jerryking + intelligence_analysts   19

Spy tactics can spot consumer trends
MARCH 22, 2016 | Financial Times | John Reed.
Israel’s military spies are skilled at sifting through large amounts of information — emails, phone calls, location data — to find the proverbial needle in a haystack: a suspicious event or anomalous pattern that could be the warning of a security threat.....So it is no surprise that many companies ask Israeli start-ups for help in data analysis. The start-ups, often founded by former military intelligence officers, are using the methods of crunching data deployed in spycraft to help commercial clients. These might range from businesses tracking customer behaviour to financial institutions trying to root out online fraud......Mamram is the Israel Defense Forces’ elite computing unit.
analytics  consumer_behavior  cyber_security  data  e-mail  haystacks  hedge_funds  IDF  insights  intelligence_analysts  Israel  Israeli  Mamram  maritime  massive_data_sets  security_&_intelligence  shipping  spycraft  start_ups  tracking  traffic_analysis  trends 
april 2019 by jerryking
After a Hiatus, China Accelerates Cyberspying Efforts to Obtain U.S. Technology - The New York Times
By David E. Sanger and Steven Lee Myers
Nov. 29, 2018

Three years ago, President Barack Obama struck a deal with China that few thought was possible: President Xi Jinping agreed to end his nation’s yearslong practice of breaking into the computer systems of American companies, military contractors and government agencies to obtain designs, technology and corporate secrets, usually on behalf of China’s state-owned firms.

The pact was celebrated by the Obama administration as one of the first arms-control agreements for cyberspace — and for 18 months or so, the number of Chinese attacks plummeted. But the victory was fleeting.

Soon after President Trump took office, China’s cyberespionage picked up again and, according to intelligence officials and analysts, accelerated in the last year as trade conflicts and other tensions began to poison relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The nature of China’s espionage has also changed. The hackers of the People’s Liberation Army — whose famed Unit 61398 tore through American companies until its operations from a base in Shanghai were exposed in 2013 — were forced to stand down, some of them indicted by the United States. But now, the officials and analysts say, they have begun to be replaced by stealthier operatives in the country’s intelligence agencies. The new operatives have intensified their focus on America’s commercial and industrial prowess, and on technologies that the Chinese believe can give them a military advantage.
China  cyberattacks  cyber_security  espionage  intellectual_property  international_trade  U.S.  David_Sanger  industrial_espionage  security_&_intelligence  intelligence_analysts 
november 2018 by jerryking
Algos know more about us than we do about ourselves
NOVEMBER 24, 2017 | Financial Time | John Dizard.

When intelligence collectors and analysts take an interest in you, they usually start not by monitoring the content of your calls or messages, but by looking at the patterns of your communications. Who are you calling, how often and in what sequence? What topics do you comment on in social media?

This is called traffic analysis, and it can give a pretty good notion of what you and the people you know are thinking and what you are preparing to do. Traffic analysis started as a military intelligence methodology, and became systematic around the first world war. Without even knowing the content of encrypted messages, traffic analysts could map out an enemy “order of battle” or disposition of forces, and make inferences about commanders’ intentions.

Traffic analysis techniques can also cut through the petabytes of redundant babble and chatter in the financial and political worlds. Even with state secrecy and the forests of non-disclosure agreements around “proprietary” investment or trading algorithms, crowds can be remarkably revealing in their open-source posts on social media.

Predata, a three-year-old New York and Washington-based predictive data analytics provider, has a Princeton-intensive crew of engineers and international affairs graduates working on early “signals” of market and political events. Predata trawls the open metadata for users of Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Reddit and other social media, and analyses it to find indicators of future price moves or official actions.

I have been following their signals for a while and find them to be useful indicators. Predata started by creating political risk indicators, such as Iran-Saudi antagonism, Italian or Chilean labour unrest, or the relative enthusiasm for French political parties. Since the beginning of this year, they have been developing signals for financial and commodities markets.

The 1-9-90 rule
1 per cent of internet users initiate discussions or content, 9 per cent transmit content or participate occasionally and 90 per cent are consumers or ‘lurkers’

Using the example of the company’s BoJ signal. For this, Predata collects the metadata from 300 sources, such as Twitter users, contested Wikipedia edits or YouTube items created by Japanese monetary policy geeks. Of those, at any time perhaps 100 are important, and 8 to 10 turn out to be predictive....This is where you need some domain knowledge [domain expertise = industry expertise]. It turns out that Twitter is pretty important for monetary policy, along with the Japanese-language Wiki page for the Bank of Japan, or, say, a YouTube video of [BoJ governor] Haruhiko Kuroda’s cross-examination before a Diet parliamentary committee.

