Morning Security Brief: Target Breach Estimate Increases, FBI Sends Agents to Russia, And More
Target has increased its original estimate of customers affected by its data security breach; the FBI is sending agents to help Russia increase security for the Olympics; and al Qaeda is recruiting Americans in Syria.
► Target raised its estimate of customers affected by its data security breach from 40 million to 70 million this morning, according to a statement released on its Web site. In addition to compromised credit and debit card information, the company also discovered that customers’ names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses were also compromised. Customers “will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach,” and Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to anyone who shopped at its U.S. stores during the breach.
► The FBI is sending several dozen agents to Russia to help increase security at the 2014 Winter Olympics . “About two dozen agents and other personnel are being sent to Moscow, while more than a dozen others will be assigned to Sochi, the host city of the games,” The Washington Post reports. The additional aid from the United States comes after two bombings in the city of Volgograd, which killed 34 people and injured dozens, and struggles with extremists, “many of whom have vowed to target the Olympics, which open February 7.”
► Islamic extremist groups in Syria with ties to al Qaeda are attempting to recruit Americans to carry out attacks when they return home, reports The New York Times. “Fearing that the handful of Americans who have returned to the United States pose a threat because they may have received extensive training and jihadist indoctrination, the FBI is conducting costly round-the-clock surveillance on a small number of these individuals,” according to the Times. At least 70 Americans have traveled to Syria, or attempted to, since the civil war began three years ago, and the recruiting efforts are in their early stages. FBI Director James B. Comey held a meeting with reporters Thursday and said that “tracking Americans who have returned from Syria had become one of the bureau’s highest counterterrorism priorities.”