Carbon criminals make off with $38 million in carbon credits heist

By Steve Zwick of Ecosystem Marketplace
January 25, 2011



This is a cross-post under mongabay's partnership with Ecosystem Marketplace.

Cyberthieves who hacked the Czech carbon registry on Tuesday had intimate knowledge of different registries. They acted just days before a key security upgrade would have made the heist impossible, then sold the credits immediately – keeping the cash and letting the credits bounce around the system. Participants are now bracing for a fight over who will bear the loss.

A competent thief dumps his loot long before the rightful owner knows its gone – and the cybercriminals who hacked the Czech Republic's carbon-credit registry on Tuesday are nothing if not competent.

Nikos Tornikidis can attest to that. He works for Czech environmental asset management group Blackstone Global Ventures, which was the first company to notify others that the state registry had been breached earlier this week.

Registries are, in a sense, the central banks of environmental markets. They make sure that every credit represents an environmental benefit, and they do that in part by assigning serial numbers that buyers can use to see where the credits came from. Different regimes recognize different types of credits, even within the European Union, and that makes it nearly impossible to forge a carbon credit, or to sell one outside the system.

It doesn't, however, prevent the kind of breach banks have been guarding against for centuries.

Read the rest of the article: Carbon Crooks Swapped Stolen Credits for $38 Million in Cash















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CITATION:
By Steve Zwick of Ecosystem Marketplace (January 25, 2011).

Carbon criminals make off with $38 million in carbon credits heist.

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0125-emm_carbon_theft.html