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jerryking : spycraft   24

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  trend_spotting 
april 2019 by jerryking
An Impeccable Spy — a thrilling biography of Stalin’s secret agent
March 22, 2019 | Financial Times | by Victor Sebestyen.

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent, by Owen Matthews, Bloomsbury, RRP£25, 448 pages

He was defeated by a problem spies have faced from the Battle of Actium to modern-day Iraq. Often leaders hear only what they want to hear and act on information they find politically useful to them. As such this is a highly relevant book for today.

Richard Sorge was the Soviet spy who stole one of the biggest secrets of the second world war: the precise details of Hitler’s invasion of the USSR in June 1941. Through brilliant espionage “tradecraft” that involved penetrating the highest military and political levels in Germany and Japan, Sorge supplied Moscow with the battle plans of Operation Barbarossa weeks before it happened.

History is full of what ifs. Sorge and his spy ring might have changed the direction of the war. But Stalin would not believe Hitler was planning to invade. Though he was also receiving similar warnings from other Soviet sources, as well as British and US ones, the most suspicious of men would not see he could be betrayed.

The Soviet leader distrusted Sorge, convinced his most able and loyal agent was a traitor on the verge of defecting. Stalin relied more than most dictators on secret intelligence but seldom trusted his spies — especially if they told him something he didn’t want to hear.
biographies  books  book_reviews  espionage  Joseph_Stalin  Nazis  security_&_intelligence  spycraft  WWII 
march 2019 by jerryking
The Offbeat Genius of a Great American Spy - WSJ
By Sam Walker
Jan. 26, 2019

this experiment in deception and illusion became the central pillar of a unique operational mindset known as “the Moscow Rules.” By learning to outfox the KGB, the Moscow station not only connected with TRIGON, it scored some the biggest espionage coups in American history.
CIA  deception  espionage  illusions  obituaries  security_&_intelligence  spycraft 
january 2019 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
China’s Cheating Husbands Fuel an Industry of ‘Mistress Dispellers’ - The New York Times
By EMILY FENG and CHARLOTTE YANG JULY 29, 2016

Typically hired by a scorned wife, they coach women on how to save their marriages, while inducing the mistress to disappear. For a fee that can start in the tens of thousands of dollars, they will subtly infiltrate the mistress’s life, winning her friendship and trust in an attempt to break up the affair. The services have emerged as China’s economy has opened up in recent decades, and as extramarital affairs grew more common.....Mistress dispelling typically begins with research on the targeted woman, said Shu Xin, Weiqing’s director. An investigation team — often including a psychotherapist and, to keep on the safe side, a lawyer — analyzes her family, friends, education and job before sending in an employee whom Weiqing calls a counselor.

“Once we figure out what type of mistress she is — in it for money, love or sex — we draw up a plan,” Mr. Shu said.

The counselor might move into the mistress’s apartment building or start working out at her gym, getting to know her, becoming her confidante and eventually turning her feelings against her partner. Sometimes, the counselor finds her a new lover, a job opening in another city or otherwise persuades her to leave the married man. Weiqing and other agencies said their counselors were prohibited from becoming intimately involved with the mistresses or from using or threatening violence.
China  relationships  marriage  marital_strife  marital_breakdowns  infidelity  pre-emption  humint  spycraft  countermeasures  infiltration 
august 2016 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
Manage like a spymaster | The Economist
Aug 29th 2015 |

The first lesson from the spymasters is that sometimes the convenience of having everything easily accessible on an internal network has to be sacrificed. Intelligence agencies’ most important stuff may not be kept on computers at all—manual typewriters and carbon paper still have their uses. ...Another lesson from counter-intelligence is the use of deception. The best way to find out if you are being attacked is to offer a tempting target. “Honeypots” are bogus but convincing computers, networks and files which will attract an attacker’s attention, while revealing his presence to the silent watchers. ...If you find out who is attacking you, and what they want, you have some options. You can bring in law-enforcement: breaching someone else’s network is a crime in most jurisdictions. ...Managers could also do with practising a little of the constructive paranoia that spymasters adopt when dealing with technology.
security_&_intelligence  cyber_security  spymasters  counterintelligence  deception  paranoia  industrial_espionage  spycraft  hackers 
august 2015 by jerryking
Unit 8200: Israel’s cyber spy agency - FT.com
July 10, 2015 | FT| by John Reed.

