Saturday, April 28, 2012

Joseph from Spain nails the last detail in FBI unsolved case

On 16 November 2011 I shared Joseph from Spain's solution to a case that the FBI's "best and brightest" couldn't solve (see here). Just today he entered the final comment as to the exact house location where Ricky McCormick buried his "treasure" before being murdered. If anybody in Missouri wants to do some legwork, we'd both appreciate your dropping us a note. I've pasted Joseph's final note below (you can see the whole thread at the above link):

Hello from Spain.
+ Six months ago i said that i was looking for a house with the NUMBER 35. (see November 22,2011)
+ Finally i have found the house in the place i had predicted to 36 and 29 miles from Chouteau Avenue 1400, St Louis (MO), is this:
+ 6035 Missouri 94, Portage Des Sioux, MO 63337 EE UU
+ I used Google Maps ans Street View.
(The calculation of the distance is a rough estimate)
+ Anyone can check and see the home next to the northern entrance of Marais Temps Clair C.A. (MO).
+ This show that i was right and i deciphered correctly the Mccormick´s notes.
+ I can not longer do anything. If the FBI wants to dig up the case or not, that is up to them.
+ I have finished my work.
Greetings from Spain.

Friday, April 27, 2012

House passes CISPA; The Perfect Storm builds.

On Wednesday I talked about The Perfect Storm forming from Russian-speaking hackers, Chinese cyber militarism and the whacky new religion of Kopimism. What else could breathe energy into that category 5 cyber storm? Jihadists? Iran? North Korea? No, my little cabbage heads. The Internet "planet killer" event was fueled by none other than the US House of Representatives passing CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act, reported HERE by Time Magazine). IMHO, CISPA is a kind of "legislative IQ test" the approval of which disqualifies politicians from future public service. Since it's going to the Senate now, I'll be anxious to see how my guys vote. Utah House member Rob Bishop voted "No," while mental midgets Matheson and Chaffetz proved they were well and truly lobbied (SAIC, Lockheed Martin). Well Senator Hatch? You're up for re-election this year. Hopefully you have someone on your staff who knows bit from shineola.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prediction: Russian-speakers, China, and Kopimists form The Perfect Storm this summer

It's going to be a hot summer in the cyberverse. Network world reported today (see here) that:
Russian-speaking hackers earned an estimated US$4.5 billion globally using various online criminal tactics and are thus responsible for 36 percent of the estimated total of $12.5 billion earned globally by cybercriminals in 2011, Russian security analyst firm Group-IB said in a report published on Tuesday.
In addition, China stays at the top of my state-sponsored cyber intrusions into anything and everything connected to the Internet. Finally, those zany anarchists have stumbled upon the swell idea of turning hacking into a state-recognized (a la Sweden) religion: Kopimism (see my essay on the process of Rhetorical Wargaming, wherein you can use social and traditional media to test ideas for staying power). Forget about the North Koreans, Iranians or dyed-in-the-wool jihadists. With the world's policy makers stuck in their Maginot-line/we-must-be-in-control mentality of getting all the power mongers around a table to have "their say" in all cyber-attack-escalation decisions (as opposed to having a well-published sub-microsecond response in the can and ready to rain hell on attackers), I predict this is going to be ONE HOT SUMMER.

You know my solution, Grasshopper. Have a nice day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

One step beyond mass sentiment analysis: INDIVIDUAL INTENT ANALYSIS

Just got an interesting glimpse into the future of "spook shop" media trolling. Everybody worth the powder to blow them to hell claims some sort of social "sentiment analysis" capability.  But the next step in analytic tagging of the media fire hose is "intent analysis." After all, clumsy sentiment analysis is a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down/neutral indication with pretty abysmal accuracy ratings (the algorithms can't distinguish sarcasm from honest opinion). That's why I've relied on Quantum Leap's PBA (Pattern Based Analytics) to give me a more accurate picture of really trending themes. I can do a pretty good job of predicting GROUP INTENT based upon Quantum Leap Buzz, and regard it as a cool (even indispensable) tool to have in myt bag of predictive marketing tricks.

But what about the "spook shops" and their deep dive into a single thread, a single document, a single thought in context? How do you determine the INTENT of a single author? I just got an enlightening monograph today from Israeli/American friend of mine, and he gave me permission to publish it. If I were a Cyber Privateer who wanted a "Dead Man's Switch" (which I describe in Principle #1 of The Perfect Virus, Oversight), I'd implement it with an INTENT ANALYSIS CCS (Command and Control System) and then turn it loose on mankind. This Dead Man's Switch would make my continued health an important consideration to a world at the mercy of my Perfect Virus.

So thank you Michael S. Pincus (, founder and president of Mnemotrix Systems, Inc., for an important addition to my Perfect Virus Oversight Module: a "dead man's switch" that can sniff out my enemies long after they've put a bullet into my head. Here's Mike's monograph in its entirety:

There is in the private sector developed and owned by Mnemotrix Systems, Inc., an intelligence sensemaking automaton that can connect-the-dots from Internet scraped data and obtained memos, reports, and conversation transcripts based on metaphoric and semiotic reverse inferencing exposing both expressed but hidden intentions and underlying subconscious thoughts in social media, reports, articles, news and other material from bad guys.

One of the greatest advantages this technology provides for the community is it can take metaphors and apply it to social media. Scraping millions of tweets and blogs through metaphors and being able to distill INTENT is a vital key to locating real threats without bias. The automaton's reasoning is based on a human savant model of the neural linguistic patterns in the human subconscious. Analysts using the automaton to help connect-the-dots have reported that it helps to awaken their subconscious through reflections in the data teaching the analyst to think like the subconscious mind "thinks." It helps the analyst augment those behind-the-scenes thought processes that are always running but frequently buried by pervasive thoughts and bias helping the analyst to locate INTENT in data.
This is not a research project waiting for funding. It is fully complete technology already in place, in places.
The following examples are real from a recent study of the system done by an analyst in the Pentagon.

