Re: How crooks make money from this.
This isn't a case of opportunist hackers this is serious organised crime getting involved.
It works because anyone can apply for a carbon trading account subject to some basic, but it seems easily faked, background checks.
The mechanism is that they will compromise a legitimate trading account and transfer the carbon certificates to one or more compromised accounts or companies in another countries. Most have been in the former eastern block countries. They end up in a dummy which is then used to sell the certificates on the open spot market and the resulting cash siphoned off.
Because the only identification on the certificates is the serial number, and the only way to check ownership is to go back to the original issuing body and follow the trail of trades associated with those certificates traders assume that ownership is proof of legitimacy. Once the certificates have been stolen the thieves disappear with the cash. The whole issue is compounded by the fact that in a number of jurisdictions there is no requirement for the purchaser to return goods when they are shown to have been stolen.
By the time the whole mess is sorted out, ownership proved and the trades traced the perpetrators are long gone.