ever something no one — and I mean NO ONE — has ever accused me of being is a right-wing blogger!

    Sorry. But it’s an easy mistake.

    Bringing Al Gore (or Nanci Pelosi or Michael Moore) into a story where HE IS NEVER MENTIONED is exactly what the right wing crazies do.

    You may reconsider your political credentles.

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    Uncle Dave,

    I have to agree with Greg on this. Whenever the right wing nuts want to vent their spleen on global warming, they invoke Gore’s name with delicious glee. Somehow suggesting he is involved is enough for most of the wing nuts to wet their pants.

    You invoked Gore in an attempt to raise the hits and comments.

  8. honeyman says:

    #6 & #7

    There’s a politician involved. It’s all you need to know to suspect a scam. Left and Right merely suggests the arena.

  9. Lou Minatti says:

    Gosh, Al Gore is the one politician most associated with global warming (now called climate change) and you’re shocked, just SHOCKED when he’s tied in with the scam. Al’s made a sweet billion (yes, billion) off this scam and he’s made a sucker out of all of us.

  10. oereye says:

    There is tracking of trades (the “Community Independent Transaction Log”) but the whole control system is weak. The “phishing” attack is not an isolated scam – a Europol investigation in December 2009 found that up to 90 per cent of the trades on some EU carbon exchanges were down to VAT “carousel” fraud. The underlying problem is that carbon trading renders a whole set of incommensurable practices equivalent in order to make a single tradeable commodity, to the point that it is then unclear what is being traded. The resulting system is a scammers’ paradise.

  11. Uncle Dave says:

    Greg & Fusion: Gore is intimately involved with the whole cap and trade/carbon credits scam, so it is perfectly legitimate to invoke him here. What is An Inconvenient Truth but a sales pitch to get the laws in place for him to make a fortune.

  12. Ah_Yea says:

    #11 Uncle Dave.

    Typical response from those who don’t like facing the facts.

    Shoot the messenger.

  13. deowll says:

    The entire situation as described is so foolish in so many ways that it boggles the mind.

  14. Dirty Hairy says:

    Carbon credits are climate change. 😉

  15. Uncle Dave says:

    #12: Climate change (I believe it’s changing, but not as a result of man-made effects) is one thing. Cap and trade/carbon credits is something else.

    So, just to be clear, you actually believe cap and trade/carbon credits is a legitimate way to help the environment. You don’t believe that Gore, as the world’s most famous proponent of it, isn’t attempting to scam the public in a get rich quick scheme. Is that correct?

    Since I believe it’s a scam and Gore is involved with it, it is perfectly legitimate to use Gore in an post about it all.

  16. Skeptic says:

    Climate change scheming without Gore… is like the Holocaust without Hitler.

  17. cornholer says:

    man made climate change is a fraud. its over. its now a joke to all but the retarded.

  18. Rectal Dysfunction says:

    #4 – Gore started the original Climate Change scam and is now the poster child for all climate change scams.

    If you were to really dig, I bet he’s just as slimy and phony as John Edwards.

    On the other hand, I’d love to be able to afford a lifestyle that gave me a carbon footprint similar to his.


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