Media Questions and Answers from the Norfolk Police regarding the closing of Climategate

Operation Cabin Q&As (from the Norfolk Police here PDF)

The following questions and answers are an abridged version of Norfolk Constabulary’s Operation Cabin media briefing held on Thursday 19 July 2012.

How do you know it was an external hack?

In outline terms, we know it came via the internet from a number of different IP addresses, in various countries, which may have been proxy servers.

The attack was, first of all, into the web server (CRUweb8) in the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the UEA. From there, a link was established to a CRU back-up server (CRUback3).

It’s fair to say, the university has to draw the right balance between giving access to information – it’s an academic establishment and, as such, has a proportionate level of security which enables people to work remotely and access information to operate in that academic environment. As a consequence of the attack, the UEA has taken a number of measures and its ICT infrastructure now looks very different.

We identified that the attackers breached several password layers to get through and they got to a position where they employed different methodologies to return the data. We identified a significant quantity of data that was taken in this way, certainly in excess of that which was subsequently published in the two files in 2009 and 2011.

We’ve used the expression ‘sophisticated’ and that’s because that’s the view of our experts who conducted that side of the investigation for us. They identified that, as well as achieving the breach, they also took significant steps to conceal their tracks and lay false trails and change information available to us in order to frustrate the investigation. The conclusion was the person /s were highly competent in what they were doing.

That technical investigation was the primary line of investigation although we did cater for other possibilities, these were later ruled out.

Which specific countries were involved in the trail of proxy servers and which countries were either helpful or uncooperative in your investigations?

While we will not be confirming the names of the countries specifically, we can confirm there were a number across the majority of the continents.

We would underline that the use of a proxy server in any country is not necessarily evidence that the hack originated in that domain.

We worked with partners in these countries and the level of response and support we got varied from being excellent to being quite time consuming.

The logistics involved meant it was a complex picture with different legal jurisdictions and sovereignties. Sometimes it’s a procedural issue and sometimes it’s a political issue with a small or a big P.

Can you confirm that the US was helpful?

We will not confirm the identity of individual countries but we can say, in general terms, there is a healthy and productive relationship between law enforcement in the US and the UK.

Did you detect that any national government could be behind this?

No. The hypothesis was, and remains, that the person or persons responsible for this could be anyone on a spectrum from an individual right through to the other end of the spectrum, including commercial organisations and governments. It is obvious that some commercial organisations would have an interest in maintaining their commercial position; similarly there will be economies and governments which have an interest in protecting their position. To be clear, we did not get any indication as to who was responsible.

It is clear the person responsible has knowledge of this subject; did you interview all the bloggers that showed an interest?

We interviewed a number of people and the logistical issues involved meant that much of this work was carried out remotely because, physically travelling to countries, and the logistics involved in achieving that – for the anticipated outcome – would have not be proportionate.

Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view. Therefore, we were realistic about the prospect of them being helpful to our investigation.

Can you describe what investigations you undertook at the UEA and who you interviewed there?

The focus internally was on the IT infrastructure and working out from there. We also looked at people working at or with connections to the Climate Research Unit and, in simple terms, we were looking for anything obvious. All members of staff were interviewed. If someone had some obvious links or had an axe to grind, then that might have been a line of enquiry.

Generally speaking, it was a screening exercise which did not provide any positive lines of enquiry.

Whilst – because we have not found the perpetrators – we cannot say categorically that no-one at the UEA is involved, there is no evidence to suggest that there was. The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.

You say that the hacker had to go through a series of passwords; do you know that someone at the UEA would not have had access to these passwords?

Anyone with access to these passwords has been excluded as a suspect. Additionally, there was some evidence of work undertaken to break passwords.

It has been reported that the hacker accessed the server on three separate occasions, can you confirm if that’s true and if there were any further attempts to access the server after ‘climategate’ broke and have there been any recently?

The report is inaccurate. The attack was conducted over a period of time and access would have occurred on a number of occasions and certainly more than three. Of course, we only know what we know. I have already described it was a sophisticated attack; we have established a substantial amount of what happened. What I can’t say is whether we have established everything that happened.

There were no further data breaches once the story had broken in November 2009, not least because we had taken possession of Cruback3 and it wasn’t available to be accessed.

Do you know when the attacks began?

There’s a timeline of events and there has been speculation, in the media and the blogs,

that there may have been an orchestrated campaign of Freedom of Information requests to the University in the summer of 2009. It appears the attacks were undertaken late in that summer, early autumn, through to November. The first tactic that we were aware of was in September 2009.

