The European Commission (EC) suspended trading in carbon credits on Wednseday after unknown hackers compromised the accounts of Czech traders and siphoned off around $38 million, according to published reports.
EU countries including Estonia, Austria, The Czech Republic, Poland and France began closing their carbon trading registries yesterday after learning that carbon allowances had been siphoned from the account of the Czech based register. A notice posted on the Web site of the Czech based registry said that it was “not accessible for technical reasons” on Thursday.
The EC followed suit: issuing a statement on Wednesday evening saying that the EC was suspending transactions for all EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) members until January 26 in light of “recurring security breaches in national registries over the last two months.”
“The incidents over the last weeks have underlined the urgent need for all registries to ensure that these measures are speedily implemented,” the EC said.
The account compromise is just the latest security embarrassment for the ETS. In July, the Web pages of the European Climate Exchange (ECX) was defaced by anti carbon trading activists. In February, 2010, malicious hackers used targeted phishing attacks to gain credentials to the German Emissions Trading Authority and make off with millions of dollars worth of carbon trading credits, Der Spiegel reported.