Thursday, February 11, 2010

The CRU Hack: 3 Months Later

From DeSmog Blog, we are directed to this story from IT-Networks, which looks at what we know about the CRU hack an IT perspective. Short version: it was a deliberate, skilled attempt to target

Phil Jones, the head of the CRU; Professor Keith Briffa, who studied tree rings; Tim Osborn, who worked on climate modelling for modern and archaeological data; and Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

A couple of details mentioned in the story that I have written about previously.

1) The hack was launched from a computer based on the east coast of north America.

This is deduced from the naming conventions used by CRU's email system, which also serve as time-stamps. More here.

2) Digital forensic analysis shows that the zipped archive of emails and documents was not produced on a single date. Instead it was created by copying the files over a number of weeks, with bursts on 30 September 2009, 10 October and 16 November. On the last date a folder of computer analysis code by Osborn was added to the package.

Early on, BBC meteorologist Paul Hudson implied that he had been shopped a subset of the hacked emails on October 12th, though it is not clear whether these were from the hacker (Hudson did not specify). He later went silent on the topic, but if the hacks were taking place over a 6 week period, then the idea that the emails came from the hacker becomes much more plausible. In fact, there is an interesting possible sequence of events here. On October 9th, Hudson writes a piece entitled What happened to global warming? which inspires a certain amount of email snark from the four scientists mentioned above, and it is just those emails that wind up in Hudson's in-box on the 12th. Is the hacker "telling tales" on the four CRU scientists in the hopes that Hudson will somehow respond?

Also, given that the N.A. location of the hack puts us in the middle of denier land, it would be interesting to find out what messages were hacked on what date and see how these correlate with what is going on Climate Audit at around the same time.

PS. Might be a good time to mention that Swifthack is still out there, countering the crud.

31 comments:

Jerome Bastien said...

Man, you must be so outraged at McGuinty's prorogation of the Ontario legislature. When are the rallies? I want to protest.

bigcitylib said...

Sour grapes?

Jerome Bastien said...

no not at all. i didnt care about the harper prorogation and i dont care about mcguinty's.

im just curious to know what you guys have to say about mcguinty's considering the amount of faux outrage that was expressed over harper's prorogation.

and i think it's entirely reasonable for liberals to make hay out of harper's prorogation - that's the name of the game - i just want to highlight the fact that outrage at harper's prorogation was just that: partisan games.

Gayle said...

Wow. McGuinty prorogued in order to prevent a committee from investigating his screw up?

Why didn't anyone tell me?

bigcitylib said...

I think Dalton did the prorogue in about as immaculate a manner as possible. If you feel like complaining, go ahead.

Jerome Bastien said...

Wow. McGuinty prorogued in order to prevent a committee from investigating his screw up?

The detainee issue will be alive and well when parliament resumes if the opposition parties choose to keep it alive.

I think Dalton did the prorogue in about as immaculate a manner as possible. If you feel like complaining, go ahead.

Not complaining, I dont care about McGuinty's prorogation.

Gayle said...

Sure Jerome. But would that have been the case if people had not been outraged at the fact Harper prorogued in order to avoid being accountable to Parliament?

Somehow, I do not think so. I suggest you interpret his intentions based on what was happening at the time rather than on the fact it backfired on him.

Lenny said...

Not suprising to see that Jerome doesn't restrict his disingenuousness to the topic of AGW.

So, Jerome, according to your logic Harper obviously didn't prorogue the first time in order to prevent a no-confidence followed by a coalition government, because the opposition could have "kept it alive" when parliament resumed.
So what was that first prorogue all about?

Ti-Guy said...

Not suprising to see that Jerome doesn't restrict his disingenuousness to the topic of AGW.

Indeed. And then he pretends to be mystified when he gets a hostile reaction.

Who or what is breeding these little horrors?

Jerome Bastien said...

But would that have been the case if people had not been outraged at the fact Harper prorogued in order to avoid being accountable to Parliament?

maybe not. clearly harper's prorogation was a bad strategic move. and kudos to the opposition parties for playing up this issue like they did. my main point here (and please realize that I dont expect you guys to actually concede that) is that the outrage at the prorogation was a fine piece of political theater.

in order to prevent a no-confidence followed by a coalition government,

Clearly that's not the issue. I wont pretend to know what Harper was thinking and I actually would lean towards the idea that he was trying to avoid the detainee issue. But a confidence vote? Why would he? Iggy got slammed in the polls when he suggested that he would vote non-confidence and now he says there wont be an election in 2010. He would need a really juicy issue to go back on that, I believe.

