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Target Confirms Hackers Stoke PIN Data; 1.3 Million Lose Jobless Benefits; The Biggest Scandals of 2013; The Business of Britney Spears

Aired December 28, 2013 - 09:00   ET


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Pleasure to be with you. Thanks for being with us. 9:00 here on the East Coast, 6:00 out west -- it's NEW DAY SATURDAY.

And Target is back tracking after telling shoppers that debit card pins were not stolen during that massive security breach. This morning, the retail giant is also doing some damage control.

CNN's Alexandra Field joins us live from New York.

So what is -- that is Target saying about this now?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, this is another layer of this. Target is now saying that the PIN numbers were taken, but they were encrypted, so they can't be used. At the same time, some security experts are saying there are programs out there that will try and unlock those numbers. So it's best for consumers who may have had their information compromised to go ahead and take some extra steps right now.


FIELD (voice-over): Just a day after saying there was no evidence that personal identification numbers or PINs were accessed in its massive security breach, a turnaround from Target. The retail giant saying debit card PIN numbers were stolen along with names and card numbers as part of the recent hacking.

Still, Target insists the PIN code information is safe and secure, in a statement saying, quote, "The PIN information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems."

The company insists it would be unlikely that hackers would be able to unscramble the data. But some experts remained concerned.

DAVID KENNEDY, CEO, TRUSTEDSEC: The encryption itself is actually an industry grade standard. It's called Data Encryption Standard and they used something called Triple DES, which definitely allows it to be protected, but unfortunately the problem with PIN numbers is there are only four characters, which means that there's really only about 10,000 different combinations that you can do in order to get it.

So all together, it's not going to -- it's not going to hold up because hackers can do what's called brute forcing it to essentially grab those PIN numbers itself.

FIELD: The security breach affecting an estimated 40 million customers who shopped at Target between Black Friday and December 15th. If you are concerned about your account, experts say be vigilant.

SHAWN HENRY, PRESIDENT, CROWDSTRIKE SERVICES: They should be talking to their bank. They should be looking for unusual transactions, any type of anomalous behavior that they may recognize as fraudulent and contact the authorities, contact their bank officials immediately.

KENNEDY: I know it's a pain, but change your PIN number, call your bank and get a new card. That's the easiest way to do it. They say that you have fraud monitoring and monitoring detection that they're putting place in there, but really just as a peace of mind, just change it so you don't have to deal with it.


FIELD: And along with making that change and getting the new card, security experts advise that people also need to be looking at their statements. And one thing to look for is very small charges. A few cents or a few dollars. In many cases fraudsters will make those small charges initially to see if an account is still active before getting you on some of those bigger purchases which can really throw you off -- Deb, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Be careful and pay attention to the statement.

Alexandra Field in New York, for us, thank you.

FEYERICK: All right. Well, Amazon and UPS trying to make it up to customers who say they ruined Christmas by failing to deliver packages on time. Amazon now offering $20 gift cards along with refunds on shipping. The Internet giant blamed a surge of last-minute online shopping for the glitch.

UPS is also offering refunds on shipping. FedEx isn't making any promises but says that it will work with people who were affected.

BLACKWELL: The north and northeast is slowly coming back online. This is after a bad weather system just knocked out power to tens of thousands. Right now, Michigan is the worst off with more than 46,000 without power. Parts of Canada have been powerless since the beginning of the week and 43,000 are still in the dark there.

Meanwhile, most of those who lost power in Maine and Vermont, they're getting their electricity back on but slowly.

FEYERICK: Well, an update now on a Russian research ship stuck in the Antarctic. Rescue efforts are now down to one ship heading in their direction. They've been stuck for four days. 74 people on board and they say that they are doing good.

BLACKWELL: A Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, is stalled in its effort to reach the Russian ship. And it can't move forward through this floe. So now you've got two ships just sitting there. Meanwhile, a French icebreaker has been turned away and now it's up to an Australian icebreaker -- we are the world -- that won't even get there until the area is a little more, I guess, able to be navigated? That will happen maybe Sunday night at the earliest.

