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13 February 2006

Unlinked accounts….

One of the most pervasive difficulties in working any of the “cyber” accounts (cyber crime, information operations, etc.) is the serious disconnect between most professionals view of the Parallel World and the “real”. In no small part this is because many of the earliest indicators of major issues online tend to impact only what can be at best charitably described as trivial concerns – the vast bulk of communications online being the normal everyday affairs of a civilian population at peace. However, this casual attitude belies the gravity which lurks beneath the surface.

Consider then this:

Seattle-Area Website for Girls Club Hacked by Angry Muslims and Nobody Cares

The item also mentions one European private group involved in tracking online adversary activity. Of course, its more widely known counterpart is Internet Haganah.

Tying together cyberspace and “meatspace” is one of the hardest intelligence problems faced in dealing with World Theater. Effects are synchronized not merely in time but also by meme. Thus far, there are few tools or analytical techniques which are designed to aid in this effort; and most collection systems, production workloads, and reporting streams are not designed to address these classes of problems.

Absent training and experience, it is difficult for many analysts and other intelligence professionals to come to terms with these apparently unlinked activities - let alone the kind of challenge this poses to the law enforcement and security communities.