I Can’t Forget the Lessons of Vietnam. Neither Should You.

source: nytimes.com (contributed by Bob Wallace)

image:  pixabay.com

 

Aug. 19, 2021

By Viet Thanh Nguyen

Mr. Nguyen is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer” and its sequel, “The Committed.” He is a professor of English, American studies and comparative literature at the University of Southern California.

I was 4 years old when Saigon fell, so I do not remember any of it. I count myself lucky, since many Vietnamese who survived the end of that war were greatly traumatized by it. The collapse of the American-backed Southern regime began in my Central Highlands hometown, Ban Me Thuot, in March 1975. In less than two months, all of South Vietnam capitulated to the North Vietnamese. Soldiers fled in chaotic retreat among civilians. My mother, brother and I were among them. We left behind my adopted sister. After walking nearly 200 kilometers to escape the advancing North Vietnamese army, the three of us made it to the seaside city of Nha Trang, where we managed to find a boat to take us to Saigon where my father was.

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21st Century Dunkirk: The story of how air traffic controllers used social media DMs to help rescue friends trapped in Afghanistan

source: warisboring.com  |  image: pixabay.com

sourced by Bob Wallace

This is a fascinating article published by Bright Mountain Media.  Unfortunately, we are unable to post any part of the article here.  Instead, however, we encourage you to navigate directly to warisboring.com where you can read the article in its entirety.

The full article can be seen here

 

What you can do about

the T-Mobile data breach 

source: fastcompany.com | image: t-mobile.com

 

The breach reportedly involves social security numbers, driver’s license IDs, and more.

Update: On Wednesday, T-Mobile confirmed many of the details of the attack, including the theft of names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver’s license information. The company’s initial estimates show that the attack affects roughly 7.8 million postpaid customers and 40 million “former or prospective” customers who had applied for credit with T-Mobile.

For most of those people, T-Mobile notes that the attack didn’t compromise phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords, or financial information. However, the company has identified roughly 850,000 prepaid T-Mobile customers whose phone numbers and PINs were exposed. The company has already reset PINs in those cases.

As for the next steps, T-Mobile says customers should call 611 and change their account PINs as a proactive measure. T-Mobile will also offer two years of free identity theft protection, and will compile more information on what customers can do on a web page later today.

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“China is one of [Director Burns’] priorities, and CIA is in the process of determining how best to position ourselves to reflect the significance of this priority.”

CIA Weighs Creating Special China Unit in Bid to Out-Spy Beijing

source: bloomberg.com | image: pixabay.com

The Central Intelligence Agency is weighing proposals to create an independent “Mission Center for China” in an escalation of its efforts to gain greater insight into the U.S.’s top strategic rival, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

The proposal, part of a broader review of the agency’s China capabilities by CIA Director William Burns, would elevate the focus on China within the agency, where China has long been part of a broader “Mission Center for East Asia and Pacific.”

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Identity Matching:

What You Need to Know About It

source: cyberdefensemagazine.com

image: pexels.com

When asked how they can improve a bank’s security from financial crime, many bankers are at a loss for words. Granted, the question is a broad one and difficult to answer right away—financial crime has always been multifaceted, and its nature has only evolved further over time. Still, if banking institutions truly want to steer clear of connections to money launderers or terrorist financiers, they must identify which aspect of their operations is worth strengthening.

Industry experts for anti-money laundering (AML) have recently reached a consensus: there’s a lot of potential in using the customer screening stage to prevent suspicious transactions. The most sensible paradigm to adopt is one that’s called identity matching, which involves assessing customer risk based on the full context of their account enrollment data. This, along with upgrading the bank’s customer due diligence (CDD) technologies, will prove much more effective than the default rules-based name matching approach.

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source: cnet.com

 

The Department of Homeland Security enlists Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others to help combat cyberthreats.

US taps tech giants to help fight ransomware, cyberattacks

 

 

The US government is turning to tech giants including Amazon, Microsoft and Google to help bolster cybersecurity, after a string of high-profile attacks involving critical infrastructure. 

The initiative, called the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, was unveiled Thursday by Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security. The effort, reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, will initially focus on combating ransomware and developing a framework to deal with cyberattacks that affect providers of cloud services. It also aims to improve information sharing between the government and the private sector, with the goal of reducing the risk of attacks and ensuring a coordinated response. 

“The JCDC presents an exciting and important opportunity for this agency and our partners — the creation of a unique planning capability to be proactive vice reactive in our collective approach to dealing with the most serious cyber threats to our nation,” said Easterly. “The industry partners that have agreed to work side-by-side with CISA and our interagency teammates share the same commitment to defending our country’s national critical functions from cyber intrusions, and the imagination to spark new solutions.” 

