January 20th, 2014
10:38 AM ET

Teen Identified as Malware Author After Target, Neiman Marcus Hacked

A security firm has identified a teenager in Russia as the author of the malware used in the cyberattacks against Target and Neiman Marcus, and warned retailers to be prepared for more potential breaches.

Investigators have been probing the recent holiday season cyberattack where a massive breach at Target compromised credit card numbers and other personal information of 70 million customers.

In a statement published Friday, Security firm IntelCrawler said the breach was the result of malware that infected Target's system and possibly compromised the systems of other retailers. Neiman Marcus reported a similar security breach this month.

The malware, which IntelCrawler describes as an "off-the-shelf" product known as BlackPOS, was allegedly written by a 17-year-old with roots in St. Petersburg.

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January 20th, 2014
09:51 AM ET

Obama Says Marijuana is ‘No more Dangerous than Alcohol’

Marijuana, which is still placed in the same category as heroin, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms by the federal government, is no more dangerous than alcohol, President Barack Obama said in an interview published Sunday.

Speaking to New Yorker editor David Remnick, Obama said he still viewed pot smoking negatively – but that on the whole, the drug wasn’t the social ill that it’s been viewed as in the past.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama told the weekly magazine.

The president said pot was actually less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.”

“It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy,” he said.

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Filed under: Political Gut Check • Videos
January 20th, 2014
05:59 AM ET

Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira – January 20, 2014

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!"

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Filed under: Morning Minute • Videos
January 20th, 2014
05:27 AM ET

Five Things to Know for Your New Day – Monday, January 20, 2014

Your credit card information might be in jeopardy again (perhaps due to a Russian teen), extremists are threatening terror at the Sochi Olympics, and a mom deployed overseas for eight months gives her son an awesome surprise.

Welcome to the Monday edition of “5 Things to Know for Your New Day.” Every weekday morning around 6, we’ll hit the top five stories of the day, clue you in on a few other buzzy items and let you know about some of the must-watch stories coming up on CNN’s morning show “New Day.”

1. CHRIS CHRISTIE DILEMMAS

Not just a traffic jam: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s public relations headache just got more intense. The mayor of Hoboken said Christie’s lieutenant governor told her that Superstorm Sandy recovery funds depended on whether she supported a real estate development - allegedly boss’ orders.

Did Christie threaten to withhold Sandy funds to help a developer with ties to his administration? Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is expected to "categorically deny" the allegations Monday, a source said.

Either way, it’s another dilemma for a man whose aides may have sought revenge against another mayor in the form of a massive traffic jam. Such allegations could complicate any hopes for a 2016 presidential run.

Erin McPike will be live in the 6 and 7 o’clock hours to bring us the latest, including what to expect during Christie’s second inauguration this week. And we’ll have a team of political commentators throughout the morning to tell us whether Christie’s problems are deepening.

2. SOCHI OLYMPICS THREAT

“We've prepared a present for you”: Those are the ominous words of two extremists in a video threatening violence at the Sochi Olympics next month.

"We've prepared a present for you and all tourists who'll come over," the video says. "If you will hold the Olympics, you'll get a present from us for the Muslim blood that's been spilled."

Russia is already grappling with a slew of concerns ahead of the Olympics, from its controversial stance on gay rights to last month’s dual bombings in the transit hub of Volgograd.

The two men in the video claimed responsibility for one of the Volgograd blasts.

Perhaps one of the greatest Olympic feats this year would be making sure the Games finish without a hitch.

Phil Black will be live from Volgograd, Russia, at the top of the 6, 7 and 8 o’clock hours to tell us how Russia is handling the threat.

3. CREDIT CARD SECURITY

Even bigger risk: First Target said millions of customers may have had their credit card information jeopardized. Then Neiman Marcus said it had been hacked, too.

Now, a report from the cyberwatch group IntelCrawler suggests at least six more retailers have yet to tell customers they’ve been breached with similar malicious software.

So who’s behind this security debacle? According to IntelCrawler, it can all be traced to a 17-year-old in Russia. Experts say the teen who made the malware shared it with other hackers.

George Howell will be live in the 6 o’clock hour with more details on the security concerns.

4. CHILDREN KILLED IN EXORCISM?

Not a movie: A Maryland mother stabbed two of her children to death while attempting an exorcism, authorities said.

Two of the children’s siblings were also injured, and a woman unrelated to the family is also suspected in the deaths, officials said.

Exorcism is a ritual aimed at defeating purported evil spirits or demons. It’s unclear what led up to the stabbings.

5. SUPER BOWL SHOWDOWN

It’s Seahawks vs. Broncos: Talk about an exciting day of football. First the Denver Broncos shut out the New England Patriots 26-16 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday to earn their spot in the Super Bowl.

A few hours later, the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 to nab their spot in the big game.

But it wasn’t just Seattle’s victory that had everyone talking after the NFC championship; it was Seahawk Richard Sherman’s untamed rant against 49er Michael Crabtree during an interview with Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/s5cztgIDrfk]

Crabtree took to Twitter after getting publicly slammed by Sherman:

But perhaps sportsmanship is still alive and well after Sherman tweeted his condolences to 49er linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who suffered a gruesome knee injury during the game:

We’ll have more highlights from Sunday’s games and take a look ahead to the Super Bowl showdown in the 6 and 8 o’clock hours.

Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing:

Soldier mom surprises son at free-throw line: This might make you laugh and cry (but in a good way). A Texas mom who was deployed overseas for eight months took a creative approach to surprising her 13-year-old son during his basketball game:

Bird steals egg camera: A striated caracara hovering around a colony of penguins scoops up what looks like an egg - but it’s a hidden camera. Little does he know he just became an unpaid cameraman, flying away and shooting some awesome aerial footage of the penguins:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdR-WlciBlo&feature=youtu.be]

If Brits analyzed American football: We don’t mean to make fun of Brits. But you can’t help laughing at this commentary of a Notre Dame-Alabama football game.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4J-RiCZ2Q&feature=youtu.be]

There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning. Be sure to tune into “New Day" from 6 to 9 a.m. ET, join us at CNN.com/NewDay and go and have a GREAT NEW DAY.

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