Wired reports on a phishing scheme in which hackers managed to get account information for firms trading cap-and-trade carbon credits at the  German Emissions Trading Authority. With that information, they ripped off carbon credits and sold them for something in the range of $4 million. It’s not certain whether the perpetrators will be caught.

Do ripoffs of this sort lend legitimacy to the cap-and-trade system used in Europe, New Zealand, and Japan, among other signatories of the Kyoto protocol? Perhaps. Clearly, the credits do have cash value and are being bandied about, hopefully usually paying for carbon emissions reductions, as is the intention.