Feeds

EU may re-ignite carbon trading following hack attack

Blowing smoke

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Some EU carbon emission trading registries may start trading again later this week following the Europe-wide suspension of trading in response to a hacking attack on 19 January.

The cross-continental shutdown followed the theft of around two-million pollution licence allowances worth about €30m in the most serious of three cyber attacks since the start of 2011 alone.

Selected (unspecified) registries will be allowed to resume trading later this week but only after they have filed notice and also after they have passed undisclosed security conditions, which reported involved the use of two-factor authentication for account login1. Much the same timetable was announced this time last week without any action.

In a statement, the EU defended its go-slow approach, essentially arguing it was better to be safe than sorry.

The Commission notes the existence of a broad consensus that security should take precedence over speed in determining when national registries can resume business.

It adds that most trading on the markets involves carbon futures rather than spot trades, the segment of the carbon trading market terminated by the suspension of carbon-trading exchanges. Spot trades involve only a fifth of daily market volume.

Carbon-trading registries apply a market-based approach to tackling carbon emissions. Polluters are able to buy and sell emission credits, established in the framework of an overall pollution limit, so cleaner more environmentally conscious factories pay less.

The cap and trade system is equally hated by free market economists and green activists. A segment of cybercrooks (the Underpants Gnomes in this narrative) view the system as a mechanism for turning an illicit income even though it is less than clear who would buy stolen emission credits. It's not exactly something you could sell down the pub or even on an underground hacking forum. ®

1 Two-factor authentication has been routinely applied for logins to corporate email systems for at least 10 years, so why it hasn't been applied to a high-value trading system is more than a little puzzling.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.