And then he pretends to be mystified when he gets a hostile reaction.

In your case Ti-guy I would be mystified if I received anything but a hostile reaction.

Who or what is breeding these little horrors?

I was genetically engineered by the CIA to spread conservative talking points. The whole project went horribly wrong and now we've been released in society.

Lenny said...

I asked you about the first prorogation, Bastien.

Ti-Guy,
I'm more inclined towards nurture than nature. I'm guessing that Jerome was largely nurtured by a television.

Northern PoV said...

My god, a troll with a (self-deprecating) sense of humour.

What's next? A civil, on-topic discourse between rational beings who hold different views????

Jerome Bastien said...

What's next? A civil, on-topic discourse between rational beings who hold different views????

I know that would just be ridiculous. But Im willing to try.

I asked you about the first prorogation, Bastien.

Oh ok then. There's no debate that was meant to avoid the coalition and the confidence vote.

I actually think Harper saved the Liberals from themselves there. I remember the Conservative support around that time was at 44%. I cant imagine anything more damaging to the Liberals than having Dion becoming pm after losing badly at the polls and having Layton in Cabinet with a Duceppe (de facto) veto on any policy. Also its not clear what Michaelle Jean would have done, but it would have been interesting to be sure.

Ti-Guy said...

My god, a troll with a (self-deprecating) sense of humour.

Don't encourage him too much. It took a lot of beatings from me to get Jermo to this point. I don't want to have to resort to that again.

Ti-Guy said...

I'm more inclined towards nurture than nature. I'm guessing that Jerome was largely nurtured by a television.

Have you had children? Their innate character starts to emerge shortly after they're born and it's the nurturing that determines which personality traits become dominate and which remain latent. I reject the entire dichotomy; it's far too simplistic.

I tend to view modern Conservatism, not as a political movement at all, but a manifestation of the infantilisation of our culture, which a few people (Benjamin Barber, for one, but there are others) suggest is simply a consequence of late, consumer capitalism.

Jerome Bastien said...

I don't want to have to resort to that again.

PLEEEAAAASE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Lenny said...

So you agree that Harper has established his willingness to use prorogation to avoid the will of parliament, which makes it quite reasonable to believe he was doing the same the second time, which in turn means that it's quite reasonable to be outraged by Harper's prorogation, but not McGuinty's.
Glad I could help you organize your thoughts into something coherent and sensible.

Ti-Guy said...

In your case Ti-guy I would be mystified if I received anything but a hostile reaction.

When you're on-topic and not spoiling for a fight, do you see me going after you?

That's all I've ever wanted from you callow little horrors: stay on topic and dialogue in good faith. If you're venturing into your political adversary's territory and go immediately on the offensive, that's not good faith. It's an indication of poor socialisation to be unaware of that.

Lenny said...

BCL,
Don't miss the Rumble Down Unda.

8:30pm today your time, I think.

Ti-Guy said...

Don't miss the Rumble Down Unda.

I predict that's going to be a disaster for Tim Lambert. Viscount Monckton is a reminder of why the English were able to dominate the World for so long.

I'll be thrilled to be proved wrong.

Jerome Bastien said...

So you agree that Harper has established his willingness to use prorogation to avoid the will of parliament

yes i do.

quite reasonable to believe he was doing the same the second time

yes.

it's quite reasonable to be outraged by Harper's prorogation, but not McGuinty's.

not really. I obviously understand it, from a Liberal partisan perspective, but that doesnt mean it's reasonable. Your argument is premised on the idea that the 'will of parliament' is somehow to be revered. The constitution gives the PM the power to prorogue without the will of parliament for historical reasons and others, which are beyond my pay grade. But the point is, our system is designed so that the PM may prorogue without the will of parliament. So essentially, our system is designed in a way which suggests that parliament's will is irrelevant to whether or not parliament should be prorogued.

Im open to suggestions that our system is flawed and that power should be taken away, but Im not outraged at a PM using the constitutional tools which are available to him.

Jerome Bastien said...