“Then you build a network of candidate discussions [JK: training beds] and look for the pattern those took before historical moves. The machine-learning algorithm goes back and picks the leads and lags between traffic and monetary policy events.” [Jk: Large data sets with known correct answers serve as a training bed and then new data serves as a test bed]

Typically, Predata’s algos seem to be able to signal changes in policy or big price moves [jk: inflection points] somewhere between 2 days and 2 weeks in advance. Unlike some academic Twitter scholars, Predata does not do systematic sentiment analysis of tweets or Wikipedia edits. “We only look for how many people there are in the conversation and comments, and how many people disagreed with each other. We call the latter the coefficient of contestation,” Mr Shinn says.

The lead time for Twitter, Wiki or other social media signals varies from one market to another. Foreign exchange markets typically move within days, bond yields within a few days to a week, and commodities prices within a week to two weeks. “If nothing happens within 30 days,” says Mr Lee, “then we say we are wrong.”
algorithms  alternative_data  Bank_of_Japan  commodities  economics  economic_data  financial_markets  industry_expertise  inflection_points  intelligence_analysts  lead_time  machine_learning  massive_data_sets  metadata  non-traditional  Predata  predictive_analytics  political_risk  signals  social_media  spycraft  traffic_analysis  training_beds  Twitter  unconventional 
november 2017 by jerryking
Intelligence Start-Up Goes Behind Enemy Lines to Get Ahead of Hackers - The New York Times
By NICOLE PERLROTH SEPT. 13, 2015

iSight Partners, a company that provides intelligence about threats to computer security in much the same way military scouts provide intelligence about enemy troops....For the last eight years, iSight has been quietly assembling what may be the largest private team of experts in a nascent business called threat intelligence. Of the company’s 311 employees, 243 are so-called cyberintelligence professionals, a statistic that executives there say would rank iSight, if it were a government-run cyberintelligence agency, among the 10 largest in the world, though that statistic is impossible to verify given the secretive nature of these operations.

ISight analysts spend their days digging around the underground web, piecing together hackers’ intentions, targets and techniques to provide their clients with information like warnings of imminent attacks and the latest tools and techniques being used to break into computer networks.

The company’s focus is what John P. Watters, iSight’s chief executive, calls “left of boom,” which is military jargon for the moment before an explosive device detonates.... iSight's services fill a critical gap in the battle to get ahead of threats. Most security companies, like FireEye, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks and Intel’s security unit, focus on blocking or detecting intrusions as they occur or responding to attacks after the fact.

ISight goes straight to the enemy. Its analysts — many of them fluent in Russian, Mandarin, Portuguese or 21 other languages — infiltrate the underground, where they watch criminals putting their schemes together and selling their tools.

The analysts’ reports help clients — including 280 government agencies, as well as banks and credit-card, health care, retail and oil and gas companies — prioritize the most imminent and possibly destructive threats.

Security experts say the need for such intelligence has never been greater....the last thing an executive in charge of network security needs is more alerts, he said: “They don’t have time. They need human, actionable threat intelligence.”
cyber_security  security_&_intelligence  dark_web  hackers  intelligence_analysts  iSight  Symantec  threats  humint  spycraft  pre-emption  actionable_information  noise  threat_intelligence  left_of_the_boom  infiltration 
september 2015 by jerryking
Mastering the Art of Problem Solving
When President Bill Clinton chose to intervene in the Somali civil war in 1993, the Battle of Mogadishu resulted in thousands of Somali citizens killed, two American Black Hawk helicopters shot down,…

WHAT ABOUT THE DATA?
Increasing amounts of data can be unmanageable, and the problem of sorting through data overloads may only worsen in this digital era. Rather than looking at each bit of information as a discrete data point, we want to look at our drivers and sort the data according to which driver it supports--on other words, sort the data into each of the half-dozen or so driver categories, so analysts have few piles to deal with rather than a thousand discrete data points.
decision_making  howto  problem_solving  problem_framing  security_&_intelligence  CIA  books  information_overload  analysis  interviews  critical_thinking  book_reviews  Philip_Mudd  frameworks  insights  sorting  analysts  thinking_backwards  problem_definition  intelligence_analysts 
may 2015 by jerryking
C.I.A. Officers and F.B.I. Agents, Meet Your New Partner: The Analyst - NYTimes.com
MARCH 26, 2015 | NYT |By SCOTT SHANE.

