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Fifa officials 'fostered culture of corruption and greed'

Fifa officials under investigated over corruption allegations "fostered a culture of corruption and greed" over a 24-year period at the governing body, the FBI has said.

FBI Director James Comey. Credit: Reuters

Echoing earlier comments from the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey said "illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes" became "a way of doing business" at Fifa.

As charged in the indictment, the defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world.

Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks, and bribes became a way of doing business at Fifa.

I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors around the world who have pursued this case so diligently, for so many years.

– James Comey, FBI director


Newsweek 'hacked by IS-sympathisers'

Hackers calling themselves "CyberCaliphate" hacked American magazine Newsweek's Twitter account, posting threatening messages towards President Obama and his family.

A message posted on the Newsweek Twitter account after the hacking. Credit: Twitter

The image at the top of Newsweek's Twitter account showed a masked man under the words "Je Suis IS", a reference to Islamic State and the deadly attack at French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

In one message, the hackers said: "Bloody Valentine's Day #MichelleObama! We're watching you, you girls and your husband! #CyberCaliphate."

A group, also claiming to be the Cyber Caliphate, took responsibility for hacking the US Central Command's social media accounts last month.

Newsweek removed the "CyberCaliphate" banner and tweets and regained control of the account within 14 minutes, the magazine later said.

FBI: 'Russian spies gathering US economic information'

The FBI has charged three men with spying for the Russian government in and around New York.

Evgeny Buryakov, who is accused of being a covert intelligence agent on behalf of the Russian Federation, was arrested today in the Bronx.

The other two - Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy - have not been arrested and are no longer in the US. Both were protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and prosecution while in the country.

The FBI has been watching the defendants with hidden cameras, microphones and phone taps for up to five years.

Investigators say Evgeny Buryakov provided his information the old fashioned way, in brief meetings where a bag, magazine, or slip of paper was passed.

They say the three men were gathering economic information, including on possible US sanctions against Russia as well as US efforts to develop alternative energy sources.

FBI agent Credit: Reuters/Zachary Fagenson

The intelligence-gathering efforts of Sporyshev and Podobnyy included, among other things, attempting to recruit New York City residents as intelligence sources for Russia; tasking Buryakov to gather intelligence; and transmitting intelligence reports prepared by Buryakov back to Moscow.

Specifically, during the course of the charged offenses, Sporyshev was responsible for relaying assignments from the SVR [Russia's version of the CIA] to Buryakov, and Sporyshev and Podobnyy were responsible for analyzing and reporting back to the SVR about the fruits of Buryakov's intelligence-gathering efforts.

– US Justice Department

FBI charges three in Russian spy ring case

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the case alongside the FBI Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Three people have been charged in connection with a Russian spy ring that allegedly tried to recruit residents of New York as intelligence sources.

The FBI says one of the defendants was a trade representative of the Russian Federation in the city. They say another posed as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank.

The bank employee was arrested Monday in the Bronx. The two other suspects are still at large.


FBI chief: Terror threat level to US 'same as last week'

The head of the FBI has said the terror threat to the US remains "about the same today as it was last week".

FBI director James Comey Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In a press briefing, James Comey told reporters that he believes two extremist groups - Islamic State (IS) and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Khorasan - are working towards an attack.

He added that there was a "big focus" on identifying two people who sound like they are American or Canadian who appear in IS propaganda videos.

FBI works with UK authorities to combat malware

The FBI in the US was successful in disrupting a hacking network, making security updates by users around the world more effective, National Crime Agency officials said.

The NCA is working closely with the FBI in order to minimise the impact of the attack.

FBI is working with NCA to contain the malware Credit: Reuters

“Those committing cyber crime impacting the UK are often highly-skilled and operating from abroad,” Andy Archibald from the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit said.

FBI warns of possible UK victims of paedophile teacher

The FBI is attempting to trace up to 90 potential victims of an American paedophile who taught at London's prestigious Southbank International School from 2009 until last year.

William Vahey's crimes were uncovered last month and investigators say some victims may not even know they were abused, as the teacher drugged many of the boys he targeted.

American William Vahey, 64, worked at Southbank International School in London from 2009 to last year Credit: AP

The 64-year-old, who typically taught in international schools, was found dead from an apparent suicide in Minnesota last month, after confessing to drugging male pupils with sleeping pills before sexually abusing them on field trips.

Police who searched his computer found images of at least 90 boys aged from 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious. The children are thought to be Vahey's students, as the photos were catalogued with dates and locations going back to 2008 that corresponded with overnight field trips.

The FBI's Special Agent Patrick Fransen said: "I've never seen another case where an individual may have molested this many children over such a long period of time.

"I'm concerned that he may have preyed on many other students prior to 2008."

100 firms and individuals on 'blue-chip hacking' list

The names of around 100 firms and individuals who allegedly used corrupt private investigators was handed from Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca). Soca has come in for criticism over the way it has dealt with the case sparking a row over transparency.

In a letter to the Home Affairs select committee information Commissioner Christopher Graham wrote: "The documentary evidence we hold in relation to these clients is considered significant, and this gives us the best opportunity of instigating criminal proceedings."

The "blue-chip hacking" list was drawn up at the request of the committee and relates to Soca's Operation Millipede, which led to the conviction of the private detectives jailed for fraud in 2012.

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