Global warming research exposed after hack

An anonymous hacker has exposed private e-mails and other documents that belong to a climate researcher

An anonymous hacker has posted private e-mails, files and other documents belonging to a noted climate researcher, sparking an international debate between skeptics of global warming and those who see it as an urgent problem.

The files include about a decade of e-mail correspondence belonging to Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Shortly after news of the leak began circulating Thursday, critics of global warming science zeroed in on some of the messages as evidence of bias in the climate research community.

Jones' e-mails offer some candid insight into the thoughts of a noted climate researcher and his peers.

A spokeswoman with the University of East Anglia confirmed that the data was taken from a university server, but noted that because "of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm what proportion of this material is genuine."

"We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry," she added.

On Friday, the research unit's Web site had been moved to an emergency Web server, presumably as a result of the breach.

The e-mail, which includes Jones' correspondence with other researchers and journalists, can be searched here.

The RealClimate Web site, a forum for climate change scientists, disputed skeptics' claims that the e-mails showed any attempt to manipulate results. "More interesting is what is not contained in the emails," the site noted. "There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’ [Medieval Warm Period], no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords."

Judging from the data posted, the hack was done either by an insider or by someone inside the climate community who was familiar with the debate, said Robert Graham, CEO with the consultancy Errata Security. Whenever this type of incident occurs, "80 percent of the time it's an insider," he said.

E-mail data dumps are a familiar way of settling grudges in the hacker community, but they happen in the political world too. Last year, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail correspondence was published after a hacker managed to reset her account password.

Tags Copenhagenglobal warminghacksecurity

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?