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Hackers Plan Attack on Power Auction Results Website Tomorrow

Computer hackers are planning to attack a European power auction website tomorrow and may block delivery of international transmission capacity, the agency running the site said in a letter to energy traders.

The hacker group Anonymous is planning to attack servers owned by the CAO Central Allocation Office GmbH in Freising, Germany, according to the Polish unit of Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., which received the letter.

A potential hacker attack may be dangerous to market participants as problems in delivering auction results would hinder scheduling deliveries to customers, Tomasz Krzyzewski, a director of power trading at Mercuria, said. The U.S. on March 6 charged six alleged members of Anonymous, LulzSec and other hacking groups with trying to break into computers used by News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting and security firm HBGary Inc. and by governments including Yemen.

“Some trading companies will likely not participate in the auction at all given the risk,” Krzyzewski said today by phone.

The letter is a preventive measure and the agency did not believe the attack would happen and that it would be successful, Jan Radesinsky, allocation operator at CAO, said by phone.

“If it does, it’s better to be prepared,” he said. “If something happens, auction results would be still accessible at a different IP address.”

CAO was set up by grid managers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary to manage auctions for daily, monthly and yearly cross-border power capacity in the region.

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