There was news that some other institutions, including in Canada, that may have come under a similar attack at that time. Are there any other institutions that you have found that were attacked at this time?

We did have some dialogue and there were one or two that had been attacked and we did have a preliminary examination but they did not give us any indication or cause to suspect that it was in any way linked to the UEA.

What happens to Cruback3 now?

It has been returned to the University of East Anglia, having been retained as an exhibit through the course of the investigation. It was necessary to retain the actual server for this time. It contained a massive amount of data, something in the region of five terabytes.

When the second batch of e-mails was released, there was the note that came with them. Did you or your colleagues contemplate doing structural linguistics or analysis to try and trace it to a particular location in the world?

It was speculated on and it was something we did consider. Our conclusion was that it would be unlikely to take the investigation anywhere and, in fact, if you are trying to conceal your tracks it could have been constructed to mislead.

You have been restricted by the statute of limitations, would you have continued with this investigation otherwise?

The decision to close the case was a combination of the time limit and an acknowledgement that we had pursued this as far as we reasonably can.

Did you consider prosecuting people dealing in the information that was clearly stolen?

In terms of offences committed, it becomes a much greyer area. The same challenges exist in terms of identifying those individuals. An operational decision was made not to pursue this.

<Ends>

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tgmccoy

Did Tallbloke ever get this computers/ hard drives back? I still say it was an inside job…

Skiphil

What happens to Cruback3 now?
It has been returned to the University of East Anglia, having been retained as an exhibit through the course of the investigation. It was necessary to retain the actual server for this time. It contained a massive amount of data, something in the region of five terabytes.

===============================================================
Let’s hope relevant FOIs can still proceed unless CRU is able to get away with stalling forever and/or wiping the server.
re: 5 terabytes, does that suggest there was a lot more docs and/or emails than what may be in the still encrypted zip file from FOIA?? I don’t know the details such as the size of the zip file still out there… just wondering if the 5 terabytes on that server suggests anything, about how much selection and culling FOIA must have done (and why)???

Carl Brannen

“Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view. Therefore, we were realistic about the prospect of them being helpful to our investigation.”
He’s saying that the emails support the skeptic community. Note he didn’t say “deniers”.

“We identified a significant quantity of data that was taken in this way, certainly in excess of that which was subsequently published in the two files in 2009 and 2011.”
WOW…more to come FOIA?

Truthseeker

They could have just gone to this excellent analysis and achieved a greater understanding than they seem to have arrived at on their own.
http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/why-climategate-was-not-a-computer-hack/
Pointman hits the bullseye … again.

Urederra

Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view.

So, the police is admittng that the climategate mails support the sceptic point of view.

Matt C

So I read it like this: “We have no legitimate suspects, so we’re gonna point the finger at the folks requesting tranparency in the science behind the CAGW scare and that information be released according to the Freedom of Information Act. And if it wasn’t them, it must have been an industry that we’re trying to make suffer.”
Very disappointing.
What a slanted report. Pathetic!

Lancifer

Translation,
“The perps must’a been “sophisticated” because we didn’t catch ’em.”

David Ross

“Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view.”
Of course any honest person who actually read the emails would come to the same conclusion. I don’t suppose this particualr statement by an investigating police officer will receive much coverage in the mainstream media. But it should. Again, why was there no police investigation based on the content of the emails rather than their hacking?

DirkH

“The hypothesis was, and remains, that the person or persons responsible for this could be anyone on a spectrum from an individual right through to the other end of the spectrum, including commercial organisations and governments. ”
Oh goody, that’s right up there with the CO2AGW hypothesis which says that any and all weather event proves CO2AGW.
Get this anyone! Find him and make him talk!

jorgekafkazar

People persist in assuming that the police are stupid in this case. It’s likely that they are not at all stupid, but clever enough to see nothing would be gained by pursuing this to the bitter end and actually finding the hero…I mean, the dastardly culprit. The Norfolk police, like all the rest of us, are victims of the AGW fraud–higher taxes, higher gas, oil, petrol, electricity, and water prices. By blaming Climategate on the largest possible number of suspects, they close the investigation forever, like the Ark of the Covenant being carried on a fork truck down endless rows of a vast government warehouse, never to be seen again.