FEYERICK: Yes. Especially since you're talking about the South Pole, the Antarctic. It's a little bit cold there.


FEYERICK: A little bit chilly.

BLACKWELL: Tough to get to those folks.

FEYERICK: Things tend to freeze.


BLACKWELL: Hey, a harsh reality, though, for a lot of people who have been unemployed for a very long time. As of this morning, 1.3 million out of work Americans will no longer be receiving unemployment benefits.

FEYERICK: Now the president is taking time out from his winter break and is calling on Congress to act immediately.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is following the story for us.

Sunlen, what did the president have to say?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, the president is asking for a three-month extension of these benefits. In a statement, the White House said, quote, "The president as well as the Democratic congressional leadership have made clear the importance of extending the benefits immediately upon Congress' return."

Now Congress will get back to work on this in January. But this sets up a nasty fight for the new year. Some Republicans say it's time to end this program all together. They argue it's too expensive. A year's extension costs $25 billion. People have gotten too dependent. And they say the economy is strong enough now without them.

Here's a little preview of that tough love argument we'll hear from some Republicans.


CHRIS EDWARDS, CATO INSTITUTE: It's long been known that they're going to expire. People should have been making the tough decisions they needed to make to find a job. And the problem when the welfare state gets too expansive is that people tend to depend too much on government. The message for the future, I think, is that individuals need to save more to put away money for possible recessions in the future.


SERFATY: Political arguments aside, though, this is a very real problem for many people. We spoke with one man in New York who's 52 and has been out of work for six months. And I asked him, what would you say to Congress. Here's what he said.


PAUL HALLASY, LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED: I would say that this is an emergency and people need these benefits just to eat and pay their bills. And it's not even enough to do that, really. But at least it's something. And you know, if they don't have that, then we really have no income whatsoever. And I don't know how we're even supposed to eat or pay or bills let alone try to find another job.


SERFATY: Now on average, these benefits amount to about $300 each week. That's very real money to someone who doesn't have a job.

And now, Deb and Victor, those checks will just stop coming.

FEYERICK: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much. We appreciate that.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Suggesting that people save more, it implies that they weren't living check to check when they had a job 99 weeks ago.

FEYERICK: And it suggests that they haven't burned through all their savings trying to find another job. A lot of people are very dispirited and very depressed because they've been looking for so long that they've given up. They've simply given up.

BLACKWELL: And we're going to have more of this conversation with several of our political analysts later in the show.

Still to come, public embarrassment. Personal shame as well. We'll take a look at some of the many scandals that made 2013 a year to forget for a lot of newsmakers.

FEYERICK: Plus, what you haven't heard. A&E has ended its "Duck Dynasty" suspension. We'll take a look at what people are saying.


FEYERICK: Well, what can we say about a year that gave us Anthony Weiner, aka, Carlos Danger? Also Paula Deen and Rob Ford. I'm going to say that one twice. Frankly, he deserves it. Rob Ford.

BLACKWELL: And of course that bogus South African sign language guy. Well, it's safe to say it's been a huge year for scandal.

Joe Johns narrows the list of the top 10.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Number 10 beam me up, baby. It's seldom you get the crack question of the year and the crack answer of the year in the same place. But it happened to the now notorious star of his own crack-smoking video.


JOHNS: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford when he got put on the spot in an open forum with the whole world watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years.

FORD: Yes, I have.

JOHNS: Ford was a trendsetter in 2013, leader of the pack in the category of mayors gone wild with honorable mention to number nine, San Diego's Mr. Smooth himself, Bob Filner, who resigned as mayor facing a tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations.

