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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Phishers net EUR3m in carbon markets attack

Fraudsters have hit the international carbon market, using a phishing scam to steal around 250,000 permits worth over EUR3 million.

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Have you lost your Carbon?

Butch Cassidy: You know, when I was a kid, I always thought I'd grow up to be a hero.
Sundance Kid: Well, it's too late now.
Butch Cassidy: What'd you say that for? You didn't have to say something like that.

When I grew up, one of my favorite Hollywood themes was bank robberies. From Bonnie and Clyde to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, crime movies always had daring, romantic figures up against impossible odds. And the bad guys were always challenging, creative.

Well, at least this hasn’t changed much, and it partly explains why I like fighting fraud and cybercrime so much. But now there’s a new target that, oh, I don’t know, probably won’t ignite Hollywood’s imagination that much despite the fact it’s so ingenious. I’m talking about Carbon.

The Big Carbon Robbery. Who would have thought. Raise your hands if you saw this one coming.

In a nutshell, it’s quite simple. Phishing emails leading to a fake carbon emission registry page were sent to thousands of companies around the globe. Employees from German and Czech companies are among those who fell for the scam, providing their credentials; these were later used to take over a total of 250,000 permits worth 3 million Euros in total. The cash-out phase was straightforward: the permits were traded in the emission trading market.

The move disrupted the entire carbon permit trading market as authorities tried to prevent the stolen licenses from being sold. It was too late.

Other than the piquant fact we talk about carbon, this wasn’t very much different than taking over a stock trading account.

Only it’s clever. Very clever. Makes you wonder what else is out there that can be taken over and traded in a free trade market. I already talked in the past about virtual goods, where the possibilities are virtually endless. Now this carbon thingy. Any other idea? Post here if you have any thoughts.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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Uri Rivner

Uri Rivner

Chief Cyber Officer


Member since

14 Apr 2008


Tel Aviv

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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