Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Don Hillary: The Clintons Are A Crime Family, Says Ex-FBI Big


Daniel Halper at the New York Post reports that former FBI official James Kallstrom (seen in the below photo) called the Clintons a "crime family."

An ex-FBI big excoriated the Clintons as a “crime family” just days after the bureau said it received new evidence in the Hillary Clinton email server..
“The Clintons, that’s a crime family. It’s like organized crime, basically. The Clinton Foundation is a cesspool,” James Kallstrom, former assistant director of the FBI, said in an interview with John Catsimatidis.
“It’s just outrageous how Hillary Clinton sold her office for money. And she’s a pathological liar, and she’s always been a liar. And God forbid if we put someone like that in the White House,” Kallstrom said in the interviewed that aired Sunday.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 
http://nypost.com/2016/10/30/the-clintons-are-a-crime-family-ex-fbi-big/

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Frederick Forsyth's Wry Russian Spy Story


I'm a huge admirer of British thriller writer Frederick Forsyth, and, so it seems, the Russian spooks are as well.

In Frederick Forsyth's column in the British newspaper the Express, he wrote the below:

Forgive an old codger a wry story... two weeks ago Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visited a huge office block at a place called Yazenevo outside Moscow.
This is the home of the SVR, the Russian spy service, formerly the First Chief Directorate of the old KGB, broken up by Mikhail Gorbachev 25 years ago. He was there to present an award to the outgoing director, welcome in the new one and make a stunning announcement: he intends to re-create the KGB.
He was speaking in the seventh-floor library and on TV. Clearly visible over his shoulder was the entire collection of the novels of this writer – in order of publication and in English.
Nice to know what the Russian spooks read. I have been informed they got a few ideas over the years. 

You can read the rest of the column via the below link:

http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/frederick-forsyth/726126/trade-war-negative-effects-brexit-theresa-may-brussels-iraq-putin-ed-balls-Met-forecast 

Friday, October 28, 2016

FBI Reopens Clinton Probe After New Emails Found In Anthony Weiner Case


Foxnews.com is reporting that the FBI is reopening the Clinton email investigation.

The FBI has reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state after discovering new emails – apparently during the probe of former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexting – in a stunning turn of events just days before the presidential election. 
FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to top members of Congress Friday that the bureau has “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”
Comey did not detail those emails, saying only that they surfaced “in connection with an unrelated case.” 
An FBI source, though, confirmed to Fox News that the new emails were discovered after the bureau seized devices belonging to disgraced Rep. Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide who recently announced she was separating from the former congressman. The New York Times first reported on the Weiner investigation connection, noting the FBI had been probing texts Weiner sent to a 15-year-old girl.
You can read the rest of the piece and watch a video clip via the below link:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/28/fbi-reopens-investigation-into-clinton-email-use.html

Happy Birthday To The Late, Great British Novelist Evelyn Waugh


As Biography.com notes, today is the birthday of one of my favorite writers, the late, great Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, the Sword of Honour trilogy, and my favorite novel about journalism, Scoop. 

He was born on this day in 1903 and died in 1966.

You can read about his life and work via the below link:

http://www.biography.com/people/evelyn-waugh-9525520


In an interview with the online publication The Daily Beast (which takes the name from Waugh's novel Scoop), the conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke explained why he was calling his Daily Beast column Up To a Point.

The most famous book among all foreign correspondents is Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop. The newspaper in Scoop is, of course, The Daily Beast, which is owned by the moronic Lord Copper and run by the obsequious Mr. Salter. 

There’s a brief passage which I think all reporters know. “Whenever Lord Copper was right, Mr. Salter would say, ‘Definitely, Lord Copper,’ and whenever Lord Copper was wrong, Mr. Salter would say, ‘Up to a point, Lord Copper.’” Then follows a little snatch of dialogue where Lord Copper says, “Hong Kong—belongs to us, doesn’t it?” “Definitely, Lord Copper.” “Yokohama—capital of Japan, isn’t it?” “Up to a point, Lord Copper.”

Great stuff.

I discovered Waugh in my early 20′s in the mid-1970s when I was stationed on a Navy tugboat at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. 

I was an aspiring writer at the time and I planned to major in journalism when I left the Navy, so I purchased a Penguin paperback of his brilliant satire of journalism, Scoop. I thought it was a great satirical novel, and I’ve reread it again and again over the years.

