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Feb 7, 2014

Leaked call on Ukraine made on unencrypted cellphones: U.S. officials

By Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – A senior U.S. State Department officer and the ambassador to Ukraine apparently used unencrypted cellphones for a call about political developments in Ukraine that was leaked and touched off an international furor, U.S. officials said in Washington on Friday.

In the call, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland used an expletive in apparently disparaging the idea of relying on help from the European Union in negotiating a political solution in Ukraine.

Feb 6, 2014

U.S., European security officials worry about Sochi-related attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Intelligence agencies believe attacks by militants during the Sochi Winter Olympics are highly likely, but will probably be aimed at “softer” targets elsewhere in Russia, such as public transportation or other civilian venues, U.S. and European officials said.

Several U.S. and European security officials said that last-minute intelligence reports about possible Olympics-related attacks have continued to flow into Western agencies and that U.S. and European agencies take them very seriously.

Feb 6, 2014

Target vendor says hackers breached data link used for billing

WEDNESDAY, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The Target Corp hackers
managed to break into its payments network by first breaching a
“data connection” between the U.S. retailer and its heating and
ventilation systems contractor, a representative for the
contractor said on Thursday.

The data connection was used by the vendor, Fazio Mechanical
Services, to bill Target and exchange contract and project
management information with the retailer, according to Dick
Roberts, a public relations representative for Fazio.

Feb 5, 2014

U.S. Secret Service visits refrigeration company in Target probe

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret
Service visited the office of a Pennsylvania-based refrigeration
contractor, Fazio Mechanical Services, in connection with an
investigation of the Target Corp consumer data breach, a
spokesman for the agency said on Wednesday.

Fazio is the largest refrigeration contractor in the Western
Pennsylvania region, and Target is one of its clients, according
to the Sharpsburg-based company’s website.

Feb 4, 2014

U.S. says no evidence Obamacare software written in Belarus

WASHINGTON Feb 4 (Reuters) – U.S. health officials have
investigated whether some of the software used in computers at
the heart of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform was
written in Belarus, but have found no evidence of that being the
case, a White House official said on Tuesday.

A report of the probe, first published by the conservative
Washington Free Beacon website late Monday, was seized on by
Republicans who are campaigning to scuttle the reforms and say
the website remains vulnerable to hackers four
months after its botched roll-out on Oct. 1.

Feb 4, 2014

U.S. probed if Obamacare software written overseas; no sign from Belarus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health officials have investigated whether some of the software code underlying Obamacare’s technology infrastructure was produced by people connected to the government of Belarus, but so far have found no evidence of that being the case.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, confirmed that U.S. intelligence agencies recently retracted a report that questioned whether some of the software connected to the health reform law was developed in Belarus and could contain malicious code.

Jan 31, 2014

U.S. government names Navy man to head beleaguered NSA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama nominated on Thursday the U.S. Navy’s top cyber warrior to head the National Security Agency, a move seen as a vote of confidence in a unit that is under fire for spying on Americans and their allies.

Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, a cryptologist and head of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, is not expected to immediately make major changes to the NSA, shaken by revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden.

Jan 30, 2014

Target representative guarded in U.S. panel briefing: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) representative briefed Congressional investigators by telephone on Thursday about the retail chain’s recent massive data breach, but offered few fresh details, citing continuing law enforcement investigations.

Isaac Reyes, an official with Target’s government relations department, spoke by phone to officials from the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, two sources familiar with the session told Reuters.

Jan 30, 2014

Target says criminals attacked with stolen vendor credentials

BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Target Corp said on Wednesday that the theft of a vendor’s credentials helped cyber criminals pull off a massive theft of customer data during the holiday shopping season in late 2013.

It was the first indication of how networks at the No. 3 U.S. retailer were breached, resulting in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records with customer information such as addresses and telephone numbers.

Jan 29, 2014

U.S. spy chiefs call for action on data breach disclosure

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – U.S. spy agency chiefs on
Wednesday called on Congress to draft stricter requirements for
how retailers and other private businesses should inform
government agencies and customers about big breaches of personal
and financial data.

The intervention by intelligence chiefs came as Attorney
General Eric Holder confirmed that the Justice Department was
investigating the massive hacking of consumer data from No. 3
U.S. retailer Target Corp during the holiday shopping
season late last year.