By Jim Finkle and Mark Hosenball 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. "We believe POS malware crime will continue to grow over the near term, despite law enforcement and security firms' actions to mitigate it," said the FBI report, seen by Reuters. "The accessibility of the malware on underground forums, the affordability of the software and the huge potential profits to be made from retail POS systems in the United States make this type of financially motivated cyber crime attractive to a wide range of actors," the FBI said. The report was dated January 17 and entitled "Recent Cyber Intrusion Events Directed Toward Retail Firms." A spokeswoman for the FBI confirmed the agency had issued the report as part of efforts to share information about threats with the private sector. Retail, credit card and bank industry executives have become increasingly concerned about the security of payment card networks after Target, the No. 3 U.S. retailer, last month disclosed one of the biggest retail cyber attacks in history. The attack ran undetected for 19 days during the busy holiday shopping season and resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records. The personal information of 70 million customers was also compromised. Luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus has said it too was the victim of a cyber attack, and sources have told Reuters that other retail chains have also been breached. Neiman Marcus said about 1.1 million customer cards were exposed by a data breach from July 16 to October 30 last year. In all these attacks, cyber criminals used memory-parsing software, also known as a "RAM scraper." When a customer swipes a credit or debit card, the POS terminal grabs the transaction data from the magnetic stripe and transfers it to the retailer's payment processing provider. While the data is encrypted during the process, RAM scrapers extract the information while it is in the computer's live memory, where it very briefly appears in plain text. RAM scraping technology has been around for a long time, but its use has increased in recent years. Developers of the malware have also enhanced its features to make it more difficult to be detected by anti-virus software deployed on POS systems running Windows software. MALWARE ON SALE UNDERGROUND The FBI said in its report that one variant of the malicious POS software, known as Alina, included an option that allowed remote upgrades, making it tougher for corporate security teams to identify and eradicate it. The report said at least one type of malware has been offered for sale for as much as $6,000 in a "well-known" underground forum. "The high dollar value gained from some of these compromises can encourage intruders to develop high sophistication methodologies, as well as incorporate mechanisms for the actors to remain undetected," the report said. Asked to comment on the FBI warning, the National Retail Federation industry trade group said retailers are alert to cyber risks. "Retailers have been and remain vigilant in their efforts to provide the highest level of security for their data systems in order to protect against malicious and criminal acts," NRF Vice President Tom Litchford said in a statement. "As the criminal investigation continues and more information becomes available, you can be sure that the retail industry will be responsive and engaged to ensure this particular cyber-attack does not happen again." One cyber security consultant who has reviewed the FBI report, said the findings were troubling. "Everybody we work with in the retail space is scared to death because they don't have a lot of defenses to prepare against these types of attacks," said the consultant, who is advising several retailers in current investigations. "This is not just based on anybody saying 'This is going to happen.' This is based on statistical data that the FBI is seeing," said the consultant, who was not authorized to publicly comment on the details of the report. Retailers need to move quickly to get better tools in their networks that can analyze traffic patterns on the fly and identify any unusual activity, said another expert in retail security, who has audited POS systems to find vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. The expert said it is more difficult for small-to-mid sized retailers to do this because they do not have as much money and expertise as major retailers. The FBI report said the bulk of the POS malware cases that the agency has investigated involve small-to-mid sized local or regional businesses, whose estimated losses each range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. The United States Secret Service usually takes the lead in credit card breach investigations for the federal government, though the FBI sometimes opens its own cases or asked to assist. The Secret Service is leading the investigations into the breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus. A spokesman for the Secret Service declined to comment on the FBI report to retailers. (Reporting by Jim Finkle and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Grant McCool)
- The Independent
Senator complains about cancel culture, socialism and the media
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Martin hosted The Russ Martin Show on 97.1 The Eagle.
- Business Insider
Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
A crowd of Trump supporters and right-wing reporters were filmed following Jim Acosta around CPAC while chanting "CNN sucks!"
- USA TODAY
'We're done with that lifestyle': Jessica Watkins, Ohio woman charged in Capitol riot, renounces Oath Keepers
Jessica Watkins, 38, says she has disbanded her local armed group and is canceling her Oath Keeper membership after her arrest.
- National Review
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday urged the New York State legislature to open an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo brought by his former staffer, Lindsey Boylan. The progressive congresswoman told reporters that survivors “deserve to be heard” and noted that the “process for hearing this allegation falls squarely in the state legislature.” Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James is reportedly reviewing a letter from state Republicans who have also called for an investigation into the allegations against the governor, according to Fox News. Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, on Wednesday published an essay detailing alleged sexual harassment she endured while working for the governor, including unwanted kissing and touching. She wrote in the essay that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.” She also detailed an increasingly uncomfortable relationship she developed with the governor, in which he sought her out and set up one-on-one meetings with her. Boylan recounted a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 in which Cuomo allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.” On another occasion, Boylan says the pair met one-on-one for a briefing when Cuomo allegedly kissed her. “We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she writes. “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.” Boylan later resigned on September 26, 2018.
