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Phishing Campaign Upsets Emissions Trading in Europe

A phishing scam has attacked the global market for carbon emission reduction resulting in the theft of about 250,000 emission permits valuing at least 3m euros during the 1st week of February 2010. BBC News published this on February 3, 2010.

Setting a particular amount of carbon dioxide a GNH (greenhouse) gas in emission permits, these special permits are bought or allotted. Consequently, industries that don't release the full permitted volume of the gas can trade their excess permits through a platform like the Emission Trading Authority or DEHSt of Germany, which enables the buying-and-selling of these excess permits.

Information pertaining to the phishing attack reveals that hackers targeted several companies with fake e-mails on January 28, 2010 in countries like New Zealand, Japan and those in Europe. The e-mails pretended to be from DEHSt.

Paradoxically, the phishing message directed the recipient i.e. the company to register its name on DEHSt's website so that hacker attacks could be countered.

Some of the companies, which became convinced of the ruse, ended up handing over their confidential information to the online criminals. The information, which was systematically fed into the criminals' fake website, was subsequently exploited to move over the emission permits onto other accounts. These accounts were largely in Britain and Denmark, from which the thieves quickly resold the permits.

Nevertheless, as the scam was uncovered as well as investigations conducted, a total of 9 instances of fraud got revealed. In one of them, a manufacturer believably lost 1.5m euros worth permits.

Remarked an employee of DEHSt, the attack represented an extremely sophisticated ruse. Spiegel.de published this on February 4, 2010.

However, it's felt that probably those behind the attack may not succeed in enjoying their coup's spoils. The permits contain IDs enabling to easily trace them. Also, several European nations instantly halted the operations of their agencies trading the certificates in order that no new dealings could take place.

Meanwhile, in another case of criminals targeting the global carbon market, a certain Eastern European country (name not exposed) had been attempting at trading used credits during the end-week of January 2010.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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