I later discovered that much of Scoop was based on Waugh's true experiences as a newspaper correspondent in Ethiopia. That made the novel even more funny and powerful to me.

I went on to read Waugh's other satirical novels, such as Black Mischief and Decline and Fall, as well as his great World War II Sword of Honour trilogy: Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender

I also read his classic novel, Brideshead Revisited, the rest of his novels, his diary and several books about him.

A decade later, my wife and I enjoyed watching the weekly television installments of Brideshead Revisited on PBS.

By all accounts and his own admission, Waugh was not a pleasant man, but he was a brilliant writer. And he was funny.

He even satirized himself in The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. 

Waugh told a great story of how he had to endure sitting next to a man on a long train ride who was reading one of his satirical novels. Waugh said he was compelled to watch the man turn each page as he read, not laughing or smiling, even for an instant.

Had Waugh sat next to me on a train while I was reading one of his novels, he would have seen me smiling and even laughing out loud.

If you have not read Waugh, I suggest you start with Scoop and then read all of his works.

Ian Rankin: ‘Rebus Is Out There Right Now, On Some Edinburgh Street’


Ian Rankin offers a piece in the British newspaper the Guardian on John Rebus, his Scottish detective character.

Next year I’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Inspector Rebus series, and right now I’m about to launch his 21st adventure, Rather Be the Devil. It sometimes seems that Rebus has taken on a life of his own, yet he was never intended to stick around for longer than that first book. I was a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh when I wrote it (which may explain why I never finished my PhD on Muriel Spark). I vaguely knew I was writing a detective novel – because William McIlvanney had been there before me and I’d read the result, featuring a dour but philosophical Glasgow cop called Laidlaw. Indeed, when McIlvanney visited the Edinburgh book festival in August 1985, I told him I was writing the Edinburgh equivalent, and he signed my copy of his book: “Good luck with the Edinburgh Laidlaw.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/28/ian-rankin-rebus-edinburgh-street


You can also read my Crime Beat column on Ian Rankin via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2015/03/my-crime-beat-column-king-of-tartan.html  

Note: The above photo of Ian Rankin was taken by Tom Dunkin.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Remembering Edgar Allan Poe For Halloween


With Halloween coming up, Biography.com looks back at Edgar Allan Poe.

Every Halloween, famed author and poet Edgar Allan Poe rises from his storied place in American literature to be remembered as a master of mystery and creator of classic tales of terror. His heart-stopping poetry and spine-tingling stories, coupled with his mysterious death, has made him one of the most famous macabre figures in history

You can read more about Poe via the below link:

http://www.biography.com/people/edgar-allan-poe-9443160

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Poe via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2009/04/my-first-on-crime-thrillers-column-for.html

On This Day In History The United States And Soviet Union Step Back From Brink Of Nuclear War


As History.com notes, on this day in 1962 the U.S. and the Soviet Union stepped back from the brink of all out nuclear war.

You can read about the Cuban Missile Crisis via the below link:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-united-states-and-soviet-union-step-back-from-brink-of-nuclear-war?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2016-1027-10272016&om_rid=de5e4076c942a595dbda53f758321d197499484f6d117f61b6ac5c08e0d6f0aa&om_mid=102631106&kx_EmailCampaignID=7768&kx_EmailCampaignName=email-hist-tdih-2016-1027-10272016&kx_EmailRecipientID=de5e4076c942a595dbda53f758321d197499484f6d117f61b6ac5c08e0d6f0aa

Note: Above is a photo of a U.S. Navy ship and a Soviet cargo ship during the naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.    

Report: Chinese Spies Stole Pentagon Secrets


Veteran national security reporter Bill Gertzz offers a piece at Freebeacon.com on a report on Communist Chinese espionage.

Chinese spies repeatedly infiltrated U.S. national security agencies, including official email accounts, and stole U.S. secrets on Pentagon war plans for a future conflict with China, according to a forthcoming congressional commission report.
“The United States faces a large and growing threat to its national security from Chinese intelligence collection operations,” states the late draft report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
“Among the most serious threats are China’s efforts at cyber and human infiltration of U.S. national security entities.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/report-chinese-spies-stole-pentagon-secrets/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=0df1ebdf8f-WFB_Morning_Beacon10_26_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-0df1ebdf8f-45599609

Secrets of the Tower of London


I recall visiting the Tower of London many years ago on one of my many trips south to London from Scotland, where I was stationed on a U.S. Navy tugboat at the American nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch.