When you're on-topic and not spoiling for a fight, do you see me going after you?

i suppose not, but then again you do often suggest I have bad intentions when its not the case. i actually want to debate ideas - perhaps it's a sickness, but i enjoy it.

That's all I've ever wanted from you callow little horrors: stay on topic and dialogue in good faith.

fair enough.

If you're venturing into your political adversary's territory and go immediately on the offensive, that's not good faith. It's an indication of poor socialisation to be unaware of that.

If you're referring to my first post on this thread, I can understand why you feel that way. But Im not actually trying to pick a fight. BCL had tons of posts on the harper prorogation, but I suspect there will be far fewer on Mcguinty's. Besides, it's very tough to convey tone in a post, and I dont like using emoticons. But my post was meant to be tongue in cheek.

sharonapple88 said...

I predict that's going to be a disaster for Tim Lambert. Viscount Monckton is a reminder of why the English were able to dominate the World for so long.

I have a bad feeling about it as well, although not for the above reason.

There's a quote by Stephen Jay Gould about debating evolution that fits this situation:

"Debate is an art form. It is about the winning of arguments. It is not about the discovery of truth. There are certain rules and procedures to debate that really have nothing to do with establishing fact — which creationists have mastered. Some of those rules are: never say anything positive about your own position because it can be attacked, but chip away at what appear to be the weaknesses in your opponent's position. They are good at that. I don't think I could beat the creationists at debate. I can tie them. But in courtrooms they are terrible, because in courtrooms you cannot give speeches. In a courtroom you have to answer direct questions about the positive status of your belief. We destroyed them in Arkansas. On the second day of the two-week trial we had our victory party!"

Monckton will not say anything about his position. He will only go on the attack.

And there's something that bugs me about Monckton -- he makes mistakes, but he presents it with such confidence that it can convince people that he knows what he's talking about... but when you really think about it, you realize he doesn't.

Ti-Guy said...

I have bad intentions when its not the case.

I can't help it. Guilt by association is a perception that's difficult to transcend, particularly when fair-minded Conservatives can be quite helpful in clearing away the trolls, something they consistently refuse to do.

But my post was meant to be tongue in cheek.

You need to work on that. A lot of us are genuinely outraged by Harper's relentless assaults on our democratic traditions and what looks like tongue-in-cheek to you comes of as highly (and pointlessly) insulting.

McGuinty's prorogation is not even remotely comparable to what Harper has been doing.

Jerome Bastien said...


You need to work on that. A lot of us are genuinely outraged by Harper's


Duly noted.

Ti-Guy said...

I have a bad feeling about it as well, although not for the above reason.

I was being succinct, but your expansion on that is helpful.

I've gone on record before to state that the formalised, binary debate is an English tradition for which I have very little regard, precisely for the reasons Gould outlines. John Ralson Saul characterizes it as one of the mechanisms by which Anglo-Americans elite reduce complex issues to false clarities so that everyone *must* choose sides (I mean, when everything is so 'clear', you'd have to be ignorant not to choose a side), when in fact choosing a side has absolutely nothing to do with uncovering the truth and choosing a side is rarely necessary.

They can be fun for entertainment, but since I despise liars who lie about very important things, I doubt this one will be. Monckton is a pathological liar.

bigcitylib said...

Tim Lambert is not your typical hapless scientist, however. I am less worried about him than I would be about, I don't know, a Jim Hansen. I suspect he will give a good account of himself. Also, Monckton doesn't necessarily present well either. He once spoke before an American audience and was told "We had a revolution to get rid of Brits like you."

Lenny said...

I don't think it's a great idea to debate these people either, but I agree with BCL that if anyone is up to it, it's Lambert.
Monbiot recently showed how to deal with theme here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnjAwzN09E4
though Monckton is a lot more polished than Plimer.

Lenny said...

I don't think anyone's arguing that Harper doesn't have the power to prorogue, but thanks for another lesson in wingnut ethics - whatever you can get away with under the law is fair game. It's the same ethics that has seen my mailbox flooded with 10 percenters.

Ti-Guy said...

Monbiot recently showed how to deal with theme here:

Monbiot still ended up looking frazzled, which is the only thing the cretinous Right needs to claim ultimately victory.

The real issue is the lying. There's just no way you can prepare for it. And getting caught lying, inexplicably, just doesn't carry the same stigma it used to.

Anyway, I couldn't do it, that's for sure.

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