Germany confirms €3m cyber attack on CO2 emission registry

03 February 2010 19:24  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A cyber attack on Germany’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions certificates trading registry has cost seven registry users and the country's federal enviroment agency €3m ($4m) and led to the system's suspension until Thursday, the agency said on Wednesday.

In an attack last week, hackers had managed to fraudulently obtain 250,000 emission certificates, each worth about €12, said the Umweltbundesamt.

Seven of 2,000 German registered users of the system had been defrauded. The agency and affected users had filed police charges, it said.

The system had a number of security features, but users needed to exercise caution in their dealings as well, the agency said and warned in particular against "phishing," that is, the fraudulent acquisition of usernames, passwords and other confidential data.

The German cyber attacks come amid recent reports of large-scale tax fraud in the country's CO2 certificates market.

According to business daily Financial Times Deutschland, Germany suffered tax losses worth several millions of euros last year alone because some buyers and sellers of emissions certificates had not properly declared and paid sales taxes on their transactions.

In related news, a Canadian environmental group said last month that CO2 emissions trading systems were wide open to fraud as they were impossible to properly police.

In the US, chemical, refining and other groups have opposed major climate change legislation that includes a emissions cap-and-trade plan.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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