The Tower was a fascinating place, rich in history and mystery, so I was interested in reading Alex Schecher's piece on the Tower, which appeared at Smithsonianmag.com

You can read the piece via the below link:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/secrets-tower-london-180960830/?utm_source=smithsoniantravelandcult&no-ist

Note: The above photo is by Bob Collowân - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

McHale's Navy: One Of The Reasons I joined The U.S. Navy In 1970


My late father was a chief petty officer and a UDT frogman in WWII and I inherited my love of country and the U.S. Navy from him.

I also inherited his love of military history, especially naval history. And I was also inspired by McHale's Navy and other TV programs, movies and novels about the Navy.


As for McHale's Navy, I recall an episode where Captain Binghamton ("Old Leadbottom") was having lunch with an admiral and Binghamton told him that McHale and his crew were pirates. He had to watch them all the time.

"You have to be ruthless with them, " Binghamton explained.

The admiral responded that his style was less adversarial and his men loved him.

"But that's me, admiral," Binghamton said. "Lovable and ruthless."

Great stuff.

Organized Crime, Disorganized Law Enforcement


Veteran organized crime reporter and author George Anastasia offers a piece on the federal indicment of Philadelphia crime boss Joey Merlino and other Cosa Nostra mobsters for jerseymanmagazine.com.

Joey Merlino may have caught a break.
The flamboyant boss of the Philadelphia mob was arrested in August in a sweeping federal investigation that targeted members of six different mob families.
The feds say Merlino was one of three mob leaders coordinating the actions of an “East Coast LCN Enterprise.”
The “details” are laid out in a 32-page, four-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in New York.  Problem is, there aren’t a lot of details. The indictment is, as Merlino’s long-time attorney Edwin Jacobs Jr. said, “broad and general in nature.”
Maybe that’s by design.
Maybe there will be more information made public as the case moves forward.
Maybe there will be superseding indictments that put skin on the bones of what is a skeletal document, particularly when it comes to “Skinny Joey.”
Or maybe the indictment—and this is where the break for Merlino lies—was a rush job, one that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York insisted on bringing despite the objections of law enforcement agencies in Florida and in Philadelphia.
The case against Joey Merlino may be the latest example of organized crime and disorganized law enforcement.
“They didn’t need to charge him,” said one Philadelphia-based law enforcement source. “They could have waited. There were other things going on.”
Those other things include investigations into the current activities of Merlino’s top Philadelphia and South Jersey operatives, and a continuing look at four mob murders that authorities have long hoped to tie to the Merlino organization.
None of that, of course, matters to federal law enforcement officials in Manhattan where the current case was brought. And that’s the problem. There are those in the law enforcement community here and in Florida who will privately tell you that New York acted like the 500-pound gorilla in the current case. The feds in Manhattan forgot, or perhaps never learned, the lessons that are crucial in kindergarten.
Play nice. Share. Take turns.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

http://jerseymanmagazine.com/organized-crime-disorganized-law-enforcement/

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

FBI: Combating The Growing Money Laundering Threat - Specialized FBI Unit Focuses On Disrupting Professional Money Launderers


The FBI released the below information:

Every year, more than $300 billion in concealed transactions is moved around the United States, according to a U.S. Department of the Treasury report on money laundering and terrorist financing threats.

Transnational criminal organizations, foreign intelligence services, and terrorist groups—as well as Internet fraudsters and other criminals—move billions of dollars each year through the international banking system and across borders to conceal the origin of the funds. To more effectively address the threat, the FBI has placed a renewed emphasis on investigations that target the middlemen who facilitate the hidden flow of cash.

“Our focus is on third-party facilitators,” said James Barnacle, who heads the FBI’s Money Laundering Unit. “They include, among others, lawyers, accountants, and brokers with the ability to facilitate the process of moving money for dangerous criminal organizations. That’s who our targets are.”
  