Unit 8200, or shmone matayim as it’s called in Hebrew, is the equivalent of America’s National Security Agency and the largest single military unit in the Israel Defence Forces....Unit 8200. In few other countries does the military establishment mingle so closely with academia and business, to all three sectors’ profit. Last year, Israel’s export of cyber security products — designed to protect companies, banks and governments from the growing “dark web” of hackers, fraudsters and snoopers — topped $6bn, exceeding Israeli exports of military hardware for the first time. Today Israel, with just eight million people, captures about 10 per cent of the global cyber security market, which is growing rapidly after high-profile hacks that in some cases — such as at Target, and Sony last year — have cost CEOs their jobs....In an open letter in September 2014, published by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper and broadcast on Channel 10, a group of 43 serving and former 8200 reservists revealed what they said were coercive spying tactics being used on innocent Palestinians, including the collection of embarrassing sexual, financial or other information....But what does 8200 actually do? Israel, as Netanyahu never tires of saying, lives in a “bad neighbourhood” in the Middle East, surrounded by several countries it classifies as enemy states. This requires world-class hacking and artificial intelligence tools as warfare moves from conventional battlefields — land, sea and air — to include cyber terrain.
artificial_intelligence  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  dark_web  hackers  IDF  Israel  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  spycraft  Stuxnet  Unit_8200 
july 2015 by jerryking
Slides reveal Canada’s powerful espionage tool - The Globe and Mail
COLIN FREEZE and STEPHANIE NOLEN

WASHINGTON and RIO DE JANEIRO — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Oct. 19 2013
CSE  Brazil  sigint  espionage  tools  spycraft 
december 2013 by jerryking
Interview with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg; Interview with Michael Hayden; Interview with Michael Bloomberg
Aired November 3, 2013 - 10:00| FAREED ZAKARIA GPS | Interviews with Michael Hayden

=======================================
Let's get started.

So given those realities I just talked abou...
Fareed_Zakaria  Michael_Hayden  security_&_intelligence  spymasters  strategic_thinking  spycraft  JCK  Germany  leaders  trans-Atlantic 
november 2013 by jerryking
Spying Known at Top Levels, Officials Say - NYTimes.com
October 29, 2013 | NYT | By MARK LANDLER and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT.

Mr. Clapper and the agency’s director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, vigorously rejected suggestions that the agency was a rogue institution, trawling for information on ordinary citizens and leaders of America’s closest allies, without the knowledge of its Washington overseers.

Their testimony came amid mounting questions about how the N.S.A. collects information overseas, with Republicans and Democrats calling for a congressional review, lawmakers introducing a bill that would curb its activities and Mr. Obama poised to impose his own constraints, particularly on monitoring the leaders of friendly nations. At the same time, current and former American intelligence officials say there is a growing sense of anger with the White House for what they see as attempts to pin the blame for the controversy squarely on them.

General Alexander said news media reports that the N.S.A. had vacuumed up tens of millions of telephone calls in France, Italy and Spain were “completely false.” That data, he said, is at least partly collected by the intelligence services of those countries and provided to the N.S.A.

Still, both he and Mr. Clapper said that spying on foreign leaders — even those of allies — was a basic tenet of intelligence tradecraft and had gone on for decades. European countries, Mr. Clapper said, routinely seek to listen in on the conversations of American leaders.
security_&_intelligence  espionage  Europe  sigint  NSA  leaders  eavesdropping  spymasters  James_Clapper  spycraft 
october 2013 by jerryking
Obama calls Hollande as U.S. spy scandal widens to include France - The Globe and Mail
DEB RIECHMANN and KIMBERLY DOZIER

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press

Published Monday, Oct. 21 2013,

U.S. President Barack Obama called French President François Hollande on Monday and discussed France’s anger over reported aggressive surveillance tactics by the National Security Agency...Keeping tabs on allies is classic spy craft but the sweep and scope of the NSA program have irritated Germany, Britain, Brazil, and most recently Mexico and France....The report in Le Monde, co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who originally revealed the surveillance program based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, found that when certain numbers were used, the conversations were automatically recorded. The surveillance operation also swept up text messages based on key words, Le Monde reported, based on records from Dec. 10 to Jan 7.