Charges of unwanted advances including a former female employee who filed suit, Irene McCormick Jackson, alleging that Filner asked her, "Wouldn't it be great if you took off your panties and worked without them on?" He was eventually sentenced to 90 days home confinement and three years' probation for assaulting women.

Number eight, also in the runoff for worst mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, the former hip-hop mayor of Detroit, convicted of racketeering and extortion so pervasive that prosecutors said it helped pushed the Motor City into the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Kilpatrick finally got the term he wasn't elected to serve -- 28 years in federal prison.

And speaking of elections, number seven on our list isn't a mayor, but he could have been. New York's former Congressman, Anthony Weiner, a hit performer on the list from past years for the sexting controversy that made him leave Capitol Hill.

Weiner made an encore running for the Big Apple's top job. But when more explicit pictures surfaced that were sent to a 22-year- old woman under the alias "Carlos Danger", Weiner, who is married, lost the primary with less than 5 percent of the vote. Magnanimous as always Weiner gave the media the universal, "We're number one" hand signal as a parting shot.

While we're on the subject of popularity, number six on our list is that agency everybody loves to hate -- the Internal Revenue Service. And in keeping with the season what might be described as one of the most notorious naughty list in recent U.S. history.

It seems somebody at the IRS got the bright the idea of singling out conservative groups, especially Tea Partiers, for extra special attention. The practice attracted outrage from coast to coast. And an investigation by the other federal agency that gins up fear and anxiety everywhere, the Justice Department.

And speaking of spilling the goodies, there are some non-government players that must be mentioned for outstanding performances in 2013.

Number five on our list is the former "Man of Steel," Lance Armstrong. Here is a guy who was master of the cycling world and the big lie, winning the Tour de France seven times, claiming repeatedly that he wasn't doping to enhance his athletic performance. But after being banned from the sport, he gave a tell-all, sort of, interview with Oprah, where else?

He confessed and offered what may be remembered as the biggest understatement in the history of sport.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: I'm not the most believable guy in the world right now.

JOHNS: Number four on our list, with another kind of credibility problem, that phony sign language interpreter who crashed the Nelson Mandela memorial service. It would be funnier if it weren't so creepy. This guy got within arm's length of the president of the United States, making meaningless gestures. It later came to light that he had once been accused of rape and murder but was found not guilty.

Number three is Paula Deen.


JOHNS: What would possess a host of a popular cooking show to get herself embroiled in a lawsuit where somebody was actually going to ask her under oath whether she ever used the "N" word when she knew she did? Can you say settle the case already?

And speaking of legal problems, number two on our list is the not-so- secretive-anymore NSA, the National Security Agency. Who would have thought that one government outfit that was supposed to be stealth city could manage to embarrass or anger just about everybody in the U.S., by letting a rogue former contractor named Edward Snowden download a busload of secrets, so-called signal intelligence, from its computer system.

Splash some of it to the media, then run off to Russia, of all places, while the goodies continue to be spilled item by item for maximum effect.

And finally on our list coming in dead even, tied for first place for the broken government award of the year, Congress, for the absolutely inexplicable government shutdown crisis of 2013 that featured an absurdist dramatic reading of a Dr. Seuss classic in the midst of a 21-hour Senate talk-a-thon.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.

JOHNS: And not to be overlooked, the Obama administration for the utterly disastrous bungled rollout of the Web site.

Which debacle was worst is entirely in the eye of the beholder. The futile attempts by a congressional minority to dismantle a law of the land upheld by the Supreme Court with the stated aim of getting rid of the president's signature achievement or the video replays of the leader of the free world promising that his signature achievement would allow anyone to keep the status quo, only to find out, that, well, it just wasn't true.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: Tomorrow night at 6:30 Eastern, be sure to watch CNN's "Top 10 of 2013." It's a look back at the many stories that captured our attention and yours this year. We're counting them all down with CNN's Don Lemon, Sunday, 6:30 Eastern, right here on CNN.