 The facilitators use traditional and non-traditional means to launder staggering amounts of illicit proceeds every year. Barnacle said business e-mail compromise, or BEC, scams and the use of virtual currencies are on the rise

To help combat this growing threat, the FBI has been adding resources to its Money Laundering Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division. The team has been intensifying its efforts to support existing investigations and to identify and investigate previously unknown facilitators. It works alongside other Bureau divisions, including Counterintelligence and Cyber, to analyze criminal networks and to disrupt their operations. The team also provides guidance and training and works with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to develop initiatives that support investigations in the FBI’s 56 field offices.

Innovations in technology have made it easier for launderers to communicate anonymously and move money, making it more challenging to identify, investigate, and prosecute launderers, who shield a staggering amount of money in their varied illegal transactions. These types of crimes often come to light through tips from within the private sector or the general public.

“One of the tools we use to combat money laundering is the Internet Crime Complaint Center website, or IC3.gov,” said Barnacle. “We encourage victims of fraud to submit a report on the IC3.gov site as soon as possible. It’s a tremendous asset for our team.”

One of the Money Laundering Unit’s most critical partnerships is with the private sector, where financial institutions face significant risks and are required to have robust anti-money laundering policies and procedures.

“The relationship we have with private industry is just as important as the partnerships we have with other government agencies and regulators,” said Barnacle. “Our mission would not succeed without our partnership with the private sector.”

“Our mission would not succeed without our partnership with the private sector.”
James Barnacle, chief, Money Laundering Unit

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is the process by which criminals conceal or disguise their proceeds and make them appear to have come from legitimate sources.

Money laundering allows criminals to hide and accumulate wealth, avoid prosecution, evade taxes, increase profits through reinvestment, and fund further criminal activity.

While many definitions for money laundering exist, it can be defined very simply as turning “dirty” money into “clean” money. And it’s a significant crime—money laundering can undermine the integrity and stability of financial institutions and systems, discourage foreign investment, and distort international capital flows.

The FBI focuses its efforts on money laundering facilitation, targeting professional money launderers, key facilitators, gatekeepers, and complicit financial institutions, among others.  

Rogue Heroes: The History Of The SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged The Nazis And Changed Hanged The Nature Of War


Muriel Dobbin a the Washington Times offers a review of Ben Macintyre's Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War. 

You can read the review via the below link:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/24/book-review-rogue-heroes/

CNN On Democratic Governor McAuliffe’s Donation To Wife Of FBI Official ‘Deeply Involved’ In Clinton Email Probe: ‘It Sure Stinks’


Chandler Gill at the Washington Free Beacon offers a piece on CNN's response to a Wall Street Journal story that Democratic Governor McAuliffe of Virginia (seen in the above photo), a Hillary Clinton supporter, donated to the political campaign of a woman married to a key FBI official involved in the Clinton email investigation.

CNN’s John King said Monday that the campaign donation of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D.) political action committee to the wife of an FBI official who investigated Hillary Clinton’s private email server “sure stinks.”
King discussed how Republicans still think Clinton is a flawed candidate, citing her email scandal and subsequent investigation, along with the ongoing WikiLeaks releases of hacked emails from her campaign chairman’s account.
He then mentioned a new Wall Street Journal story about McAuliffe’s $467,500 campaign donation.
The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.
Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Monday, October 24, 2016

On This Day In History Raymond Chandler Starts His Last Novel


As History.com notes, on this day in 1958 Raymond Chandler, the author of classic crime novels like The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, began his last novel, Poodle Springs. He died before he could complete the novel.

You can read about Raymond Chandler at History.com via the below link:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/raymond-chandler-starts-his-last-novel?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2016-1024-10242016&om_rid=de5e4076c942a595dbda53f758321d197499484f6d117f61b6ac5c08e0d6f0aa&om_mid=101529339&kx_EmailCampaignID=7704&kx_EmailCampaignName=email-hist-tdih-2016-1024-10242016&kx_EmailRecipientID=de5e4076c942a595dbda53f758321d197499484f6d117f61b6ac5c08e0d6f0aa

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Raymond Chandler via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2009/11/on-raymond-chandlers-influence-on-crime.html

‘The Father Of The Modern Police Novel’ Joseph Wambaugh On ‘Dragnet,’ Police Shootings And Hollywood’s Action Addiction


Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post offers an interview with Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant and the author of classic police novels like The Blue Knight and The Choirboys, as well as classic true-crime books like The Onion Field. 