The French government, which wants the surveillance to cease, also renewed demands for talks on protection of personal data.
Obama  espionage  security_&_intelligence  NSA  sigint  France  French  surveillance  spycraft  eavesdropping 
october 2013 by jerryking
‘Cyberwar’ allegations threaten rift between Brazil and Canada
Oct. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | STEPHANIE NOLEN, COLIN FREEZE AND STEVEN CHASE.
Martin Rudner, a former Carleton University professor, said Canadian defence ministers have spent decades directing CSEC to collect foreign intelligence – including intelligence acquired through economic espionage.

He said Brazil could be a long-term strategic target, given its emerging oil resources could potentially cut into the market for Alberta oil. Probing the Brazilian energy ministry’s data would be one way for Ottawa to figure out the scale of that economic threat, Mr. Rudner said.

According to the Fantastico exposé, CSEC may have been trying to hack into an encrypted government server in Brazil that hosts correspondence between government officials and corporations. “These are state conversations, government strategies which no one should be able to eavesdrop upon,” Brazilian Energy Minister Edison Lobao was quoted as saying.

The leaked documents – all stamped “CSEC – Advanced Network Tradecraft”– yield intriguing glances into the previously unexplored world of Canadian cyberespionage, a world where disparate bits of data are painstakingly amassed in hopes of seeing what happens on a given “target’s” smarthphone or e-mail chains.
espionage  CSE  Brazil  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  Dilma_Rousseff  diplomacy  sigint  spycraft  Ottawa 
october 2013 by jerryking
In History Lies All the Secrets of Statecraft - WSJ.com
October 9, 2009 | WSJ | By CON COUGHLIN.

In History Lies All the Secrets of Statecraft
First Official Account of MI5 Released to Celebrate U.K. Security Service's Centenary
security_&_intelligence  book_reviews  United_Kingdom  statecraft  spycraft  espionage  MI5  organizational_culture  commemoration  archives  history 
may 2012 by jerryking
“Our Home and Wired Land”
by Stevie Cameron
EspionageFrom the February 2005 magazine
by Stevie Cameron | The Walrus | February 2005

There is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Powers, author of Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda. Another is Markus Ederer, a real star as the deputy director of analysis at the Bundesnachrichtendienst, the German secret service. E
Canadian  security_&_intelligence  espionage  Wesley_Wark  books  cyber_security  CSIS  CSE  sigint  spycraft  Stevie_Cameron  humint  Pulitzer_Prize 
may 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
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
A Perfectly Framed Assassination in Dubai - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 27, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by Robert Baer.
Stepped-up surveillance technology may be tipping the scales in the
cat-and-mouse game between spies and their targets--comment on the
current state of spycraft.
targeted_assassinations  spycraft  Mossad  Hamas  Dubai  CIA  security_&_intelligence  Israel  covert_operations 
march 2010 by jerryking
Israeli Spy Had Snares Like 'Honey Trap' - WSJ.com
JULY 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By STEPHEN MILLER. Obit
for Meir Amit 1921 - 2009. And to Mr. Amit, success could breed failure.
He believed the 1967 victory, for example, spawned a dangerous
complacency. "After the war we succumbed to the disease of arrogance, of
'We know better, we are the best, far above the others,'" he once said.
Shai Tsur, Mr. Amit's grandson, says his grandfather believed "the
failure of the 1973 war, especially on the part of military
intelligence, was a direct product of this 'konseptziya,'" the idea that
Israel was so strong that its neighbors would never attack.
Israeli  Mossad  security_&_intelligence  1967  obituaries  spymasters  spycraft  Six-Day_War  complacency  overconfidence 
november 2009 by jerryking

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