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Edited by Christian Lowe | Contact

Counter Cyber Intelligence


Professional spies in the service of nation states, businesses, organized crime and terrorist organizations target and steal secret information from the public and private sectors to use and sell. Traditional foreign espionage efforts attack the heart of national security and any country's well-being. Non-traditional espionage efforts attack the competitiveness and prosperity of our businesses. When you add the recent increases in cyber intelligence collection efforts, the threat has risen to unprecedented levels and triggered numerous warnings from experts around the globe. To put this threat in perspective, in the 2008 Top Ten Cyber Security Menaces by the SANS Institute, cyber espionage ranked number three. In order to counter this threat, you need to understand counter intelligence and counter cyber intelligence.

Counter Intelligence (CI) is defined as the efforts made by intelligence organizations to prevent adversaries or enemy intelligence organizations from gathering and collecting sensitive information or intelligence about them. Many governments create counter intelligence organizations separate and distinct from their intelligence collection counterparts.

Counter Cyber Intelligence (CCI) is defined as all efforts made by one intelligence organization to prevent adversaries, enemy intelligence organizations or criminal organizations from gathering and collecting sensitive digital information or intelligence about them via computers, networks and associated equipment. CCI are measures to identify, penetrate, or neutralize computer operations that use cyber weapons as a means and mechanism to collect information.

Tracking, analyzing, and countering cyber intelligence collection efforts are increasingly difficult challenges as the growth of state sponsored cyber espionage, terrorist groups and criminal empires in the increasingly global marketplace combine to compound and obscure these growing threats to the United States and our allies. Washington is coming to grips with the challenge of cyber intelligence and counter cyber intelligence. Within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence you will find the Office of the National Counter intelligence Executive (ONCIX). ONCIX is headed by Dr. Brenner, the National Counter intelligence Executive and staffed by senior counter intelligence (CI) and other specialists from across the national intelligence and security communities. Dr. Brenner said, there is growing acceptance that we face a cyber counter intelligence problem, not a security problem. He has also stated that about 140 foreign intelligence surveillance organizations currently target the United States. As you may recall we reported earlier that Spy-Ops has estimated that there are currently 140 countries with active cyber warfare programs in place.

Successful cyber espionage attacks are impacting our politics, military and economy. The nature of the cyber threat is both complex and constantly changing. With the recent congressional testimony putting information espionage and data theft at $1 trillion worldwide, the magnitude of this threat needs much more attention than it is getting. In a conversation with a Federal CI/CCI Investigator he stated the most of the time when we talk to corporate executives and security professionals, their eyes just glaze over.

This is a reaction I have personally experienced as well. With the up-tick in the frequency of attacks coupled with recent adversarial cyber activity that includes network reconnaissance, scanning and outright assaults along all of the thirty-two cyber attack vectors the demand for counter cyber intelligence is clear. The United States remains the prime target for foreign economic collection and cyber espionage efforts by virtue of its global technological leadership, innovation and heavy reliance on computer systems. Foreign collection efforts continue to target a wide variety of sensitive security and competitive information and technologies in virtually every sector around the world.

INTEL: The Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the German equivalent of the CIA in the U.S. and MI5 in the UK, is taking the role of coordinating corporate and industrial espionage and fighting cyber-attacks from foreign secret services.
INTEL: Nearly 1 million computers belonging to German companies are believed to be infected with malicious software that covertly steals and forwards sensitive information to foreign controlled computers -- including machines belonging to competitors. Several reports have surfaced stating that computers in the German Chancellor's office have reportedly been infected.

INTEL: According to its latest research by Intelomics, cyber espionage efforts that are funded by criminal organizations and both government-backed and private efforts is expected to accelerate significantly during the next decade.
INTEL: One of the most common cyber espionage scenarios involves the use of hackers to break into a competitor's IT systems and gather competitive information in order to gain a sales advantage and as a benefit at the bargaining table.

INTEL: The global intelligence community refers to cyber espionage as the "Unrelenting Threat."

-- Kevin Coleman


"Nice of you to call the use of children as disposable explosives transports as 'tactics'"
You are talking about the thousands of american kids who were sent to death, ordered unconstitutionally to invade a foreign country who was no threat?
Or the tens of thousands of brain injured who were 'lucky' to come back? (And are now about to be dropped in Iran, dropped, like bricks, you! stay there in front of these angry millions of people which we just bombed their houses and families, stay enough until we get our oil and put our puppet government and some military bases to make sure these people will follow the dollar hegemony, like force-accepting crap dollar bills and being forced to give money to uncle sam in treasure bills that won't, can't be paid back)

"Another crazy Islamist who deserves to be in the ground with the rest of them."
No, I'm an atheist I only believe in science, logic, ethics, not in the joke book of a psychotic warmongering drug-user. But unlike you, I respect others people's faith, as long as they don't use force.

"Here’s my tip, start looking for a new job. This recession is going to wipe you guys out. "

Maybe, maybe, spending in warmongering more than the whole world combined is too much?
Maybe having military bases in 100+ countries is a waster of money? And when we look at a map and see the US has only two frontiers, and they are mexico and canada... it's an insult.
Maybe all the proud patriots here could open a book and start learning what they are part of. A formal standing military with such a proud history like the massacre in the whiskey rebellion (killing people because the new taxes for the rich friends of the government are killing them), like two centuries of false-flag attacks against innocent countries, from europe to asia to central and southamerica, one of the worst civil wars ever, started only by the lust for blood and power of the warmongering fascist corporatist lincoln who dreamed of a super-power tyrannical federal government who would rule all the planet, even when his own contry was legally and constitutionally leaving the union, he just sent the proud army to kill their women and kids and make sure they would remain poor for a long time... the same tactic used in germany by your generals, blowing up factories after the war just so they could not compete with the corporations who were controlling the government and therefore all the 'I follow orders sir! never mind if they are legal, constitutional or go against basic morality, ethics and all conventions of basic human behaviour'.
Time is coming... the dollar hegemony is coming to it's end, you won't be able to force other people to accept the trillions of dollars your government prints.