Joseph Wambaugh earned the title “father of the modern police novel” in 1971 when he published “The New Centurions,” a raw, emotional look at the experiences of a class of new Los Angeles Police Department cadets in the years leading up to the 1965 Watts riots. No matter who had written it, “The New Centurions” would be a masterpiece, as are Wambaugh’s other police books, including “The Onion Field,” a nonfiction account of the kidnapping of two LAPD officers. But Wambaugh drew special attention because of his day job: At the time “The New Centurions” was published, Wambaugh was a detective sergeant in the LAPD. His unique experiences helped usher in a new era in police storytelling.

You can read the interview via the below link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2016/10/24/the-father-of-the-modern-police-novel-joseph-wambaugh-on-dragnet-police-shootings-and-hollywoods-action-addiction/?utm_term=.242ed2fe7b5d


I interviewed Joseph Wambaugh a while back. You can read my Q&A with him via the below link:

http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2009/11/semper-cop-interview-with-novelist.html

And you can read my Philadelphia Inquirer review of Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station below:


From Webb To Wambaugh To The Wire: 100 Years Of The Police In Pop Culture


Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post offers a five-part series on the depiction of the police in popular culture.

From “Dragnet” to “Dirty Harry” to “Die Hard,” Hollywood’s police stories have reinforced myths about cops and the work of policing — ideas that resonate painfully today as police-involved shootings and questions about race and community relations wrack U.S. cities and play a starring role in the presidential election.
The police story is one of the elemental dramas of American popular culture, the place we face down whatever crimes frighten us most in a given era and grapple with what we want from the cops who are supposed to stop those crimes. “Dragnet’s” Joe Friday bolstered public faith in law and order in the ’50s. “Dirty Harry” Callahan stoked terror and rage about the violent crime wave that began in the ’60s. And John McClane of “Die Hard” awed audiences when he singlehandedly saved a whole office tower from ruthless criminals in the 1980s.
If these were only fantasies, they would still be powerful. But the ideas that popular culture embeds in the public consciousness about policing remain after the story is over. This five-part series examines the evolving relationship between police officers and the communities they are supposed to serve; the way Hollywood shapes our expectations for shootings by police; the entertainment industry’s embrace of a more violent style of policing during the drug war; and the changing composition of police forces in an increasingly diverse society.
Because it is not possible to understand the stories Hollywood tells about the police without looking back at the industry’s own vexed relationship with the law, this series begins by exploring how police pressure, government regulation and censorship helped mold pop culture’s stories about the police.
You can read the rest of the first part of the series via the below link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/opinions/2016/10/24/how-police-censorship-shaped-hollywood/?utm_term=.f36247f16593 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Definite Article: Daily Mail Asks Author Frederick Forsyth A Set Of Devilishly Probing Questions


Rob McGibbon at the British newspaper the Daily Mail asks one of my favorite writers, Frederick Forsyth, the author of the classic thriller The Day of the Jackal and The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue, a series of "devilishly probing questions."

You can read the piece via the below link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3859978/The-definite-article-ask-author-Frederick-Forsyth-set-devilishly-probing-questions.html



An American Sailor



Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Look Back At John Huston's "Fat City" (1972) Starring Jeff Bridges And Stacy Keach


John LeMay at cinemaretro.com offers a look back at John Huston's film about boxing, Fat City.

Fat City, released in 1972, was something of a “rebound” film for beloved director John Huston, whose previous two films had been flops. Based upon the 1969 novel by Leonard Gardner (who also wrote the screenplay), Fat City follows Stacy Keach as Billy Tully, a small time boxer who never made it big who is living in squalor. When Billy makes a rare return visit to the gym, he meets Ernie (Jeff Bridges, hot off of a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Last Picture Show). Billy sees some potential in the teenager’s boxing ability and suggests he go see his old manager, Ruben (Nicholas Colasanto—the future “Coach” on Cheers). Ernie does as told, and soon finds himself under Ruben’s optimistic wing, while Billy’s life further deteriorates when he begins an affair with an alcoholic wreck named Oma (Susan Tyrell, who would herself secure a Best Supporting Actress nomination for this film). At the same time that Ernie begins his fighting career, he too runs into trouble when he impregnates his virginal girlfriend and soon leaves the world of boxing behind. When Ernie and Billy reunite on a work crew in the San Joaquin Valley, both become inspired to get back into the ring and return to Ruben. However, for those assuming Bridges and Keach inevitably come to blows in some sort of bloody boxing ring climax, they don’t. This is because Fat City isn’t so much a “boxing movie” as it is a character portrait of Kecah’s sad-sack loser who just can’t seem to help himself out of the bottle and other bad choices.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php

