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超限战 – “Warfare without Bounds”; China’s Hacking of the US June 11, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Unconditional_warfare

“Pleased to meet you…hope you guessed my name…But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.”
– The Rolling Stones; Sympathy for the Devil

With the recent US Government’s acknowledgement of China’s hacking of numerous government websites and networks, many are likely wondering why China would have an interest in stealing employee data?  To answer this question, we need to look back at the 1991 Gulf War. You can read my 2013 Article (WorldCyberwar) in the Counter Terrorist Magazine on this subject.

In 1991, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq in defense of Kuwait.  At the time Iraq had the 5th largest standing army in the world.  The US led coalition defeated the Iraqi army in resounding fashion in only 96 hours.  For those in the United States the victory was impressive but the average American civilian did not have an appreciation for how this victory was accomplished.

The Gulf War was the first real use of what is known as C4I.  In short, C4I is an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence. The Gulf War was the first use of a new technology known as Global Positioning Systems (GPS).  The Battle of Medina Ridge was a decisive tank battle in Iraq fought on February 26, 1991 and the first to use GPS.  In this 40 minute battle, the US 1st Armored Division fought the 2nd Brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard and won decisively. While the US lost 4 tanks and had 2 people killed, the Iraqis suffered a loss of 186 tanks, 127 Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 839 soldiers captured.  The Chinese watched the Gulf War closely and came away with an understanding that a conventional ‘linear’ war against the United States was unwinnable.

After the Gulf War the Chinese People’s Liberation Army tasked two PLA colonels (Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui) with redefining the concept of warfare.  From this effort came a new model of Warfare that is published in the book “Unrestricted Warfare” or “Warfare without Bounds”.  Unrestricted Warfare is just what it sound like.  The idea that ‘pseudo-wars’ can be fought against an enemy.  Information warfare, PR efforts and other tactics are used to undermine and enemy without engaging in kinetic, linear battle.  Below is a quote from the book:

“If we acknowledge that the new principles of war are no longer “using armed force to compel the enemy to submit to one’s will,” but rather are “using all means including armed force and non-armed force, military and non-military, lethal and non-lethal means to compel the enemy to accept one’s interests.”

“As we see it, a single man-made stock-market crash, a single computer virus invasion, or a single rumor or scandal that results in a fluctuation in the enemy country’s exchange rates or exposes the leaders of an enemy country on the Internet, all can be included in the ranks of new-concept weapons.”

It further stated: “… a single rumor or scandal that results in fluctuation in the enemy country’s exchange rates…can be included in the ranks of new concept weapons.”

On April 15, 2011, the US Congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations conducted a hearing on Chinese cyber-espionage. The hearing revealed the US government’s awareness of Chinese cyberattacks. In describing the situation in his opening remarks, subcommittee chairperman Dana Rohrbacher* astutely stated:

“[The]United States is under attack.”

“The Communist Chinese Government has defined us as the enemy. It is buying, building and stealing whatever it takes to contain and destroy us. Again, the Chinese Government has defined us as the enemy.”

Given the Chinese perspective on Unlimited Warfare, it becomes much more clear that what we are seeing with the compromises are examples of ‘pseudo wars’ being fought by the Chinese.  It will be interesting to see how or if the US responds.

*thank you to the reader who corrected my referencing Mr. Rohrbacher as a female.  My apologies to Chairman Rohrbacher!

GlobalRiskInfo has passed 100,000 Unique Visitors! June 7, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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HeadshotChris2013_COMPWOW!…thanks for everyone who does or has read the GlobalRiskInfo blog over the past several years.  We officially passed 100,000 unique visitors this weekend!  Thanks!

Getting into Information Assurance Careers June 2, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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March coverI have had a number of folks email me asking about becoming an InfoSec worker so I am writing this post to (hopefully) help those who are interested.  In 2001, I landed in InfoSec by pure luck and I have never looked back.  It is an amazing field and a great career path.  First..for some marketing.  According to the InfoSec Institute, the average CISSP Salary in 2014 is over $100,000 per year.  In 2013 there were 209,000 job postings for CyberSecurity Jobs and it is estimated that in 2015, there are 40,000 more jobs than people to take them.  In short, it is a very high demand field.

InfoSec?  CyberSecurity? Information Assurance?  WHAT?

It is even confusing to me sometimes.  At a high level I use the term Information Assurance as it encompasses all of the elements of protecting data.  This includes data security (protecting data), CyberSecurity (protecting the systems, and infrastructure), Privacy (appropriate use of information) and Compliance (ensuring your company complies with relevant regulations) and Risk Management (evaluating the security risk of your organization).  While this short post does not allow for a more comprehensive overview, these are the generic ‘pillars’ that we consider.

What types of Jobs are Out There? (more…)

Ebony Monique Dickens…Racist Thug…with a Masters Degree… April 29, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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o-TIFFANY-MILAN-570A post by a Ms. Tiffany Milan read: “death to all white cops nationwide” and went on to say, “I thought about shooting every white cop I see in the head until I’m either caught by the police or killed by them… Might kill at least 15 tomorrow, I’m plotting now”  While this language appears to be from a disenfranchised ‘thug’ in reality it was written by a woman who works in IT, has on Masters degree (in criminal justice) and is working on another in Legal Studies.

