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Jan 15, 2014

Senate panel says attack on U.S. post in Benghazi was preventable

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday that the deadly September 11, 2012, attack by militants on U.S. government posts in Benghazi, Libya, was preventable and faulted the State Department for inadequate security precautions.

In the months before the attacks on an American diplomatic post and CIA compound in Libya’s second-largest city, U.S. intelligence agencies had issued numerous reports warning that security in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that U.S. personnel and posts in Benghazi were at risk, according to a declassified report issued by the committee.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. courts oppose reform proposals for secret surveillance court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. federal court system objects to key proposals by a presidential review panel to reform the secret court that supervises the classified electronic eavesdropping activities of the U.S. National Security Agency, a former chief judge of that court said on Tuesday.

Judge John Bates, the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court, sent the objections in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said he submitted it on behalf of the federal judicial system as a whole, through an entity called the Judicial Conference of the United States, of which he is secretary.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. senators ask Target CEO for information on data breach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators sought answers from the chief executive of Target Corp as questions mounted in Washington about the company’s response to the hacking of credit and debit cards of millions its customers during the holiday shopping season.

“We ask that Target’s information-security officials provide a briefing to committee staff regarding your company’s investigation and latest findings,” said John Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Claire McCaskill, who heads a Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection.

Jan 13, 2014

US House Democrats request probe into Target card breach

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Democratic members of the
Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of
Representatives have called on the panel to investigate the
hacking of credit and debit card data belonging to millions of
customers of retailer Target Corp.

The request piggybacks on a similar move by Senate Democrats
on Friday as lawmakers respond to the massive breach at Target,
the No. 3 U.S. retailer, during the holiday shopping season,
which resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit
card records and 70 million other records containing customer
information.

Jan 12, 2014

Exclusive: More well-known U.S. retailers victims of cyberattacks – sources

BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Target Corp and Neiman Marcus are not the only U.S. retailers whose networks were breached over the holiday shopping season late last year, according to sources familiar with attacks on other merchants that have yet to be publicly disclosed.

Smaller breaches on at least three other well-known U.S. retailers took place and were conducted using similar techniques as the one on Target, according to the people familiar with the attacks. Those breaches have yet to come to light. Also, similar breaches may have occurred earlier last year.

Jan 12, 2014

More well-known U.S. retailers victims of cyberattacks -sources

BOSTON/WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Target Corp
and Neiman Marcus are not the only U.S. retailers whose networks
were breached over the holiday shopping season late last year,
according to sources familiar with attacks on other merchants
that have yet to be publicly disclosed.

Smaller breaches on at least three other well-known U.S.
retailers took place and were conducted using similar techniques
as the one on Target, according to the people familiar with the
attacks. Those breaches have yet to come to light. Also, similar
breaches may have occurred earlier last year.

Jan 10, 2014

Obama to unveil surveillance decisions in January 17 speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has indicated to legislators that he plans to seek little change in a controversial National Security Agency program which collects masses of raw data on the telephone calls of Americans, congressional sources said.

Two sources familiar with what Obama told members of Congress he met with on Thursday said the president left legislators with the impression that he wants the NSA to continue to collect bulk “metadata” on U.S. telephone use, which includes which numbers are called, what time calls are made, and how long they last.

Jan 9, 2014

Obama meets lawmakers ahead of intelligence reform decisions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met with 16 lawmakers on Thursday to discuss reforming how U.S. intelligence agencies collect telephone and internet data after damaging revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

“This meeting was an opportunity for the president to hear from the members about the work that they have been doing on these issues since they last met, and solicit their input as we near the end of our internal review,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing.

Jan 9, 2014

White House reviews spying targets for potential embarrassment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials are reviewing National Security Agency spying targets to weigh whether the risk of embarrassment to the United States if snooping on them is exposed is worth any gains to national security from the surveillance.

Two U.S. government sources said two officials assigned to the White House are conducting a detailed assessment of target lists used by the NSA, as part of a review of intelligence policy sparked by leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden.

Jan 2, 2014

Qaeda leader held in Lebanon raised funds for anti-Assad militants -experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Saudi leader of an al-Qaeda spinoff group arrested in Lebanon this week was a key fundraiser in the Gulf for militants fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, official and private experts say.

The Lebanese army arrested Muhammad al-Majid, who leads the Lebanon-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades which claimed a double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut last November.