FEYERICK: And then on Monday night at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, online and on TV, we are going to reveal the top 10 stories of 2013 as you voted on. We voted on them, too. That doesn't sound right, actually, but the stories that you voted on. The voting has ended online but we will have your results Monday morning at 9:00 Eastern.

BLACKWELL: And "Duck Dynasty" is back in full strength. Phil Robertson's indefinite suspension lasted nine days. And he's back. So what is he saying now?

Plus, Britney Spears is bringing her musical empire to Las Vegas. We'll have everything you ever needed to know about the business of being Britney.


FEYERICK: The A&E network has officially ended its suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson. It was just a week ago that Robertson was suspended indefinitely after making controversial comments about African-Americans and gays in an interview he gave to "GQ" magazine.

BLACKWELL: And Robertson apologized and clarified his remarks saying he loves all people. Now the rest of the family profiled on "Duck Dynasty" hinted that they may leave the show if the show's patriarch was not reinstated. No comment since the reinstatement.

Now she is one of the biggest names in show business. Britney Spears. And now the child star turned pop star is kicking off her Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood.

FEYERICK: That's right. Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more on the big business of being Britney Spears.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britney Spears is back to work. With a brand new album, "Britney Jean." And she's headed to Vegas. Not to get married this time, but to make money.

A two-year Planet Hollywood residency. Earning a reported $15 million a year or $300,000 a show. More money for a woman who topped "Forbes" list of highest earning female musicians last year bringing in $58 million.

She's come a long way from "Mousketeer." Then teen pop icon. Her first single became one of the best selling singles ever.

And her first album, the best-selling debut in history. Thirty million copies worldwide.

Her second album sold 25 million copies. And Britney was all grown up. Two more albums. And a big screen debut. That film, "Cross Roads" brought in more than $60 million worldwide.

With success came personal struggles and the professional pause. Playing out in front of flash bulbs. Her dad taking control of her finances. He still controls the money today. But fans wanted more. Spears gave it to them with her comeback album "Blackout." The follow-up, "Circus," with her first number one single since her "Baby One More Time" days.

The "Circus Tour" earned more than $130 million worldwide.

In 2011, "Femme Fatale" was her sixth album to reach number one. As a judge on the "X Factor" last season --

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: I want to know who let you on stage.

ROMANS: -- she earned $15 million for those opinions. And with fame, came endorsements. A perfume empire with Elizabeth Arden. Deals over the years with Candy's, Hasbro, Toyota and Pepsi. All while at just 32, she's worth more than $200 million.

The business of being Britney Spears is --

SPEARS: Crazy.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


BLACKWELL: Well. $60 million for "Cross Roads?"

FEYERICK: Impressive.


FEYERICK: You know.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Still to come, massive fire ball streaks across the sky in Iowa. What is it? I still think it's Santa and the reindeer. But maybe not. We'll have more after this quick break.


BLACKWELL: Check out this security camera footage. Hundreds of people saw this. The sonic boom they heard and then they saw the streak of light across the sky. This is in Iowa. Now experts are not exactly sure what this thing is, but most believe it's a fire ball in the sky. A meteor crashing through the earth's atmosphere.

Now time for our "Must See Moment." A baby learning to beat box, it went viral on YouTube this week. Watch.


That was good.

FEYERICK: Yes. Looks like commentary. That -- well, the video was posted the day after Christmas. And it has already had more than three million views. An adorable start to this little girl's musical career.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Just at the end, one little --

FEYERICK: Yes. Exactly. It's all it takes.

Well, thanks for watching today. We will see you back here at the top of the hour on CNN NEWSROOM.

BLACKWELL: But coming up next on a brand new "YOUR MONEY," women taking over the top spots at the Federal Reserve and General Motors next month. So why do women still get paid less?

FEYERICK: Legendary CEO Carly Fiorina joins CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

BLACKWELL: "YOUR MONEY" starts right now. Thanks for watching. We'll see you back here at the top of the hour.