NEWS

Morning Security Brief: Five Killed in Cairo Blasts, Data Collection Recommendation, FBI Addresses Cyberattacks, and More

By Megan Gates

► At least five people were killed today as three bombs went off in Cairo, including a suicide car blast that tore through the city’s main police headquarters and damaged a museum of Islamic artifacts, according to The New York Times. “The blasts further hike tensions a day before the third anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak—when supporters of the military and their Islamist opponents have vowed rival rallies in the streets to press their cause,” the Times reports. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Islamic militants have increasingly targeted police and the military since July 3 when former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power and his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, was labeled a terrorist group. 

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has released a report recommending that the NSA bulk collection program be disbanded. According to the Web site FCW, the board announced the recommendation at a public meeting yesterday. The board said that the President’s Directive on the subject, which calls for tweaking the existing program does not go far enough. The board “noted that the program provides no connection to a specific FBI investigation at the time of collection, and since it potentially encompasses all telephone records across the nation, it cannot be regarded as relevant to a particular investigation,” according to the article. "The majority of the board takes the view that the…program is not authorized by statute, it raises serious constitutional and privacy concerns, and it has not demonstrated sufficient effectiveness to continue in operation on a permanent basis," said Board Chairman David Medine.

► The FBI warned U.S. retailers in a confidential report last week to prepare for more cyberattacks similar to the attack on Target during the holiday season. The bureau distributed a three-page report to retail companies outlining the risks posed by "memory-parsing malware that infects point-of-sale systems," such as cash registers and credit-card swiping machines, according to Reuters. This type of malware is prevalent on the black market and was used in more than 20 different hacking cases that the FBI identified in the past year.

► In other news, Russia has granted Edward Snowden extended asylum, a former mobster pleaded not guilty to the 1978 Lufthansa heist depicted in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, and Syria peace talks hit more obstacles.

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