News in Brief

Secret Service head named, accused hacker pleads and Navy patents honored

Joseph Clancy_Secret Service

President Barack Obama has named Joseph Clancy to lead the Secret Service.

Interim director gets Secret Service post

Joseph Clancy, a Secret Service veteran and former head of the Presidential Protective Division, was named director of the Secret Service on Feb. 18 by President Barack Obama.

Clancy had served as interim director since October, when Julia Pierson resigned after a series of security lapses.

Clancy joined the Secret Service in 1984 and was named special agent in charge of the presidential security detail in 2009. He left the agency to become director of corporate security for Comcast Corp. but returned in 2011.

Accused Heartland hacker pleads not guilty

After a two-year extradition battle, a Russian man accused of spearheading the theft of 160 million credit card numbers in one of the largest data breaches in history pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in a New Jersey federal courtroom on Feb. 17.

Vladimir Drinkman was extradited from the Netherlands after a two-year legal battle. He and five others are accused in a data theft conspiracy that targeted major corporate networks from 2005 to 2012. The attacks allegedly used Structured Query Language injection techniques to target databases at NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, Carrefour, JCP, Hannaford, Heartland, Wet Seal, Commidea, Dexia, JetBlue, Dow Jones, Euronet, Visa Jordan, Global Payment, Diners Singapore and Ingenicard.

The breach that Heartland Payment Systems announced in 2009 was the largest ever reported at the time. The incident, which the company said occurred in 2008, spurred acceleration of the rollout of end-to-end encryption technology at financial institutions to protect credit cards.

Navy again tops patent rankings

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Spectrum magazine recently released its annual Patent Power Scorecard, and as it has every year since IEEE added a government category in 2008, the Navy finished in the top spot, Defense Systems reported.

IEEE rates the patent prowess of 5,000 organizations in 17 categories, such as computer software, medical instruments and electronics. It counts the number of patents issued and grades them on their originality, impact, general applicability and the rate at which an organization's patents are increasing.

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