As the FBI & CIA confront an evolving terrorist threat, cyberattacks and other challenges, both are reorganizing in ways intended to empower analysts. That involves the delicate job of meshing the very different cultures of the streetwise agent and the brainy analyst, who reads secret dispatches, pores over intercepted communications, absorbs news media accounts and digests it all.
CIA  FBI  organizational_culture  security_&_intelligence  information_overload  intelligence_analysts  data  analysts  cyberattacks 
april 2015 by jerryking
U.S. Scurries to Shore Up Spying on Russia - WSJ
By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and SIOBHAN GORMAN CONNECT
Updated March 24, 2014

There were no Americans on the ground in Crimea to check reports of Russian military movements, U.S. officials say. The U.S. also didn't have drones overhead to gather real-time intelligence, officials say. That increased the U.S.'s reliance on satellite imagery and information gleaned from an analysis of social media, which was muddled by Russian disinformation. State Department officials declined to discuss any technical-intelligence activities.

If Mr. Putin decided to launch a takeover, many U.S. intelligence analysts thought he would use troops participating in the military exercises. Officials now say they underestimated the quality of Russian forces inside Crimea....U.S. military officials also made urgent calls to their counterparts in Russia. Not surprisingly, Russian military officials offered little information. Some of them claimed to be surprised. "It was classic maskirovka," says a senior U.S. official, using the Russian word for camouflage. Spies use the word to describe Moscow's tradition of sophisticated deception tactics.
espionage  surveillance  sigint  Russia  Crimea  imagery  satellites  security_&_intelligence  warning_signs  Vladimir_Putin  disinformation  camouflage  deception  intelligence_analysts 
november 2014 by jerryking
How CSEC became an electronic spying giant - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 30 2013 | The Globe and Mail | COLIN FREEZE.

Next year, the analysts, hackers and linguists who form the heart of Communications Security Establishment Canada are expected to move from their crumbling old campus in Ottawa to a gleaming new, $1-billion headquarters....Today, CSEC (pronounced like “seasick” ever since “Canada” was appended to the CSE brand) has evolved into a different machine: a deeply complex, deep-pocketed spying juggernaut that has seen its budget balloon to almost half a billion dollars and its ranks rise to more than 2,100 staff....You don’t have to understand the technology of modern spying to grasp the motivations behind it.

“When our Prime Minister goes abroad, no matter where he goes, what would be a boon for him to know?” said John Adams, chief of CSEC from 2005 through early 2012. “Do you think that they aren’t doing this to us?”...Electronic spying is expensive. Keeping hackers out of Canadian government computer systems, running some of the world’s fastest supercomputers and storing data in bulk costs money. Mr. Adams even made a point of hiring top mathematicians, with salaries exceeding his own, so CSEC could better crack encryption....CSEC also has a hungry clientele strewn across the federal bureaucracy. An internal document obtained by The Globe names a few of the customers: “CSEC provides intelligence reporting to over 1,000 clients across government, including the Privy Council Office, DND, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Treasury Board Secretariat, CSIS and the RCMP.”
PCO  DND  CSIS  RCMP  Treasury_Board  Colin_Freeze  CSE  sigint  security_&_intelligence  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  Five_Eyes  Edward_Snowden  oversight  encryption  mathematics  GoC  intelligence_analysts 
december 2013 by jerryking
China to Seek More Equal Footing With U.S. in Talks
May 28, 2013 | NYTimes.com | By JANE PERLEZ

The relationship between the United States and China stood at a “critical juncture,” ... and it was time to explore “a new type of great power relationship.”...It is a given, Chinese and American analysts say, that Mr. Xi and his advisers are referring to the historical problem of what happens when an established power and a rising power confront each other. The analysts said the Chinese are well aware of the example of the Peloponnesian War that was caused, according to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, by the fear that a powerful Athens instilled in Sparta.

Mr. Shi, an occasional adviser to the Chinese government, offered some ideas of what Mr. Xi has in mind.