The following is an excerpt from a paper written by Ms.Dickens on, of all things, the Origins of Violenec:  “Furthermore, longitudinal studies regarding maltreated children reveal that children with a high MAOA expression showed lower chances of developing antisocial personality. The study emphasizes that childhood maltreatment is a strong risk factor forthe development of violence in adulthood. As a matter of fact, it increases the risk ofdeveloping antisocial behavior and criminal tendencies by 50 percent. Conversely, maleswith low MAOA have a higher tendency for violent behavior later in life.”

Terrorists, subversives and violent people are around us on a daily basis.  This demonstrates that ignorance, racism, and hate is not limited to these who have not had the benefit of advanced education or opportunities in life. Ms. Dickens will likely spend years in prison.  No doubt she will blame the cops who arrested her for her outrageous and dangerous comments.

Integrity and Honor April 2, 2015

Posted by Nick Noll in Uncategorized.
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Honor

High respect; esteem. A privilege.

 

When you join the United States Marine Corps you will either take a bus to Parris Island, South Carolina or San Diego, California to attend Basic Training. As young men from various parts of the country arrive late at night they are greeted by a Drill Instructor yelling at them on the bus to get off the bus. There they get off onto the yellow footprints. They stand as young men some barely 18 hoping not to be singled out for further attention.

One of the most critical things you learn, as a young recruit is the 14 Marine leadership traits. Among those leadership traits one stands above all: “Integrity”. A quick web search will reveal Integrity to mean: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness and or the state of being whole and undivided.” Leadership within the Marines is extremely important and it is bestowed upon young men who make critical life and battle changing decisions. Recent movies such as Lone Survivor or American Sniper give the American public a glimpse into the split second decisions made by men of integrity and honor whom have been called upon by U.S. policy makers to act in the best interests of U.S. national security.

As the wars continue to wind down the American public continues to see a myriad of integrity violations that lead to a loss of public trust in the leadership of this nation from Cabinet level officials, news anchors, and our highest enlisted Marines who serve in positions of authority but continue to betray the public trust and in some cases the trust of their Marines and honor of those passed.

Integrity in the Marines over the course of a career breeds a level of honor that is often reflective of one’s rank. The highest enlisted rank within the United States Marine Corps is the Sergeant Major (SGTMAJ). Through the course of a 20-30 year career to attain such a high rank the 14 leadership traits are continuously in use and enhanced through experience and professional training. However, just as in the case of the recent Veterans Affairs director Honor has been lost and integrity violated. Having read the biographical profile of SGTMAJ Kenneth C. Lovell III of the 3rd battalion 2nd Marines. A few errors were discovered from colleagues who served alongside the upcoming SGTMAJ. As in the case of Brian Williams there appears to be an attempt to amplify ones accomplishments in the public eye for future albeit notoriety or career ambition.

His original bio stated he: “…attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in which he was an Honor Graduate.”

SGTMAJ Lovell attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course 3-98 at Stone Bay in Camp Lejeune, NC. The Honor graduate for the class was Corporal Aaron Pine who attained the rank of Sergeant before being Honorably discharged. Once the SGTMAJ was called to task for this claim his official bio was changed where it stated he was a distinguished graduate. No such recognition was made for a distinguished graduate at sniper school in 1998. Additionally, it was discovered through his picture that the SGTMAJ appears to be wearing two stars on his combat action ribbon in lieu of third award. The bio again was changed and now reflects two awards for combat action. The SGTMAJ was recently relieved of his command.

In exploring all levels of public trust one can only think of the statement: “What worries me the most, is our ability to govern ourselves.” maid by former Director of the CIA and DoD, Mr. Leon Panetta. It would not be an assumption to say he knows exactly what he is talking about. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under scrutiny recently for betraying the public’s trust as our nation’s most senior diplomat. Cabinet level officials such as Mrs. Clinton hold clearances at the highest level and by nature of their very position are dealing with classified information almost exclusively and of the most compartmented nature.

When you hold a security clearance you sign a secrecy agreement and you are not allowed to take home or hold on your private email server anything related to the work you do. She has compromised her integrity, violated classified handling of material protocols and likely handed over critical information to foreign intelligence services through the use of a commercial and unsecured server per standards set forth by the U.S. government for the handling of classified material. If she could only handle one phone at a time there is surely a team within the State department that would have been capable of integrating any and all features she required to conduct her duties both privately and professionally.

What the public is seeing today and should be gravely concerned over going forward is this sense of entitlement and lack of integrity by both appointed officials and government agencies. Quite simply “The government makes the rules and the government chooses whether to follow them”. Look no further than the examples of Mrs. Clinton and the IRS loosing emails that suggest selective targeting of citizens of opposing political views to that of those serving in IRS leadership positions such as Lois Lerner. This is clearly an arm of the government weaponized against a group of its citizens. It is profoundly more egregious than that of the Benghazi scandal.

Integrity is it becoming a lost art among those who are in positions of authority and entrusted by the public, peers, and colleagues to protect, inform, and lead? Here are but a few examples at the Government, Military, and Corporate levels where public trust is lost for personal gain. It divides a workforce, weakens a military unit, and a public that demands strong leadership to drive us through the grave national security issues that exist today is divided. The United States stands strong today because “United we stand, divided we fall.” Leadership is key!

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