Euro Commission suffers emission trading system hack

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Account details harvested.

The European Commission (EC) is to rethink its data security practices in the wake of a recent attack on its web-based Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The announcement follows a phishing attack which allowed cyber criminals to steal account data, and perform a number of fraudulent transactions.

Individual emails were sent to users of the ETS registries which redirected to a phoney log-in site to harvest the account details.

The ETS allows companies to trade carbon offsets in an attempt to manage and reduce emissions among member states.

The EC said that a small number of fraudulent transactions were reported on 28 January as a result of the phishing operation. Several member states are investigating the attack, and the EC is looking into the fraudulent web site itself.

The attack has also forced the EC to rethink security practices for the ETS and its members.

"The EC intends to review the ETS registries' security measures, and will prepare revised security guidelines as well as an action plan for possible future incidents," the EC said in a statement.

The attacks come at an inopportune time for the EC, as the ETS is preparing for the addition of the aviation industry to the ETS market in 2012.

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