Friday, December 12, 2008

Hackers Plundering Brazilian Rain Forest

David Kravets writes on Threat Level:

Brazilian authorities are investigating a hacking ring controlled by logging companies that allowed harvesters to plunder rain forest resources protected under government quotas.

The authorities — who have arrested more than 30 people implicated in the scandal and are said to be eying 200 more — allege hackers from logging and charcoal concerns have unlawfully accessed government logging databases. The intrusions allowed them to obtain extra "transport permits" to remove resources from the Amazon. Permits are tied to a set amount of volume.

Environmental group Greenpeace estimates 1.7 million cubic meters of illegal timber has been harvested because of the hacks. The group says that's enough wood to fill 780 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Federal authorities are also suing timber companies to recoup an estimated $883 million in purloined resources, Greenpeace said.

More here.


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