“He wants the American president to recognize that China is dramatically rising in military and economic ways, and he wants the president to know that he is active in world diplomacy,” Mr. Shi said. “If the American president recognizes all of these things, then Xi can be nicer, nicer in his definition, in a very tense situation.”
China  U.S.foreign_policy  China_rising  Obama  security_&_intelligence  Thucydides  history  Greek  rising_powers  Thucydides_trap  U.S.-China_relations  intelligence_analysts 
may 2013 by jerryking
Analytic Thinking and Presentation for Intelligence Producers.
The importance of a title
How to gist your reading (actually a very helpful section)
The need for focus and clarity
“If you can’t summarize your bottom line in one sentence, you haven’t done your analysis.”
One idea – One Paragraph
The inverted Pyramid writing style, i.e. begin with the core assumption.
The importance of precise language (no jargon, no abbreviations, allow no possible misunderstandings)
Again, there is nothing earth shattering, but it is an interesting read.
DEVELOPING ANALYTICAL OBJECTIVITY
The part that I found most interesting is the section entitled “Developing Analytical Objectivity.”
In a world filled with talk radio and infotainment, it is an important point to raise awareness about.
We have talked extensively about the cognitive nature of our brains and some of the fallacies and tricks our brains play on us – especially in the political arena.
This warning given to some of our country’s brightest thinkers acts as a reminder that if the smartest person in the room must protect against biases, so must we.
strategic_thinking  critical_thinking  misunderstandings  security_&_intelligence  writing  presentations  howto  sense-making  objectivity  biases  Philip_Mudd  analysts  intelligence_analysts 
october 2012 by jerryking
Sharpen those little grey cells
October 3, 2001 |Globe & Mail | By WESLEY WARK.
Canada can‘t join the war on terrorism or protect itself unless we upgrade our intelligence capabilities, says international security analyst....And Ottawa must create a Canadian foreign intelligence service, similar to the CIA or Britain‘s Secret Intelligence Service, the SIS. Canada is the only G8 nation without such a service. This hampers our ability to understand foreign developments, and to contribute meaningfully to any global war on terrorism. At the moment, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has a limited mandate for foreign-intelligence collection, is tied up in red tape and hamstrung by lack of resources and expertise. As we debate the creation of a Canadian secret service, we must decide whether CSIS is the appropriate body to take on this difficult mission.

The most secretive institution in the Canadian security and intelligence community is the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), a bland title that hides an institution responsible for foreign-communications intelligence and the protection of government-communications networks. It will need more resources and a significant technological upgrade to operate at the same level as its sister organizations, the National Security Agency in the United States and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) in the United Kingdom.
security_&_intelligence  CSIS  Wesley_Wark  9/11  CSE  self-protection  sigint  GCHQ  NSA  intelligence_analysts 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Limits of Intelligence - WSJ.com
December 10, 2007 | WSJ | By PETER HOEKSTRA and JANE HARMAN.

On one of our several trips together to Iraq, a senior intelligence official told us how she wrote her assessments -- on one page, with three sections: what we know, what we don't know, and what we think it means.

Sound simple? Actually, it's very hard....The information we receive from the intelligence community is but one piece of the puzzle in a rapidly changing world. It is not a substitute for policy, and the challenge for policy makers is to use good intelligence wisely to fashion good policy.

In fact, the new NIE on Iran comes closest to the three-part model our intelligence community strives for: It carefully describes sources and the analysts' assessment of their reliability, what gaps remain in their understanding of Iran's intentions and capabilities, and how confident they are of their conclusions....Nevertheless, Congress must engage in vigorous oversight -- to challenge those who do intelligence work, and to make site visits to see for ourselves.