‘Not If, But When’: NSA Official Discusses Importance Of Cyber Vigilance


Amaani Lyle at the DoD News offers the below piece;

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2016 — In the wake of major intrusions into U.S. government computer networks over the last 24 months, the National Security Agency's deputy national manager for national security systems outlined his agency’s role in developing cyber defense mitigations, and its critical response to public- and private-sector cyber incidents.

During his remarks Oct. 18 at the American Enterprise Institute, Curt Dukes (seen in the above photo) offered an inside look at NSA’s incident-response work, and described the agency’s way ahead in improving government cyber defense in the aftermath of intrusions at the Office of Personnel Management, State Department, DoD’s Joint Staff and two commercial companies that conducted background checks for the U.S. government.

“The adversary took advantage of poorly secured, poorly patched systems,” Dukes said. “Once they had that initial foothold, they elevated privileges and then moved to mission objective, which was exfiltration of personally identifiable information, exfiltration of intelligence, or in some cases, the actual destruction of the host.”

Raising Costs to Adversaries

With so much at stake, Dukes said U.S. vigilance of computer networks is vital, and ultimately needs to stack the odds against cyber attackers.

“[An adversary] could easily attack us [and] achieve mission objective … so I want to raise the cost to the adversary,” he said. “By the time we actually respond to an intrusion -- it takes hours to days -- by then, in cyber time, an adversary has already met their objective.”
Dukes explained typical cyberattack life cycles and various mitigations that he said will force adversaries to alter their intrusion methods, while helping industry to better prepare the U.S. government and military for those types of attacks at each step of the cycle.

As networks become increasingly interconnected, Dukes said, adversaries will find proportionately more exploitation opportunities. He maintains that it pays to invest in network defense.

“Look at what we currently spend in remediation for the [Office of Personnel Management] breach … if we had put just put one-tenth of that into good security at the very beginning, we’d have been much better prepared for any type of attack in that regard,” Dukes said of the 2015 intrusions that cost the government millions to address and impacted millions of current, former and prospective federal employees and contractors. “There’s an imbalance right now in what we spend on offense capabilities, and what we spend on defense.” 

Cyberattack Lifecycles

The cycle, Dukes explained, begins with an initial exploitation of open-source literature or the defense industrial base. When a vendor wins a contract, that information becomes publicly available and adversaries use a phishing attack, such as crafting emails that appear to come from a senior official.

“They want you to either click on that link or open that attachment,” he said, “and this creates a classic spear-phishing avenue that they’re going to continue to use until we actually remove that as a capability for them.”

Dukes also described “watering holes,” in which adversaries lead unsuspecting users to a site they’ve already corrupted. “From that point,” he said, “they can then put the initial install onto your device, and get access through a classic thumb drive or some type of media.”
And, while these vulnerabilities help cyber attackers gain access to very basic network levels, their next move is to establish persistence, Dukes explained.

“It gives them the ability to have multiple ingress and egress points,” once they establish a virus and assesses to a network and its connectivity, Dukes said. “So they’ve maybe found that host, but they’ve already moved to other hosts and to multiple ways in and out of the network.”

But entry points, he noted, are only part of the problem.

“Once they understand your system, if you’re not particularly well-patched or configured, then, they’re going to [seek] privileged escalation [and] they can then download tools … or hide inside normal traffic,” he added.

And that “normal traffic,” Dukes said, can include secure websites or encrypted web mail, which appears innocuous -- until it isn’t.

“Defense tools will not be able to protect you,” he said. “They basically ‘own’ you at that point in time.”

Dukes recounted the OPM intrusion had multiple ingress and egress points. “They had the initial attack,” he said, “then they moved laterally across it, and it became very difficult for network defenders to actually find them and eradicate them from that network.”

As a result, he said, NSA network defenders mapped an objective attack life cycle, consisting of phases including intelligence collection, intellectual property collection, and destructive programs such as ransomware.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a foreign nation such as Russia, China [or] Iran” Dukes said. “It could even be a terrorist organization. It could be a criminal network. They tend to follow the exact same life cycle in that regard.”