"proof of concept or code from you"
Haham and now the white hat speaks! It's you and your buddies who now asks money for things like that in your mighty powerfull 'security conferences' It's a shame that the level is so low that just because you considered simply tasks like that difficult you assume others can't.
Come one! Not everybody waste years in college saying bla bla to the mighty teacher like muslims.

One day, you might ask yourself, was I right?
You see some news like a spy boat 75miles from chinese soil and you asked yourself.. what would have happened were things the other way around?
Yep, it's called double morality, or in plain english, LYING, you live in a country where freedom is a statue.

Posted by: dada at March 11, 2009 12:17 PM

Dada, Nice of you to call the use of children as disposable explosives transports as 'tactics'.
I'm not sure where you think the USA is worse off than Nazi Germany though, but judging by your ranting I'd imagine you're not too certain either.

Another crazy Islamist who deserves to be in the ground with the rest of them.

Posted by: DeusVolt at March 10, 2009 06:59 PM

>This sounds a lot like "techno-babble" laced with ominous fear.

Of course it does if you’re in sales. It’s where the ‘bleeding edge’ is your own twitter channel.

Here’s my tip, start looking for a new job. This recession is going to wipe you guys out. The days of throwing away money at an industry claiming to save the world from 14yro boys with too much time on their hands is over.

Kevin if the grants are not working for you, green is the way to go, it’s the next gravy train.

Posted by: Oblat at March 10, 2009 04:44 PM

Technolytics does NOT perform "grant" research for any government entity. Never have and probably never will! Besides we are 100% booked through year end already and this has been the case for about the last three years. Go figure in this economy. I am just blogging about things as I see them !!!!!!

Posted by: Kevin at March 10, 2009 01:38 PM

While I agree with other responders that cyber-war is load of crap as it is described by the media, I had to laugh out load at the following:

"Have you ever wrote a stealth one-packet 0day kernel stack exploit with rootkit inside moving into bios and/or pci devices memories?" --dada response to the article

Have you, dada? I for one, would like to see that proof of concept or code from you. This sounds a lot like "techno-babble" laced with ominous fear.

CI is a valid approach to information security. Organizations around the globe have used techniques based on our HoneyPoint products to emulate fake services and detect probes and attacks. You can even follow our FREE @honeypoint feed on Twitter for a realtime update on scans and probes from around the world that are detected by our HITME sensors. Based on this data, as well as other techniques like it, you can build powerful, flexible and effective CI security controls.

Posted by: Brent Huston at March 10, 2009 01:35 PM

Come on!
When the hell are you going to stop vomiting words like 'cyberweapons'!

You all bureaucrats don't know how to add 2 by 2.

Have you ever wrote a stealth one-packet 0day kernel stack exploit with rootkit inside moving into bios and/or pci devices memories?

You only waste people's money. For what? to protect an immoral empire based on fiat money, the dollar hegemony with military bases in 100+ countries used only to threat other people's puppet governments to accept the plutocratic american power?
You are poor as hell, your sons are being born with a quarter million dollars debt growing every second, you are about to suffer hyperinflation and become as poor as mexico while big corporations in bed with the always growing government earn millions thanks to corrupted contracts, you are living in a police state worse than nazi germany, you are about to be kidnapped into FEMA camps, you are already being watched by the government 'intelligence'(haha!) agencies, they have lists and databases of all of you and they will go house by house in the night taking you when they finally and formally declare martial law and become officially a fascist state in a perpetual war against tactics, sorry, 'terrorism'.
You are a bunch of idiots who fight wars to make your country less safe and bring nuclear holocaust a bit closer at the same time making unknown people you don't know a bit richer, with the alchemy of turning blood into oil.
You call yourself patriots when you carpet bomb fathers protecting their families and their land and their country from invaders coming thousand miles away to slave them with a puppet government.
To have 'cyber intelligence', you first have to have INTELLIGENCE. A BRAIN. A working one!

Posted by: dada at March 9, 2009 06:44 PM

I see Kevin is off bothering the CIA now for grant money. What the DOD didn't take the bait ?
No fear there is still the NSC, DEA, FDA, FSC and EPA left.

>Successful cyber espionage attacks are impacting our politics, military and economy.

Name one impact greater than the swarm of 'cyber-security' consultants that has descended on Washington with their hands out.

Posted by: Sgt Oblat at March 9, 2009 05:26 PM

So how come every time DT has a cyber warfare article we get some picture of a dude with gloves and a trench coat typing on a keyboard or some guy sitting infront of 6 screens with awesome graphics flying by? Have you ever tried to type in leather gloves? Who needs a flashlight to look at a monitor? Have you ever sat at a PC wearing a trench coat? C'mon I want to see cheeto stained fingers, empty energy drink bottles and a bleary-eyed guy that obviously has no social life. Welcome to sharp edge of cyber warfare

Posted by: aussie expat at March 9, 2009 03:56 PM

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