Mark's Feed
Jan 29, 2014

U.S. spy chiefs say number of foreign militants in Syria rises

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 7,000 foreign militants are fighting for the rebels in Syria’s civil war and some are being trained to return home and conduct attacks, U.S. spy chiefs told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The estimate, given at a Senate intelligence hearing, was much higher than earlier figures of 3,000 to 4,000 foreign fighters in Syria, and came after news emerged this week that Congress had secretly approved more funding to send weapons to “moderate” rebels.

Jan 28, 2014

No evidence Russia helped Snowden to steal U.S. secrets: Feinstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, said on Tuesday she has seen no evidence that Russian spies helped former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden steal U.S. eavesdropping secrets.

The Democrat’s comments on the MSNBC TV channel contrast with statements by her Republican counterpart in the House of Representative Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers.

Jan 27, 2014

Congress secretly approves U.S. weapons flow to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Light arms supplied by the United States are flowing to “moderate” Syrian rebel factions in the south of the country and U.S. funding for months of further deliveries has been approved by Congress, according U.S. and European security officials.

The weapons, most of which are moving to non-Islamist Syrian rebels via Jordan, include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets.

Jan 23, 2014

U.S. officials say Russia not sharing Olympic threat specifics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia is not cooperating enough in sharing intelligence with the United States about possible threats by militants to attack participants at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, U.S. security officials say.

“I’d say that Russia has not been forthcoming in sharing specific threat information,” said a senior U.S. official.

Jan 23, 2014

FBI warns retailers to expect more credit card breaches

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The FBI has warned U.S.
retailers to prepare for more cyber attacks after discovering
about 20 hacking cases in the past year that involved the same
kind of malicious software used against Target Corp in
the holiday shopping season.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation distributed a
confidential, three-page report to retail companies last week
describing the risks posed by “memory-parsing” malware that
infects point-of-sale (POS) systems, which include cash
registers and credit-card swiping machines found in store
checkout aisles.

Jan 23, 2014

Exclusive: FBI warns retailers to expect more credit card breaches

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI has warned U.S. retailers to prepare for more cyber attacks after discovering about 20 hacking cases in the past year that involved the same kind of malicious software used against Target Corp in the holiday shopping season.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation distributed a confidential, three-page report to retail companies last week describing the risks posed by “memory-parsing” malware that infects point-of-sale (POS) systems, which include cash registers and credit-card swiping machines found in store checkout aisles.

Jan 21, 2014

Secret Service probes link between border arrests, Target data breach

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret Service said
on Tuesday it was checking for links between the recent hacking
of consumer data from Target Corp and the weekend arrest
of two Mexicans who tried to enter the United States at a Texas
border crossing with a cache of fraudulent credit cards.

But other law enforcement sources said it was not clear
whether there was a link between the Target data breach and the
arrests, which occurred at the U.S. border crossing at McAllen,
Texas.

Jan 20, 2014

U.S. studying rescue plans in case of crisis at Sochi Olympics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the face of concerns about possible attacks by militants during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, U.S. military and intelligence officials have been studying contingency plans for evacuating Americans from the games in case of a crisis.

But U.S. officials have concluded there would be major obstacles to mounting a large-scale effort by the military or other U.S. government resources to evacuate Americans from Sochi, said a source familiar with Obama administration debates.

Jan 19, 2014

U.S. studying possible rescue plans in case of crisis at Sochi Olympics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the face of concerns about possible attacks by militants during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, U.S. military and intelligence officials have been studying contingency plans for evacuating Americans from the games in case of a crisis.

But U.S. officials have concluded there would be major obstacles to mounting a large-scale effort by the military or other U.S. government resources to evacuate Americans from Sochi, said a source familiar with Obama administration debates.

Jan 17, 2014

Hiring of lawyer highlights ties between Christie, Giuliani

By Gabriel Debenedetti and Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie needed help in his fight to salvage his damaged political reputation, he turned to an aggressive New York lawyer who had been a top aide to former Republican New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Randy Mastro, once Giuliani’s chief of staff and Deputy Mayor for Operations, was at least the eighth Giuliani staffer to join Team Christie over the years, and the choice showed the close ties between the governor and the former mayor.