Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 Espionage Research Institute International Conference Debrief

The 2012 ERII Conference brought together a group of TSCM, Counterespionage & Counterintelligence practitioners and associates for a three day conference in northern Virginia to brief each other on new and emerging espionage threats. The threats levied against corporations from either electronic surveillance (bugs) or the latest threats from malware (Advance Persistent Threats) require these specialists to keep abreast of the latest threats. Adhering to motto of the founder and inspiration of ERI, Glenn H. Whidden (1928-2011): "The Biggest Mistake That We Can Make Would Be To Miss The Changes", the membership meets annually to ensure they remain aware of the changes in the espionage industry and can effectively detect threats.

This year’s keynote address was given by: David G. Major, Founder and President of The Center for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre) in Washington, DC – A Retired Senior FBI Supervisory Special Agent and First Director of Counterintelligence, Intelligence and Security Programs at the National Security Council at the White House. Mr. Major addressed the threats levied against corporations from both foreign and domestic competitors. Mr. Major provided crucial insight on how many corporations are responding to these incidents and are holding the rogue employee and/or competitor accountable for their actions.

Other conference presentations included:
Jarrett Kolthoff, CEO – SpearTip, a former U.S. Counterintelligence Agent, addressed “Binary Bilking – Cyber Forensics”
In this presentation, Mr. Kolthoff covered a systematic response to a malware incident initiated by employee malfeasance or external threats. This sequence of activity should be considered as a strong practice for effective risk mitigation and a baseline for any organization’s incident response practices utilizing both cyber forensic and HUMINT (Human Intelligence) techniques. Providing real-world studies of his most recent cases; to include analyzing the various market studies on the insider threat.

Mr. Paul Turner, President of Professional Development TSCM Group Inc., presented on: “Understanding The TSCM (RF) Spectrum Environment”. This presentation included an operational overview of the typical TSCM (RF) spectrum (signal) environment; including a discussion of where we should be looking; and what we should be looking for; when faced with complex ambient spectrum environments, typical of major urban areas. The presentation rounded out with a review of possible deployment techniques designed to better focus the operator’s attention on what perhaps may be one (1) seemingly insignificant signal event out of thousands of friendly signal events that requires further attention.

Other presenters at the conference brought some of their latest technology, such as the OSCOR GREEN presentation from Mr. Lee Jones of Research Electronics International (REI). The OSCOR Green was designed for commercial applications to detect illicit eavesdropping signals, perform site surveys for communications systems, conduct radio frequency (RF) emissions analysis, and investigate misuse of the RF spectrum. Mr. Jones shared a new remote tunnel option to link the OSCOR to an iPad or laptop PC.

AIR Patrol Corp’s Chairman, Mr. Bradley Rotter shared their latest in cellular detection technology. “The Security Convergence of the Physical & Cyber Worlds”.

Other notable presentations from ERII members and TSCM Specialists included:

Charles Patterson, President of Patterson Communications. Tarrytown, NY, presented on: “An Overview of PBX and Voicemail Vulnerabilities”.

I (JDL) presented on: “The Dragon in The Machine” A case study of Nation State Corporate Espionage while on assignment in the PRC.

A special “Thank You” to all of those who worked behind the scenes to make this years ERII Conference a success.
For more information on ERII please visit: www.ERII.org

End Debrief


--J.D. LeaSure, Director
Espionage Research Institute International (ERII) 
4445 Corporation Lane Suite 291C. Virginia Beach, VA 23462 USA

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