Category Archives: Internet

Month’s Blosint

1. New ELI7 Things…Brief Explores Google Wave

From the Summary:

Google Wave is a web-based application that represents a rethinking of electronic communication. Users create online spaces called “waves,” which include multiple discrete messages and components that constitute a running, conversational document. Users access waves through the web, resulting in a model of communication in which rather than sending separate copies of multiple messages to different people, the content resides in a single space. Wave offers a compelling platform for personal learning environments because it provides a single location for collecting information from diverse sources while accommodating a variety of formats, and it makes interactive coursework a possibility for nontechnical students. Wave challenges us to reevaluate how communication is done, stored, and shared between two or more people.

Access the Document (2 pages; PDF)

Source: EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative via resourceshelf

2.  In the 8 years that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has been reporting on the state of the Chinese military, this is by far the best report that it has ever issued in the area of Information Warfare (aka Cyber Warfare). Kudos to Northrup Grumman who won the contract to write this special report, and to Steve DeWeese (Project Manager), Bryan Krekel (principal author), George Bakos and Christopher Barnett (Subject Matter Experts). My only objection is that the team didn’t pursue the relationship between the PRC and the Chinese hacker community far enough. Other than that, this is really outstanding work. It will certainly be required reading for our upcoming Cyber Threat Analysis online graduate course at Mercyhurst College Institute of Intelligence Studies.

source: intelfusion



Seven Predictions for Open Source in 2009

2008 was an eventful, breakthrough year for many open source companies, and 2009 will be even more so, especially in terms of business purchasing patterns, software business model shifts, and enterprise software stack evolution. The current economic conditions will certainly prompt businesses to look more closely at alternative IT solutions — and open source technology will be one of the big winners next year. Continue reading →

Your personal web archive – saved forever with iterasi

iterasi is a simple browser-based tool for saving any web page—dynamically generated or otherwise—with the click of a button. The dynamic content is saved immediately—frozen in that moment in time—in an accessible HTML format and stored to a secure personal account. With iterasi, any web page can be saved, searched and shared anytime, from anywhere, forever.

Chinese Hacker Methodology Flowchart

from IntelliBriefs:

The Dark Visitor blog

This Chinese hacker intrusion flowchart above, taken from Stuhack, clearly demonstrates Chinese hackers have developed a methodology to their attacks.
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the chart was the Police song, “Murder by Numbers.”
Is this intrusion chart unique? Probably not. Could they have taken it from someone else? Sure.
As always, many thanks to Jumper for helping me to get the correct terminology. I really had some of them botched.

OSINT project assigned to students

College students get plenty of assignments, but this one was different.

It came from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as a challenge to think tanks, security companies, collegiate teams and veterans of the U.S. intelligence community. Continue reading →

How-To: Determining Source Reliability On The Internet (Link List)

There are a number of great sites (mostly libraries) where there is good guidance on how to evaluate internet based sources. I intend, in this post, to list some of those sites and identify some up-and-coming tools. Finally, I want to highlight an important contribution to this literature that specifically pertains to intelligence analysis.
Virtually every good research library has a page dedicated to evaluating internet based sources. Some good examples include, among others: Continue reading →

DHS discovers the challenge of creating a collaborative social network

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) has held up the deployment of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) critical (non-classified) information sharing system.  The unlucky group that must deal with the herculean task of launching a collaborative social network of law enforcement, state, local federal and tribal agency members must answer some tough questions before continuing.  That group is the Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee (HSINAC). 

Some of the things these poor guys must respond to include:  

-Conduct an immediate manpower survey for an outreach effort which is basically the sales and marketing effort of the Next Generation social network they are attempting to build
-Create a fully articulated business strategy with management controls (their words not mine.)

Large scale information sharing is what social networking is all about.   Creating a critical mass and going viral is one of the phases of any successful launch.  Having a “well articulated business plan” and “management controls” in place *before* launch is not going to help.

Look at MySpace, FaceBook, Slashdot, Craigslist, Digg, Reddit,Twitter, or even Tipd which is in the process of trying to create social site for finance.   All were launched with significantly less than the $150 million that DHS is going to spend on their critical information portal.   

Here is what DHS should do to create an effective information sharing portal. 
1.    Use open standards of course. No proprietary software that has to be deployed to each desktop or department.  
2.    Immediately take the information resources they have available now and publish them.  Lot’s of great tools for that. 
3.    Create a social bookmarking capability such as Digg or Reddit so that the important information can float to the top and discussions can occur.  (Reddit’s code is free and open source)
4.    Faciliate the social aspect. Create a Twitter like functionality so first responders can follow each other and link to each other’s resources.  
5.    Provide a feed reader capability (or just let everyone use Google Reader) so the end users can follow the stuff they determine is important. 
You know that this could be deployed in a matter of days, maybe weeks since it is a government project.  Certainly within the $3 million budget that DHS has for maintaining the failed system already deployed through next September.  The only thing that may take significant investment is the credentialing system needed to keep the bad guys off the network.  

No social network has ever succeeded through central planning, outreach efforts, and management controls. Every successful new information sharing network has just happened, usually explosively.  Unless the DHS can come to grips with that the Homeland Security Information Network-Next Generation is doomed to fail.


Open software tools

The list of Free software tools for designing productive community sites is showing us the future of the intelligence realm: how to become rapid and collaborative in an open world.

Open GEOINT: OpenStreetMap

“It is always so easy to ask why someone doesn’t do something until you realise that you are that someone. ”

Go read the article of Gary Richmond on FSM …

In a recent article on free software and the Large Hadron Collider I mentioned that here in the United Kingdom The Guardian, a national British newspaper, had founded a campaign called “free our data”. They objected to the fact that the Ordnance Survey (and others), funded by the British taxpayer, was charging business and individuals for its cartographic data thus effectively making people pay for it twice. Their campaign is great but until such times as it succeeds an alternative is needed. A free software alternative. Enter OpenStreetMaps.

Google Earth and Google Maps are too well know to require iteration here, but the spectre of proprietary software haunts them. They are not free software. If you want to incorporate any of them into you budding business project and run your software under a relatively permissive licence for others to take up your ideas and improve them you will have to find something else.

Just like Wikipedia, on which it is loosely modelled, OpenStreetMaps is resolutely free software. It is an attempt, by community participation, to map the Earth.

New Research on Mining the Semantic Deep Web

From IntelFusion:

Toward the Semantic Deep Web

Computer (09/08) Vol. 41, No. 9, P. 95; Geller, James; Chun, Soon Ae; An, Yoo Jung

The Semantic Deep Web integrates Semantic Web components with the employment of ontology-aware browsers to squeeze information out of the Deep Web, which is nonindexable, invisible, and concealed online content that is only accessible via Web services or Web-form interfaces, write New Jersey Institute of Technology professor James Geller and colleagues. Continue reading →

Blogs Become Serious Business

Yes, blogs phenomenon is becoming an industry. I said that three years ago…I need to find that document.
I had several blogs…one hosted in Australia, but their server collapsed (quite strange!), another one was attacked by some bad guys from an Eastern country… (do you know something?)

Morning Edition, December 26, 2007 · Blogs matter more than ever — to political candidates, to a colonel managing a war, to human-rights advocates trying to deliver their message. Noah Shachtman of Wired magazine talks about the role of blogs on the war in Iraq. Wael Abbas, one of Egypt’s best-known bloggers, notes their influence in the Middle East.