The analyst sent the following:
The SISMA automaton will augment analysis capabilities by allowing the analyst to type in something like "sudan reaction to action" and it comes up with "South Sudan accuses Sudan of Airstrikes". Bingo. The query "Mali civilian crisis" comes up with "in the face of the deteriorating security situation in the north of Mali, and the looming food crisis in the region, I urge all parties to take care of the civilian population and ensure respect for human life" where the keywords are "Mali" "crisis" and "civilian". While that might not seem impressive, it came from an article entitled "EU suspends development operations in Mali". An analyst might not have found this information if he was looking for EU reactions to the Mali coup.

Thought is not linear, usually. Of course, one must be careful of mirror image bias, but one must always be. The analyst
working in the Pentagon also ran a non-specific query "reaction to a threat" into the 5-day Forecast, and got articles with some of the interesting lines (with the analysts comments in **), but to preface, in the first article (Headline: Insight: Valentine's Day mission gives BOJ new personality, Tokyo Reuters) the only 2 'words' the savant automaton drew out of "reaction to a threat" were 'challenge' and 'action'; an analyst would not find the below concepts with other search engines: 
In another query "reaction to a threat" it found from other material: "The governor had just been publicly heckled by politicians over seemingly endless deflation and a yen near record highs" (*this is the threat*). "Bold steps were needed to restore the BOJ's standing, and quickly" (*this sets up the reaction to that threat*) - "...working that weekend at the BOJ knew surprise would be the key to success and so abstained from the usual practice of leaking plans to the media to massage expectations." (*a reaction to a threat*) - "So the BOJ very deliberately sent investors and politicians the signal they have been waiting for -- that it was ready to deploy unconventional weaponry to lead Japan out of deflation" (*a reaction to a threat*) - "Those who have worked with him say he is particularly uncomfortable doing something just for psychological effect (*reaction to a threat*) and in his view that includes feeding more cash to banks that have trouble absorbing the funds already available to them (*the threat, or problem that the reaction might create*) - "Indeed, the central bank has found itself playing down the impact of it's February move to temper expectations of further bombshell steps." (*another reaction to a threat*) 
There are many more instances of reactions to threats in this article. Perhaps the article would be found looking for " 'bank*' AND 'japan*' AND 'BOJ' AND 'deflation' but you might get myriad other responses.
Indeed when this search string "reaction to a threat" is put through Google it comes up with a lot of things that are close, and some that aren't. However, I would challenge the analyst to decipher, in simple terms, the overall theme of the reporting. Sure, in time one could come up with it, deflation is high and the BOJ is doing something about it - but to say "the BOJ may react X way to currency deflation" and discover this immediately saves a lot of time, especially if Japanese economy is one's area of interest. 
In another Reuters article, under the same search query "reaction to a threat", the automaton found this particularly illuminating hit: "Bahrain's Sunni Muslim minority, fearful of Shi'ite political assertiveness (*this is the threat*), is spawning factions that rail against compromise with the island's sectarian majority (*this is the reaction to the threat!*), while nursing their own grudges against its Sunni ruling family (*a tertiary reaction to the threat!*). Within the same article: "'It's obvious they're trying to harm the economy to pressure the government' Ge said, warning of a possible violent response if Wefaq gained cabinet seats in the current climate" ; "warning" and "response" were the words the Automaton pulled out of the search query, but the article is loaded with reactions to threats, including vigilantism, and different threats/demands. 
Another query of "reaction to a threat" found "India is particularly keen to strengthen its maritime capabilities (*reaction*), given China's pursuit of a powerful 'blue water' navy which Delhi sees as a threat to key shipping routes in the Indian Ocean and Indian energy assets in the South China Sea" (*the threat*). 
The query "impending action" came up with some very interesting hits as well; including "dangerous times", and " auction on Wednesday added to worries that the impact of the European Central Bank's one trillion euro injection of cheap three-year funds into the banking system may be coming (*impending*) to an abrupt halt (*action*)".
This kind of augmened Sensemaking IS the future for intelligence and it is here now. 
What I find eerily interesting is that this post is dated Friday the 13th. Coincidence? Time will be the judge of that.

Monday, April 9, 2012

CISPA still spells "defense" which still means FAILURE

The new "son of SOPA" is CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), the latest brainchild of Rep. Mike Rodgers (R-Mich.), who introduced the bill along with Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) and now has about 100 co-sponsors. Notwithstanding that it bloats up another level of defense-only bureaucracy, complete with demands for participants to get security clearances and offering response scenarios measured in days/weeks and not microseconds, my real issue is unchanged: defense only. Guys, anyone who has ever played a first-person shooter game knows that no one ever wins by playing defense only.

Gosh, I wish I knew a smart politician.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear INTERPOL, you continue to ignore practicality

Today's Networkworld story (see here) continues to ignore the reality of cybercrime and cyberwarfare in general. While you're looking for more international laws, your methodology of getting "signoff" from prosecutors by going country to country is curiously quaint:
Noble said in order to overcome legal hurdles involved with Operation Unmask, INTERPOL went directly to prosecutors in the countries concerned to ensure that available evidence would be admissible in court.
You take days and weeks to get sign off for responses to a war that takes place in milliseconds? Get serious. What you truly need is one country to authorize immediate and disproportional response by licensed and bonded cyber privateers who abide by the Cyber Privateer Code (see here). Period.