Matt

We have American and British officials bragging how they wrote the viruses for hacking the Iranian nuclear plant – which is an act of war, as defined by the US post 9/11 — BUT they cannot confirm whether the US helped them with a simple criminal investigation which is an OK thing to do in the first place. Sometimes it is hard to concieve a reason for something if there simply isn’t one 🙂

Ian W

Truthseeker says:
July 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm
They could have just gone to this excellent analysis and achieved a greater understanding than they seem to have arrived at on their own.
http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/why-climategate-was-not-a-computer-hack/
Pointman hits the bullseye … again.

He does.
It is an expansion of the same point I made on another thread. The work factor involved for potentially nothing of interest and definitely nothing of interest to a ‘great white’. Remember back to the first release. The total shock at the content of the emails and the dreadfully inept poor quality software (as in Harry readme). Someone had to know the dirty washing was there and understand it was dirty washing and that the world would be aghast when it was released. Would a ‘great white’ hacker with lots of computer knowledge also understand the importance of the emails and the development software?

Mr Green Genes

“We couldn’t find evidence for anything else* so we have decided that CO2 / an external hack / the Illuminati (delete as appropriate) MUST be to blame, despite there being no evidence for that either.”
* I’m not saying we looked very hard though.

Vieras

I’ve read several comments where people still believe that Climategate was done by a whistleblowe. If you want to be sceptic, you need to be sceptic about everything. Especially about your own beliefs.
After reading this news, it’s not likely that it was an internal leak. Before all this information I thought that an internal leak was probable. Pointman wrote in his blog good reasons for that. However, this police Q&A states a number of facts, that make is unlikely that it was an internal leak. So FOIA is probably a computer whiz who knows how to exploit vulnerablilities and crack systems without being caught. People like those are not climate scientists, who would do a lousy job like Peter Gleick did.
So who is FOIA? It’s certainly someone who dislikes the climate science shenanigans as much as any of us. I don’t think that it’s a company (like Big Oil) or a country (like China). FOIA is an individual or at most a small group of people. And if I would have to bet, I’d put my money on FOIA being a student at the UEA. One, who does not study climate science or arts or social sciences but real science. They do have a Faculty of Science there and also teach computer science, mathematics and engineering. They do have students with necessary skills and the students would have a better chance of knowing more about UEA’s computer network.
I don’t think it is wise to remain convinced, that it was a leak. We critisize climate scientists, that they discard unwanted information to remain convinced about AGW. How can we critisize them if we discard all this information and stubbornly claim that it was a leak? It makes no sense. It probably was a hack, but it doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the hacked material.

TomRude

The good news is that there is plenty of juicy bits to come out…

David, UK

“Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view.
Hang on. I don’t think they’re really admitting that the emails support the sceptic view, although admittedly that would be the first obvious interpretation. However, if they really believed that then they’d be bound to investigate the real criminals (i.e. the anti-scientists at CRU) not the whistle blower. Therefore, I suspect it means something else and has just been clumsily worded. Read it again: “[sceptics would] give the appearance of welcoming-the-published-data-because-it-supports-their-view.”
So, it looks to me like they’re meaning to say that the actual “because-it-supports-their-view” reason is meant from the sceptics’ perspective, not the police’s. And as an aside: why couldn’t they simply say that we sceptics, in the main, welcomed the published data, instead of stating that we gave the appearance of welcoming the published data? No one else find that statement quite strange?

David, UK

To follow from my last comment, another thought: this continuous use of the emotive word “attack”. Nothing was damaged, no one was hurt. This wasn’t an “attack”. It wasn’t even so much as a theft, since the emails were written on publicly owned servers, and written on publicly funded time. That data belongs to us, the public. Mr FOIA simply took back what was already ours. So how do the police justify describing this hack (and I’m happy to accept it was a hack, as long as the evidence supports it) as an “attack”?

“Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view. Therefore, we were realistic about the prospect of them being helpful to our investigation.”
He says the skeptical community would not be cooperative with police. What a smear! Did they even try to talk to skeptics? What a racist.

The hypothesis was, and remains, that the person or persons responsible for this could be anyone on a spectrum from an individual right through to the other end of the spectrum, including commercial organisations and governments.

I like the juxtaposition of the words “individual” and “right” – even if unintentional – particularly in light of a recent promulgation uttered with funding by our federal Heimatsicherheitsdienst which defines American citizens who are “reverent of liberty” (among other sentiments) as potential terrorists.
The study referenced is titled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, published in 2011 by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.
Doubtless there’s a similar sentiment on the part of the government thugs in the United Kingdom.

