Climate files likely stolen by Russian spies – UK media

The scandalous leak of the private emails of leading climate change scientists could have been a high-profile operation by the Russian security service, the FSB, the British media speculates.

Backing the speculation are words of Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, who is cited by a number of British newspapers as saying: "It's very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services. It's a carefully-made selection of emails and documents that's not random. This is 13 years of data, and it's not the work of amateurs."

The idea of FSB involvement points to the fact that, before being distributed throughout the Internet, the compromising data was posted on a server physically based in Russia, in the city of Tomsk. The server is said to be owned by “patriotic hackers previously used by the Russian secret service.”

The argument goes on to describe alleged involvement of the FSB in hacker attacks on Estonia and Georgia. The accusations were never proven.

Some newspapers theorize that the Kremlin wants to undermine efforts to fight global warming because it would make hydrocarbon resources in Siberia cheaper to extract.

The idea, however, contradicts policies voiced by the Russian government. Earlier this month, in his annual state-of-nation address, President Medvedev stated that making the Russian economy more energy-efficient is crucial for the country’s development. And on Monday, Prime Minister Putin announced a target of 15% less energy consumption for state-owned companies and agencies, among other measures to stimulate energy efficiency.

“Russian hackers” were widely mentioned by some Russian media and bloggers as perpetrators of the security breach at the Climate Research Unit, again based on the use of a Russia-based server.