By PAOLA TOTARO, LONDON
December 8, 2009
UNITED Nations officials have suggested that computer hackers who pilfered thousands of emails and files from a British university were probably paid to undermine the Copenhagen climate change summit.
And according to a British newspaper investigation, the emails emerged from a server operated from a small red building in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
The Mail on Sunday reported that the server is primarily used by Tomsk State University. In 2002, ''hacker patriots'' believed to be students from the institution acted against a site that had reported events in Chechnya and angered Russian officials.
UN officials confirmed that the files appeared to have been first uploaded on to a website from a computer in Russia, suggesting that the culprits were not amateur climate change sceptics but paid professionals.
They first appeared on a wesbite run by climate change sceptics on November 17.
On Sunday, Achim Steiner, the director of the United Nations Environment Program, said the theft of emails from East Anglia University's climate research unit, a globally renowned climate research institute and keeper of British temperature data, was reminiscent of the Watergate scandal, which brought down US president Richard Nixon.
But he stressed that it was ''not climategate, it's hackergate''. …