The team-up follows several high-profile ransomware and cyberattack episodes in the US. So far this year, ransomware attacks have shut down a gas pipeline and a major meat producer, spurring fears of shortages and concerns that other critical infrastructure is at risk. A number of federal agencies also fell victim to the SolarWinds hack that was uncovered last year, including high-level officials at the DHS

Earlier this year, the Biden administration unveiled several efforts to shore up cybersecurity practices across federal agencies, including a $20 billion plan to secure the country’s infrastructure against cyberattacks. 

Other companies participating with multiple government agencies in the JCDC include AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye, Lumen, Palo Alto Networks and Verizon.

“In order to bolster our nation’s cyber defenses, it’s essential that the public and private sectors work together to defend against evolving threats and shore up modern IT capabilities that will protect our federal, state and local governments,” said Phil Venables, chief information security officer at Google Cloud, in an emailed statement. “We look forward to working with CISA under the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and offering our security resources to build a stronger and more resilient cyber defense posture.”

Amazon and Microsoft didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

 

 

 

 

THINK SMALL: WHY THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY SHOULD DO LESS ABOUT NEW THREATS

source: warontherocks.com. 

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay 

 

A week into his administration, President Joe Biden announced that he was “putting the climate crisis at the center of United States foreign policy and national security,” and directed the intelligence community to draft a national intelligence estimate on the implications of climate change. In so doing, the president injected new urgency into an old question: What counts as a national security threat?

For intelligence agencies, the traditional answer has revolved around foreign military powers. The architects of the U.S. intelligence community designed a bureaucracy whose main focus was watching the Soviet Union, assessing its conventional and nuclear capabilities, and searching for signs of attack. After the Cold War its focus shifted to terrorism and support for military operations, as the United States undertook a series of humanitarian interventions and state-building campaigns.

 

 

Recent years have witnessed an even more profound change. A growing chorus of analysts argues that security is not primarily about guarding the nation from hostile states or great powers. War is in decline, they say, and acts of terrorism against Americans are rare. The real dangers are transnational threats like climate change and pandemics. Nothing has a more tangible effect on the safety and well-being of American citizens. The odds that any of us will be affected by war or terrorism are vanishingly small. The odds that all of us will suffer from transnational security threats are rising.

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Private Espionage Is Booming. The US Needs a Spy Registry


From Black Cube to Fusion GPS, the operatives-for-hire industry has recklessly exploded. Disclosure requirements could keep things in check

source: wired.com

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

YEARS AGO, WHILE stationed in Moscow as the bureau chief for a major news magazine, I was approached by a representative of a multinational company and presented with a tantalizing offer. He said he had highly sensitive materials exposing possible criminal activity by a Russian competitor. The documents were mine with one condition: advance notice so he could be out of the country when any story was published.

I had every reason to think the materials came from a private intelligence operative hired by the company—there were many such operatives in Moscow—but I didn’t ask my source for his source. Instead I embarked on a somewhat harrowing investigation of my own, and on corroborating the materials, I was able to publish a splashy story.

 

Lula Norman

Photographer

Christine Ford

Product Management

This episode came back to me while reading Barry Meier’s new book, Spooked: The Trump Dossier, Black Cube, and the Rise of Private Spies. A former New York Times investigative reporter, Meier casts a harsh light on both “private spies” and journalists who make frequent use of nuggets unearthed by these operatives. In the book’s afterword, he revives an idea for “a kind of ‘spy registry’ in which operatives for hire would have to disclose the names of their clients and assignments,” just as Congress now requires of lobbyists hired to influence legislators.

Is this truly a problem in need of a solution? Or would a spy registry create worse problems?

It’s tempting to conclude that there is really nothing new here and that private spies may even supply a public service. In the original, late-19th-century Gilded Age, the Pinkerton Detective Agency devoted itself to the art of subterfuge. In 1890, a Pinkerton man went undercover on behalf of his client, the governor of North Dakota, and confirmed from rigorous barroom investigation that a fair amount of “boodle,” bribe money, was being dispensed by advocates of a state lottery opposed by the governor. The governor revealed the dirty dealings to the public, and the lottery scheme failed—all perhaps to the civic good.

Today’s circumstances are far different. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf technologies for surveillance, hacking, and spoofing make the spy game easier to play than ever before. What hired sleuth doesn’t now travel with one of those metallic-fabric bags that blocks cellphone GPS signals, like the GoDark Faraday model that sells online for $49.97? It’s an insignificant item on the expense report.

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