Friday, December 04, 2009

Breaking news: CRU enquiry announced

From Paul Hudson's blog - Breaking news: CRU enquiry announced.

Going to be headed by Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE who I've not heard of. No doubt google will tell you all you need to know about him.

But on Hudsongate, it seems that the plot is thickening. There are now credible claims (well, assuming the Times is credible) that the hack really does date back to about the time that Hudson says he first received some of the emails. While he claims to have been variously "copied in" or had them "forwarded", there is no sign of either occurring in the released database. I hope someone with authority will ask him to explain exactly where he got the emails from, and check whether it was definitely one of the participants. Of course if they did come from a hacker it would have been incredibly stupid of him to pretend otherwise in his public statements, so I don't really think this can have happened - but the timing is curious.


sylas said...

I might have to admit you were right. I hate it when that happens.

Steve Bloom said...

Well, Hudson works for Her Nibs, so I don't suppose he'll be able to get out of coughing up the info. It being an active police inquiry, though, I don't expect we'll be hearing about those details for a while. It is nice to see some coverage shifting to the actual crime.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I would just note that it is reasonably simple to forge the email headers in such a way that a naive user would not be able to ascertain where they really came from.

Deep Climate said...

The early date of the hacking does raise the possibility that the hackers (i.e. not one of the correspondents) forwarded the email to Hudson.

On the other hand, date coincidences are sometimes misinterpreted. Witness a champion conclusion jumper in action:

According to the Times of London, investigators of the CRU email theft (dubbed SwiftHack or Climategate) have concluded that the release of the stolen material was held back for weeks in order to cause maximum damage to the upcoming Copenhagen conference.

This development, along with new reports of breakins and other attacks at the University of Victoria, should finally lay to rest the baseless rumour that the hacked email archive was assembled at CRU as part of a contingent FOI response and released by an inside whistleblower, a canard that was started by – wait for it – none other than Steve McIntyre himself!

I presume Hudson has done the right thing and handed over the the email to investigators. Or I suppose they could just get BBC IT to give them access and determine the source of the originating IP address.

[No blockquote allowed here - keep forgetting that.]

Carl C said...

well it was definitely timed to coincide with "disrupting Copenhagen" in some fashion --- not least, witness Sarah Palin urging Obama to "boycott Copenhagen" due to climategate (and her newfound voice as climate skeptic, Obama "birther" etc! :-)

My guess it was an "inside job" at UEA, probably a disgruntled i.e. skeptic computer geek with access to the email and/or backup servers, which probably is easy to get to for many computing staff at universities. Probably started with a nosy IT geek seeing a "delete this email" msg from Phil Jones and then believing the worse so retrieved what he could from backups.