A team of unidentified hackers has managed to steal "confidential" global warming data from the Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU), at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. ??
The hackers accessed 1,079 emails and over 3,800 documents which were subsequently posted on an anonymous FTP server in Russia along with the following note:
"We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents."
SophosLabs security analyst Graham Cluley responded to the critical breach by noting that the data had already been distributed over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.
"However much the Hadley Climate Research Unit may have wished their communications to have remained private, the truth is now that the genie is out of the bottle," explained Cluley. "Interested parties around the world have grabbed the archive of documents - so even if the Russian FTP site is shut down, others will be able to share the data to other interested parties."
So what did the stolen files contain?
?One e-mail, authored by research director Phil Jones, included information about climate statistics graphs that were formulated using a controversial technique.
"He alludes to a technique used by a fellow scientist to 'hide the decline' in recent global temperatures," reported the Associated Press. "Some evidence appears to show a halt in a rise of global temperatures from about 1960, but is contradicted by other evidence which appears to show a rise in temperatures is continuing."
Jones, however, denied that statistics were manipulated to conceal a worldwide temperature decline.
?"The word 'trick' was used here colloquially, as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward," he claimed in an official statement.
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