- The Telegraph
Lady Gaga is poised to hand over a $500,000 reward to a mystery woman who returned her beloved French bulldogs kidnapped in a violent street robbery near her home in Hollywood. Koji and Gustav, thought to be worth up to $10,000 dollars each, were given in at a downtown LAPD Police Station by an unnamed woman late on Friday night. Authorities believe the woman who handed the dogs in was "uninvolved and unassociated" with the attack - but she is still eligible for the "unconditional" $500,000 and is said to be in contact with Gaga’s representatives. “If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same,” Gaga had said in a post confirming the hefty sum before the dogs were handed back on Friday. The violent abduction on Wednesday saw the singer’s dog-walker and close friend Ryan Fischer shot in the chest. Gaga's third dog named Miss Asia escaped the attack and was later found by police. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has kept silent since the dogs were handed into police. But her reward offer has raised eyebrows.
- Business Insider
Decades ago, 9 Russian hikers mysteriously fled their tent and froze to death. A new study sheds light on the cold case.
In 1959, nine hikers fled their tent in Russia's snowy Dyatlov Pass and froze. A new study suggests a slab avalanche crushed their tent in the night.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz engages in an online spat over Biden's HHS secretary nominee who sued the Trump administration more than 100 times
Cruz and Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse had a back-and-forth over the qualifications of Xavier Becerra, Biden's nominee to lead the department.
- USA TODAY
Nearly two dozen Republicans attending CPAC in Florida have designated a proxy to vote on their behalf, citing the "ongoing public health emergency."
- Business Insider
Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodriguez, 29, were charged with disorderly conduct and Pichardo also faced an additional assault charge.
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
- The Daily Beast
Twitter/Lady GagaLady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, were found tied to a pole in an alley by a passerby who took them to a police station on Friday night, according to TMZ.The unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m., Capt. Jonathan Tippett told a local NBC outlet. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. No arrests have been made in the case. The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news and sources told the outlet Gaga would “gladly” pay the $500,000 reward to the woman.Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that the family is “extremely happy” with the news. “The phone rang last night, everybody was relieved and there were a lot of happy tears,” he said. Germanotta also thanked the LAPD, and the doctors and nurses who treated dog walker Ryan Fischer, who was shot once in the chest during the robbery. “That’s the most important thing, that Ryan is going to be okay,” he added. “Now, it’s about finding these guys.” Why Lady Gaga’s Dognapping Has Stumped Pet DetectivesMultiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white Nissan Altima with four doors, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer. Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover. The LAPD released a description of the two suspects in a Thursday night statement.The suspect who shot Fischer was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, with blond dreadlocks and wearing a black hoodie. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The second man was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, wearing dark clothing.My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021 Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A plastic surgeon attended his virtual traffic trial while performing surgery on a patient in California
Dr. Scott Green from Sacramento, California, was wearing scrubs and appeared to be in an operating room during the Zoom court appearance.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- The Guardian
Artist Tommy Zegan reveals figure was constructed in country the former president has assailed and demonized Sculptor Tommy Zegan polishes his statue of Donald Trump at CPAC. Photograph: John Raoux/AP A golden statue of Donald Trump that has caused a stir at the annual US gathering of conservatives was made in Mexico – a country the former president frequently demonized. The statue is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Video and pictures of the tribute being wheeled through the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, went viral on Friday. The conference is seen as a vital gathering of the Republican right, and this year has become a symbol of Trump’s continued grip on the party, despite being cast out of office after two impeachments, seemingly endless parades of scandals and a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic that has cost half a million lives in the US. Now the artist behind the huge statue of Trump – Tommy Zegan – has revealed that the object was made in Mexico; a country that has been the target of much Trump racist abuse over his political career, and somewhere he has literally sought to build a wall against. “It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico’s Playbook newsletter. Zegan, who lives in Mexico on a permanent resident visa, described the transport of the monument to CPAC in full to Playbook. Politico reported: “Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200lb fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito. He transported it to Tampa, Florida, where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC.”
Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that she and President Biden have a dinner date ritual before he goes back to work and she grades papers.
- The Telegraph
The joy of receiving a note from a member of the Royal Family, in response to a card or a letter, has long been keenly felt by well wishers from across the globe. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now face a scramble to make new arrangements for their correspondence after the Prince of Wales withdrew his financial support for the mail service provided by his team at Clarence House. The couple’s decision not to return to the royal fold as working members of the family means that all professional ties will be severed from the end of next month. For practical reasons, that will include arrangements relating to their mail, the Sunday Telegraph understands, meaning that well wishers might have to start posting their cards to the US instead. The Correspondence Section at Clarence House, comprising around four members of staff, has traditionally handled the Sussexes’ mail, as well as that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
It's been 40 years since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement with a televised interview.
- Business Insider
Trump begins settling scores with Republican opponents by endorsing a former aide's primary challenge to an Ohio congressman who backed impeachment
Trump weighed in for the first time after he indicated he would play an active role on the campaign trail during the 2022 midterm elections.