Daily cyber threats and internet security news: network security, online safety and latest security alerts
November 22nd, 2009

University Of East Anglia Breached, Climate Research Emails Published

The University of East Anglia has confirmed that a data breach has put a large quantity of emails and other documents from staff at its Climate Research Unit online. CRU is one of the three leading climate research centres in the UK, and a globally acknowledged authority on temperature reconstructions.

CRU declined to say whether it would attempt to halt the data breach. In a statement a spokesman said:

We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine.

A 61MB ZIP file was posted on a Russian FTP server late last night, local time. It contains over a thousand emails, and around three thousand other items including source code and data files. Emails are peppered with disparaging remarks and a crude cartoon of sceptical scientists is also included in the archive – suggesting the hacker roamed wide across the University’s servers.

A spokesman confirmed there had been a hack, and that staff documents had been published, but declined to say whether the University would be seeking to halt further dissemination of the data.

This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry.

CRU has been the centre of controversy for its roles in creating global temperature reconstructions, and maintaining the archive of temperature data. Recent temperature reconstructions characterise post 1980 temperatures as unprecedentedly warm, and downplay historical periods of warm weather. This is the so called “Hockey Stick” controversy, and many (but far from all) of these reconstructions involve key CRU staff.

In August, Phil Jones admitted CRU had failed to keep the raw data, which would permit outside parties to create their own temperature reconstructions. More recently, CRU dendroclimatologist Keith Briffa defended his sampling methodology which saw the inclusion of one tree core from the Yamal Peninsula create a Hockey Stick shaped graph, dubbed the “hottest tree in the world”.

The documents also appear to highlight a chummy relationship between sympathetic journalists – particularly the New York Times Andrew Revkin – and activist scientists.

Credit: The Register

P.S. A 61.93 megabyte file called Hadley “CRU FOI2009 zip” is already available at Mininova.

Share this item with others:

More on CyberInsecure:
  • University Of Massachusetts Amherst’s Health Services Network Breached By Hackers
  • University Of North Florida Server Breached, Private 100,000 Students Application Data Compromised
  • Antioch University Personal Database Stolen
  • Ball State University Servers Breached Due To Vulnerable Microsoft’s Internet Information Services 6
  • Private Details Available For Months On The Centers For Osteopathic Research And Education Website

  • If you found this information useful, consider linking to it from your own website.
    Just copy and paste the code below into your website (Ctrl+C to copy)
    It will look like this: University Of East Anglia Breached, Climate Research Emails Published

    One Response to “University Of East Anglia Breached, Climate Research Emails Published”

    1. The East Anglia emails were not hacked….this is a “spin” meant to portray this incident in a bad light….computer experts have released reports online stating their findings that the zip file containing the e-mails was compiled ON the computer AT the university moments before it appeared on the internet….furthermore, the zip file was released onto MULTIPLE SERVERS….both of these facts demonstrate that the emails WERE NOT HACKED- they were released on purpose by an insider blowing the whistle!

    Leave a Reply

    Comments with unsolicited links to other resources will be marked as spam. DO NOT leave links in comments. Please leave your real email, it wont be published.

    To prove you’re a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.