Intelligence is an investment -- in people and technology. It requires sustained focus, funding and leadership. It also requires agency heads that prioritize their constitutional duty to keep the intelligence committees informed. Good intelligence will not guarantee good policy, but it can spare us some huge policy mistakes.
security_&_intelligence  critical_thinking  Iran  memoranda  policy  sense-making  unknowns  interpretation  interpretative  information_gaps  oversight  rapid_change  think_threes  assessments_&_evaluations  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
june 2012 by jerryking
Take a page from spy manuals: Grade your informers
September 9, 2006 | Globe & Mail | AVNER MANDELMAN. If
you invest like a sleuth you need informers -- the better they are, the
better your chance of making money. But how to separate good information
sources from the mediocre and the bad? After all, info and advice are
everywhere -- brokers' analysts, newspaper columnists, industry experts,
and best of all, corporate personnel and customers who know the real
score. Lots of sources, not much time to digest them all....view
informers as intelligence sources and grade their performance, as
intelligence services grade theirs. Just how do professional
intelligence services manage it? Here we must go into the realm of
hearsay. The best intelligence services, it is said, rank their
informers by two categories. First is the informer's reliability, based
on his or her record. Second is the informer's own confidence in this
particular info. The first "letter grade" is given by the case officer
-- the agent-runner; the second by the agent.
Avner_Mandelman  security_&_intelligence  information  informants  grading  spycraft  performance  rankings  reliability  confidence_levels  information_sources  assessments_&_evaluations  intelligence_analysts 
may 2011 by jerryking
Rumsfeld: Know the Unknowns - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2011| WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Before 9/11,
Rumsfeld distributed to colleagues a comment about Pearl Harbor by
economist Thomas Schelling: "There is a tendency in our planning to
confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Rumsfeld focuses on
unknown unknowns in order to encourage more "intellectual humility" ."It
is difficult to accept—to know—that there may be important unknowns."
"In the run-up to the war in Iraq, we heard a great deal about what our
intel community knew or thought they knew," he writes, "but not enough
about what they knew they didn't know." Policy makers can't afford to
be paralyzed by a lack of info., inaction by the world's superpower has
its own risks. Instead, Rumsfeld says the known known of info. gaps
should force a more robust give-and-take between policy makers &
intelligence analysts, allowing analysts to understand what policymakers
need to know & policymakers to understand what info. they can and
cannot get from intelligence.
Donald_Rumsfeld  superpowers  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  memoirs  decision_making  security_&_intelligence  information_gaps  humility  uncertainty  cost_of_inaction  unknowns  Thomas_Schelling  improbables  quotes  unfamiliarity  SecDef  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
april 2011 by jerryking
Stephen Maturin: The Ideal Intelligence Officer for Our Times
November 12, 2010 | The Dear Surprise | By Nicholas Dujmovic.

When Maturin needs to, he can kill an enemy, or lie to a friend, but
both sicken him. He is curious, always looking to enlarge his knowledge,
and he is compassionate about his fellow human beings (as long as they
do not serve Napoleon!). His analytic mind serves him well in
intelligence work—he has a strong counterintelligence sense about
him—and he is happiest when writing “a clear statement of a complex
situation.”

Maturin constantly and imaginatively takes the initiative in collecting
and producing intelligence since he has few specific taskings from the
Admiralty, which allows him a free hand to act.
espionage  spycraft  training  literature  United_Kingdom  security_&_intelligence  books  fiction  intelligence_analysts 
february 2011 by jerryking
Judith Miller: The Weekend Interview with Ray Kelly - WSJ.com
JUNE 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JUDITH MILLER.
Terror Target: Manhattan. New York's police commissioner says it's a big
mistake to write off failed attacks as the work of incompetents, and
he's developed his own intelligence apparatus to make sure they don't
succeed...."Apart from helping bring violent crime down to historic
lows, Mr. Kelly's fame is based on the counterterrorism plans he first
sketched in 2002 on a piece of paper for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That
model has transformed the way that the NYPD and other large police
forces in many cities now combat terror. By creating a local
intelligence capability—complete with undercover agents, informants,
analysts, a community mapping effort, a terrorism cyber-unit, a small
army of linguists and even an overseas presence in 11 cities—Mr. Kelly's
counterterrorism force is widely regarded by experts as second only to
the FBI in homeland defense intelligence."
New_York_City  NYPD  security_&_intelligence  Ray_Kelly  terrorism  policing  counterterrorism  violent_crime  intelligence_analysts 
june 2010 by jerryking
The "Warning" Czar?
Oct. 17, 2009 | - Adam Smith, Esq.| by Bruce MacEwen. The US
has a "national intelligence official for warning", Kenneth Knight, who
oversees a staff of a half-dozen analysts whose job is to monitor the
rest of the intelligence community, challenging their analyses and
assumptions. The goal is to to avoid surprise. One of Knight's core
insights is the difference between what he calls the "simple
likelihood-of-the-event versus impact-of-the-event calculation." Knight
thinks you can systematize this type of analysis by being understand
and being beware of the cognitive biases of experts; by training; and by
creating an institutional check--a warning staff or Red Team. Beware
analytical frameworks--know their limitations.
Bruce_MacEwen  strategic_thinking  security_&_intelligence  systematic_approaches  contrarians  risk-management  counterintuitive  red_teams  anticipating  biases  surprises  warning_signs  devil’s_advocates  frequency_and_severity  intelligence_analysts 
october 2009 by jerryking

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