Gary Pate

” The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.”
Pretty glowing endorsement of the UEA, so sophisticated.

David Ross

Darwin Correspondence Project
http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/
“On this site you can read and search the full texts of more than 7,000 of Charles Darwin’s letters, and find information on 8,000 more. Available here are complete transcripts of all known letters Darwin wrote and received up to the year 1868.”
The Newton Project
http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk/prism.php?id=22
“Many early modern scientists and mathematicians have been honoured by having their collected works published in printed editions. For example, Christiaan Huygens, Johannes Kepler, René Descartes, Galileo Galilei, Gottfried Leibniz, Robert Boyle and Leonhard Euler have all been well served by modern editions, some of which have still not reached completion after nearly a century.”
If I read Darwin’s correspondence it doesn’t make me doubt the theory of evolution. If I read Newton’s letters I don’t start to doubt the laws of motion. Why should publishing scientists’ correspondence “undermine” belief in their science unless there is something wrong with it?

P. Solar

“Let’s hope relevant FOIs can still proceed unless CRU is able to get away with stalling forever and/or wiping the server.”
That would be very unwise. Since this data has already been established as being subject to FIOA any attempt to delete or destroy it would be a criminal act.
Their last ditch attempt at refusal was based on non possesion of the information. Now the police have confirmed that the server has already been returned they not longer have any legal or physical reason to refuse the FIOA requests.
Since this was a “backup” server, they clearly would have had other copies all along, that’s what backup means. So the original refusal was probably dishonest in itself.
Any FIOA requests should be resent. Now.
BTW, I think Q&A responces from the police were quite clear and informative for once.

A. Scott

Wouldn’t the server being returned to their possession take away one of the defenses they claimed for ignoring FOI requests?

ancientmariner

“The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA……..”
but we are supposed to believe the good folks at UEA can understand the climate?????

Ally E.

By examining these emails, haven’t the police now EVIDENCE of AGW fraud? These email-admitted manipulations of data and the open corruption of science has led to theft of billions of dollars from taxpaers around the world, not to mention an on-going serious attempt to bring about the collapse of democracy AND civilization. Shouldn’t they be ARRESTING SOMEBODY? What the hell does it take to get the authorities moving on this?

So cru backup server had 5 terrabytes of data on it. Wonder how much FOIA is sitting on….

“Of course, the climate sceptic community would, in the main, give the appearance of welcoming the published data because it supports their view. Therefore, we were realistic about the prospect of them being helpful to our investigation.”
I, and Anthony, offered help in their investigations but they declined it, so I find their statement surprising.
They haven’t had the decency to contact me to tell me they had closed their investigation even though I had protested about them keeping my details on file just because I had made an FOI request.
I have now formally asked they delete all my details under the data protection act in the UK, I am awaiting a reply.

Brian H

Well, much less Keystone-ish than I anticipated. Not quite up to Clouseau’s standards, maybe, but …
The major hang-up I have with the whistleblower hypothesis is the difficulty I have with imagining FOIA wearing a consensus mask so long without slipping.

kwik

Ally E. says:
July 20, 2012 at 1:05 am
“By examining these emails, haven’t the police now EVIDENCE of AGW fraud? Shouldn’t they be ARRESTING SOMEBODY? What the hell does it take to get the authorities moving on this?”
Would you arrest someone if they
-Work for you, and do as they are told.
-Makes it possible to increase your income. (taxes)
-Makes it possible to start huge government projects.
Would you?

polistra

@Ally E: “Shouldn’t they be ARRESTING somebody?”
No, because the Carbon Cultists are doing exactly what the US/UK/EU governments want. Destroying civilization, starving the poor, and enriching the rich. Why would US/UK/EU want to arrest their most loyal footsoldiers?

CodeTech

Vieras:
Even If the story told so far is accurate and this was an external hack, it seems fairly likely to me that someone “in the know” knew what was there. It’s a trivial step from there to having someone with more experience in the hacking arts do the actual deed.
This also reminds me of someone I used to work for who refused to use a CD/DVD emulator called Daemon Tools because he once read that it used many of the same techniques as a Rootkit, therefore in his mind Daemon Tools is equal to a rootkit and thus is equal to a virus. No amount of explaining was enough to convince him otherwise.
In the same vein, the chances of someone randomly seeking out the specific server and data to grab and make public are vanishingly small, something on the order of McKibbens’ numbers regarding 327 months of above average temperatures. EVEN IF the data was obtained via external hacking, no matter how “sophisticated” it was, it remains highly probable (to me) that there is still a whistleblower involved.
As a proper skeptic, I remain unconvinced in either direction. But it does seem highly unlikely that random hackers knew what to get and where to get it from.

