The UK government’s former chief scientist Sir David King has said that the hacking of climate research emails was planned either by a government agency or by lobbyists hoping to derail the Copenhagen Summit.
In an interview with The Independent, King said that the theft was unlikely to be the work of amateur hackers due to the sophistication of the theft and it was likely that the operation was carried out by a national government.
“It's the sophistication of the operation. I know there's a possibility that they had a very good hacker working for these people, but it was an extraordinarily sophisticated operation," King said.
“There are several bodies of people who could do this sort of work. These are national intelligence agencies and it seems to me that it was the work of such a group of people," he said.
He said that some of the stolen emails date back to 1996 and sifting through the vast amounts of data to find the most incriminating emails was a massive task.
The release of that information onto a Russian server was aimed at disrupting the Copenhagen Summit on the environment and was a well-planned and financed operation.
"If it was a job done on behalf of a government, then I suppose there is the possibility that it could be the Russian intelligence agency," he said.
"If it was a maverick group then I suppose it could be the Americans, but I am hazarding a guess as much as anyone else. The only thing is, I've worked within government and I've seen this in operation. In terms of the expense, there is the American lobby system which is a very likely source of finance. Right now, the American lobbyists are a very likely source of finance for this, so the finger must point to them."