Life Cycle Mitigation Techniques

To mitigate the attacker’s life cycle, he said, NSA implemented anti-exploitation features in a Windows environment, which, along with a secure host baseline, is now core to the Windows 10 operating system. NSA also developed an application whitelist of known and trusted websites that can be refined over time, Dukes said.

Additionally, the Defense Department implements a host-based security or intrusion prevention system, for daily antivirus protection through assessing an adversary’s ability to attack, he said.

About five years ago, Dukes said, the antivirus industry changed technology by moving host reputation services to a cloud-based presence, allowing network defenders the ability to globally detect malware.

“Adversaries like to hide and fake who they actually are, so with reputation service, you can check what websites and [internet protocol] addresses map back to,” he said. “It’s a pretty impactful tool.”

Aside from antivirus protection, Dukes praised controlled administrative privileges.
“You want to limit the number of folks that actually have admin privileges on your network,” he said. “By doing that, you reduce the ability for an adversary to find that one weak host to take advantage of.”

Not If, But When

Dukes asserts that it’s not a matter of if an adversary will attack, but when, so he emphasized the value of network segregation and offline backup.

“By only allowing certain folks certain access to certain parts of the network, you limit the damage that the adversary can do on your network, and you limit their ability for them to achieve their mission in that regard,” Dukes said. “If something happens, have a backup copy of files whether daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly -- you have to be ready to reinstall should some unforeseen event occur.”

Overall, Dukes said, NSA has supported the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies through requests for technical services to examine life cycles and host mitigation techniques that secure national security systems, and the same guidance applies to both commercial industry and home users.

“As a nation we have to rethink how we’re actually organized when we do cyber defense to protect the whole of the nation -- not only government, but also our key industry sectors,” Dukes said.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Security Detail Laughed When She Broke Her Elbow


Jamie Schram at the New York Post reports that Hillary Clinton's security detail was amused when she fell and broke hr elbow.

You can read the piece via the below link:

http://nypost.com/2016/10/19/hillary-clintons-security-detail-laughed-when-she-broke-her-elbow/

FBI Docs: Hillary Clinton So Unpleasant Security Agents Didn't Want To Protect Her


Blake Neff at the dailycaller.com offers a piece on the released FBI documents that show former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was so awful that her own security detail didn't want to protect her.

You can read the piece via the below link:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/17/fbi-docs-hillary-was-so-unpleasant-security-agents-didnt-want-to-protect-her/

FBI: Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Report Released - 41 Officers Feloniously Killed in 2015


The FBI released the below information:

Today, the FBI released its annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report—this one covering the 41 felonious deaths, the 45 accidental deaths, and the 50,212 line-of-duty assaults of officers during 2015.

Among the report’s highlights:

The number of officers killed as a result of criminal acts in 2015—41—decreased from the 2014 figure of 51. The average age of the officers killed feloniously in 2015 was 40, and the average length of service was 12 years.

Of the 41 officers feloniously killed, 38 were male and three were female. More than half—29—were on vehicle patrol when the incidents happened. Thirty-eight of these 41 officers were killed with firearms, and 30 of those were wearing body armor at the time. For more details on each incident, read the summaries section of the report.

Motor vehicles played a key role in the deaths of the 45 law enforcement officers accidentally killed in the line of duty—29 were involved in automobile accidents, four were killed in motorcycle accidents, and another seven were struck by vehicles while directing traffic, assisting motorists, executing traffic stops, etc.

Of the 50,212 officers assaulted while performing their duties in 2015, 14,281 (or 28.4 percent) sustained injuries. And 79 percent of the officers who were assaulted in the line of duty were attacked with personal weapons (such as hands or feet).

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted also contains a separate section on federal law enforcement officers who were killed or assaulted in the line of duty during 2015.

Update to LEOKA Program data collection.

Effective March 23, 2016, the LEOKA Program expanded its data collection to include the data of military and civilian police and law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense (DoD) who are performing a law enforcement function/duty and who are not in a combat or deployed status (sent outside the U.S. to a specific military support role mission). 