Andrew30

“The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.”
So you are saying the people at UEA are ….

Mindert Eiting

Some suggestions to the investigators: 1. Check your assumptions. These are needed to keep the problem-space small but some are simply bad. Restrict them to trivialities. 2. Check the quality of your information. Information from others, including your self, may be totally worthless as it may consist of made-up facts. 3. Don’t be proud of your hypotheses. They are rational reconstructions but reality often does not conform to your rationality (the most serious errors in police investigation have to do with this fixation). 4. Try to be serendipitous.

Garry Stotel

Will the end of the investigation prompt the release of the password for the Part 3 of the emails?
Just to keep the fire burning, I suppose, unless there is something in those emails that can change the game.

Patrick Davis

“Adrian Kerton says:
July 20, 2012 at 1:45 am”
From what I know about the 1984 data protection act (UK), I would suggest you will be waiting a long while for that to happen, if at all.

Jimbo

OK, for now, I will take their word for it that it was a hack and that it did not involve someone in CRU.

We identified a significant quantity of data that was taken in this way, certainly in excess of that which was subsequently published in the two files in 2009 and 2011……….
It contained a massive amount of data, something in the region of five terabytes.

FOIA was not lying about releasing just some of the files I see. Get ready for Climategate 3 folks.

Harold Ambler

There’s a timeline of events and there has been speculation, in the media and the blogs,
that there may have been an orchestrated campaign of Freedom of Information requests to the University in the summer of 2009. It appears the attacks were undertaken late in that summer, early autumn, through to November. The first tactic that we were aware of was in September 2009.

1. It’s an interesting police press conference in which an officer of the law points to blog speculation when answering a serious question about a serious matter.
2. The linkage of FOI requesters with the alleged hacker appears to be a talking point that the officer received from someone at the Climatic Research Unit, perhaps Phil Jones himself. And I don’t mean that a specific conversation led to this, although it could have. Rather, the officer’s entire way of thinking about the matter has been heavily influenced by an interested party in the case. Included in the mindset: the CRU is the victim here; FOI requests come from malevolent sources; skeptic bloggers are pond-scum. These are articles of faith for Phil Jones and his closest associates.

Kaboom

Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute, even though it obscures the situation. Pointman’s analysis is interesting but assumes one thing about CRU’s IT that are an unknown but important variables: competence and budget. The same argument he makes for the importance of the target goes for its resources and efforts to protect the material in question. There may have not been much in the way of intrusion detection, log analysis or password security and all of the hurdles may have been kid’s play to jump to get to the data.
Universities are not necessarily known to attract top notch IT security staff (outside maybe research itself) or pay top dollar for the talent they do hire – no offense intended. The folks there may be more interested in job security and having time to goof off on the job or pursue pet projects during work hours from my personal experience. So in essence, getting to the data may have been much easier than the tone of the investigation report or Pointman’s mission impossible script to hack the NSA’s coffee webcam let on. A number of items from the report support this theory (i.e. knowledge that passwords may have been brute force cracked without triggering alarms).
The real sticky point, imho, is the interest in the particular data obtained, the idea that it might (still) be there and accessible and the care with which it has been released so far. Those things give credence to the idea that someone on the inside at least pointed out the target and may have paved the way to extracting it (and put up red herrings to pursue in the investigation they must have known would follow). As I said before, inside and outside man might have been the same person, all it takes is a VPN from another virtual machine on the same computer to be both while sitting in the office. Funny enough that may put the person in question beyond the skill set of the IT staff around them and might just tie into Mosher’s claim of the motive being a personal one. What better way than put egg on the face of your head of IT and the buffoonish researchers that look down their noses at you and defraud the world than this little stunt if you’re a talented IT guy stuck at a university job?

Bloke down the pub

The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.
Hahahaha

Tucci78 says: July 20, 2012 at 12:25 am
I like the juxtaposition of the words “individual” and “right” – even if unintentional – particularly in light of a recent promulgation uttered with funding by our federal Heimatsicherheitsdienst which defines American citizens who are “reverent of liberty” (among other sentiments) as potential terrorists.

