Feeds

EU may re-ignite carbon trading following hack attack

Blowing smoke

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?