This includes DoD police and law enforcement officers who perform policing and criminal investigative functions while stationed (not deployed) on overseas bases, just as if they were based in the United States. The new information will be contained in the 2016 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which will be released later in 2017. Read more on the criteria used to determine suitability for inclusion in the LEOKA report.

In addition to collecting details about the critical aspects of fatal confrontations and assaults — and sharing that information with our law enforcement partners, government and civic leaders, researchers, and the public in general—the FBI’s LEOKA Program conducts extensive research on the data that eventually gets incorporated into officer safety awareness training the Bureau provides.

Note: You can read the report via the below link:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

U.S. Admiral: Networked Threats Pose 'Significant Challenge' To Western Hemisphere


Lisa Ferdinando at the DoD News offers the below piece:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2016 — Networked threats in Latin America pose a danger to U.S. national security and erode stability in the region, the commander of the U.S. Southern Commandsaid here today.

Addressing these threats goes beyond stopping drug trafficking, the smuggling of weapons and other illicit goods, and human trafficking, Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd told the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a discussion on maritime security.

"Instead, it’s the amorphous, adaptable and networked threats enabling these illicit flows that keep me up at night," he said. "Transregional and transnational threat networks -- and not the commodities that they move -- are the real threat to our nation’s security and the region’s stability."

While Southcom's focus had largely been in the last decades on combating the flow of drugs, the command is instead lifting its sights off a singular threat to take a networked view of the security environment, Tidd explained.

Whether extremist, criminal or even state-sponsored, the networked threats are a "significant challenge facing every nation in the Western Hemisphere," he said.

Some networks, for example, smuggle small arms via maritime conveyances or traffic cocaine, while violent extremist networks spread influence, and move money, weapons and people, he said. Human trafficking networks smuggle desperate people from all over the world into the United States who are seeking employment or trying to escape conflict, he said.

"While other networks specialize at moving individuals with questionable backgrounds, worrisome intentions, and possible ties to terrorism into the United States via a long and circuitous route, sometimes starting in South America, up through Central America and Mexico, and into the United States," he said.

Some, he said, even possess the expertise to build semi- and fully-submersible watercraft that are can travel unassisted and undetected.

Combating the threat networks requires a new way of thinking, he said. He called for strengthened bonds among U.S. government agencies, as well as increased regional maritime cooperation, including in information sharing and multilateral exercises.

Regional Security, Global Commitments

In the question-and-answer session of the hour-long discussion, Tidd noted the contributions of Central and South American nations to regional and global security.
The United States and Colombia, for example, have had a special relationship for more than two decades, he pointed out. Colombia, he noted, is very close to achieving a peaceful conclusion to its more than five-decades-long civil war.

In addition, Brazil has and continues to make notable contributions to global peace and security, he said, including leading the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti, and commanding the maritime task force of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

"This is a country that has significant capabilities and is willing to shoulder the responsibilities of being a security leader," he said.

Chile and Peru have significant capabilities and are working closely in support of peace and security, he said. In addition, El Salvador has deployed a helicopter detachment to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, he said.

There are a number of countries in the region, he said, that have significant capabilities and are interested in being constructive partners on a global scale, he said.

'Can't Afford to Ignore' Russian Presence in Region

Russia is reinvesting a significant amount in historical relationships it has had in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, Tidd said in response to a question about Russian operations in the region.

"I think we can't afford to ignore their presence," he said. "You look at Russia and you look at what are their vital national interests. It's difficult to imagine that they have any vital national interest here in the Western Hemisphere."

He said he finds it troubling Russia has engaged in an aggressive propaganda campaign to spread the narrative that the United States is not a reliable partner in Latin America. Russia is engaged in a "competition for influence," he said.

The United States is concerned about the region, he said, pointing to the U.S. response in Haiti to the recent devastation from Hurricane Matthew.

"I think it's very, very noteworthy that when you look at the response to Haiti, we had at one point in time 12 helicopters -- heavy lift and medium lift helicopters -- flying vital aid, meeting the needs of the Haitian people and I didn’t see any Russian helicopters out there," Tidd told the forum.

Note: In the above U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Todd Stafford, the Canadian ship HMCS Shawinigan, the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard TTS QUINAM and the French Tank Landing Ship Dumont D'Urville, line up during the Tradewinds 2016 exercise in the Caribbean Sea, June 26, 2016.