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Internet giants rally behind Apple in FBI iPhone dispute

More than a dozen leading internet companies, including Twitter, Ebay, Linkedin and Airbnb, have taken legal action in support of Apple in its phone encryption battle with the FBI.

A total of 17 companies filed a combined legal brief backing Apple's resistance of demands it should help investigators access an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers.

Apple has earned more support over its refusal to help the FBI access the mobile phone of a gunman involved in the killings of 14 people in San Bernardino. Credit: Reuters

A separate group led by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and several other Internet and technology companies are also understood to be due to file a joint legal brief asking a judge to support Apple.

Briefs are also expected in support of the US government in the dispute.

Investigators at the FBI want Apple to disable some of its passcode protection to enable them to access gunman Rizwan Farook's phone.


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.

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