Greenpeace calls for probe into email hack

16:00, Mar 01 2014

Greenpeace has called on computer experts to investigate what appears to have been a targeted attack on its top boss's email account.

Last Monday, a fake email called on recipients to click on a link titled "oil investments". The link asked for email addresses and passwords.

While it appeared to have been sent from Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid, closer scrutiny revealed her address was missing some letters and had others added.

Niall Bennett, Greenpeace's communications manager confirmed McDiarmid's account was the only one affected. He said the email was "quite good, for what it was. The language was good. Normally they stand out a mile".

The organisation's IT experts here and internationally were now investigating.

"We don't know who it was . . . luckily our guys got on to it within 10 minutes. We're not worried, because we know there was nothing sensitive that got compromised, but it did look clearly targeted."


Greenpeace is itself no stranger to online hijacking. In 2012, it created parody websites and Twitter accounts purporting to represent Shell Oil that talked about drilling in the Arctic.

Last year it caused uproar in the United States with a "fake" Santa who claimed Christmas was cancelled because of global warming.

Greenpeace has been vocal in its opposition to exploratory deep-sea oil drilling, saying the Government should focus instead on clean-energy initiatives.

Last week it described as "cowardly" a decision to make exploratory oil and gas drilling a "non-notified discretionary activity" (meaning public consultation would not be required before marine consents could be issued).

Kim Knight

Sunday Star Times