Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hacked Climate Change Emails Set Off Political Storm

Regardless of the merits of the climate change debate, one expert warns that any data breach should put organizations on alert to shore up their defenses -- and employees to watch what they say in email. Climate change debate aside, "If you think you might be doing something shady, don't blab about it in email."

Internet security and climate change had a surprising run-in last week, as thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit wound up on climate-skeptic web sites. The University says it is cooperating with police and launching its own investigation into how the emails wound up online.

While many universities have suffered data breaches by cybercriminals, the fact that this data was released to anti-climate change sites strongly suggests the breach was politically motivated, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. "There is no doubt in my mind that the break-in was a targeted attack," Storms said.

"Cybercriminals seek assets worth value on the black market -- private and personal information primarily. Large amounts of emails about climate research aren't worth much when it comes to identity theft," Storms said. "Further, if the attackers felt there was monetary value in this information, they would not have leaked it so readily."  Top Ttech News

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