YOf course they deny saying that right on the first page. But then, being reverent of individual liberty or against globalization is then stated as part of the profile of an extreme right-wing terrorist. So, it is the case that if you’re a right wing terrorist, then you have properties A, B, C…
And then, although they say it is not so, if you have the properties A, B and C you fit in the profile of a right wing terrorist. Therefore you are a possible right wing terrorist. These are the simple but effective wonders of such stuff as profiling and circumstancial evidence.

David A. Evans

I’m with codetech. This was done with inside involvement, no doubt about it.
5Tb a massive amount of data?
I’ve got 2Tb on my music studio PC! This is backup server 3. What was wrong with servers 1 & 2 and I presume 4 & 5? As I say, 5Tb isn’t really a lot especially not when you consider that this is backup for the whole campus.
I’m not buying it.
DaveE.

michaelozanne

“Whilst – because we have not found the perpetrators – we cannot say categorically that no-one at the UEA is involved, there is no evidence to suggest that there was. The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.”
This does imply that all the staff at UEA are pig thick (well it is in “Narchh” after all…) and they thought the sceptics were being harsh…:-)
Seriously though. In the end there isn’t significant evidence against anyone, and so the conclusion that it is an outside job is pure conjecture.

ancientmariner says: July 20, 2012 at 12:42 am
“The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA……..”
but we are supposed to believe the good folks at UEA can understand the climate?????

Ancient, we know Phil is unable to use Excel.

Ally E. says: July 20, 2012 at 1:05 am — By examining these emails, haven’t the police now EVIDENCE of AGW fraud? These email-admitted manipulations of data and the open corruption of science has led to theft of billions of dollars from taxpaers around the world, not to mention an on-going serious attempt to bring about the collapse of democracy AND civilization. Shouldn’t they be ARRESTING SOMEBODY? What the hell does it take to get the authorities moving on this?
They certainly don’t have an open file on these. Anyway, the destruction of western civilization is likely not to be in their jurisdiction.

BOFHse

Well, any internal whistleblower having a reasonable amount of technical sophistication and a survival instinct could easily fake intrusion, or even create a security deficiency and see what pops in. I sure know I could.

Ron

Speculating for fun. By claiming disinterest in pursuing this further and closing the file knowing full well FOIA has scads more emails to release, might the coppers have laid a little trap somewhere deep in IT-ville for a return visit? A question for you IT experts? On the other hand, and the more likely scenario in my view, is that they may know or think they know whodunnit but don’t wish to pursue, which could be the case if government agents of another land were behind it. Which countries stand to benefit if the AGW theory and scientific ‘proof’ were proven bogus, as indeed they were? All countries p’raps?

more soylent green!

Who is Harry? You know, of HarryReadme fame.
Maybe that can be our “Who is John Galt” catchphrase?

Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7

Jimbo says:
July 20, 2012 at 3:44 am

OK, for now, I will take their word for it that it was a hack and that it did not involve someone in CRU.

We identified a significant quantity of data that was taken in this way, certainly in excess of that which was subsequently published in the two files in 2009 and 2011……….
It contained a massive amount of data, something in the region of five terabytes.

FOIA was not lying about releasing just some of the files I see. Get ready for Climategate 3 folks.

First of all, a backup server generally backs up more than just the email server, the vast majority of which is of no interest to anyone except those administering systems which have lost files and need to recover them. Depending on the backup software used and the retention policies defined, it most likely contains multiple copies of the same files. So that five terabytes may be less than one terabyte of unique data, most of which has nothing to do with email at all, and climate research email in particular.
Second, the police said the backup server contained approximately five terabytes, not that the intruder actually got that much. I assume someone skilled enough to compromise the backup server would be able to use the software to index and extract exactly what was wanted. This is even more reasonable if you assume it was an inside job.
Finally, a complete dump of one year’s worth of email (a common retention policy) from a typical institution would consist overwhealmingly of incredibly boring and trivial material. Long threads of “reply-all” wandering discussions over a series of loosely related topics. I drown under this stuff at work and I’m only dealing with what is sent to me. The thought of having to go through a bunch of other people’s email and try to figure out what they are doing on one specific topic is enough to make me want to put a bullet through my head. If you want to know the identity of FOIA, look for suicides shortly after the last release.

H.R.

@Andrew30 says:
July 20, 2012 at 3:04 am
“The nature and sophistication of the attack does not suggest that it was anyone at the UEA.”
So you are saying the people at UEA are ….
======================================================================
I saw that too but you got there first. Dang!
That one probably qualifies as a Friday Funny, compliments of the Norfolk Police.