Forward Observer: Community Security eBook

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has written a short (sixteen pages) ebook on Intelligence and Community Security. It’s a ‘quick start’ guide to understanding intelligence for community security and emergency preparedness.

The writing is on the wall. It couldn’t be more clear.

Our power grids are critically vulnerable.

“As an almost 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force with leadership experience in intelligence and cyber warfare, and as a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, I know we are highly vulnerable to a cyber-attack on our electric grid.

Such an attack could have devastating, long-term consequences for our economy, our national security – for our very way of life.”

Those are the recent words of Don Bacon (R-NE), a retired Air Force Brigadier General who was in charge of the Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) strategy program.

This “news” about the power grid shouldn’t be news to anyone, but it drives home a very good point…

If you care about your wife, children, family, and neighborhood, you should spend some time preparing for the effects of a cyber attack like the one Rep. Bacon describes.

The emergency preparedness community is so quick to focus on “bullets, beans, and band-aids” that they often overlook the value of local intelligence gathering.

Intelligence is probably the single-most overlooked aspect of preparedness, yet it should be a central part of your preparedness plans.

I’ll state the case:

If you’re concerned about a cyber attack or a grid-down event, you’re not actually preparing for those events. You’re preparing for the effects of those events.

But how do you know what the specific local effects will be, and how can you be sure?

Only intelligence can inform you of the second- and third-order effects of an event of this magnitude.

Only intelligence can inform you of very specific threats you may experience in the area.

Only intelligence can inform you of the likelihood that your neighborhood will suffer from looters, even worse criminals, and further systems disruption.

Bullets, beans, and band-aids will get you through periods of emergency, but they can’t inform your expectations of what will happen in the future.

That’s the value of intelligence…

Sam Culper says to share the ebook far and wide.  Click here to download Forward Observer’s Intelligence & Community Security ebook. It may only be freely available for a limited time.

So here’s what I want you to do…

PRINT IT.

Forward this email to your friends.

Give the book away.

Read it this weekend.

Have your friends read it this weekend.

And then act on it.

For the rest of this weekend, you can access the book here.

FO: Building an Intelligence Section for Community Security

Continuing with our recent intelligence theme, here is an article posted by Sam Culper today at Forward ObserverBuilding an Intelligence Section for Community Security. In it, he discusses why an intelligence team is necessary and how to get an intelligence team setup for your community.

First, we need to stress the importance of Intelligence as it relates to community security. The people in your preparedness group, security team — or just members of the community, for that matter — don’t know what they don’t know, and it’s not likely that they understand the value of Intelligence in the first place. The more our leadership, commander, and/or team members understand about Intelligence, the more likely they will see the extreme value of making it a priority. Illustrating the OODA Loop and how Intelligence plays a critical role in making informed, time-sensitive decisions is probably a very good first step. There are those communities which will implement intelligence and be more prepared, and there will be communities who don’t use intelligence. I believe the difference between the two will be visible.

Intelligence is critical in our ability to stay a step ahead of threats. The principles outlined on this blog are the same principles used by intelligence agencies and the military. Those two organizations happen to have roles in fighting terrorism; a mission of which community security is a microcosm. While we aren’t involved in fighting terrorists, what we may face in a worst-case scenario is a modified form of terrorism in our communities: in other words, violence against society. And we know that “no other single policy effort [other than intelligence] is more important for preventing, preempting, and responding to attacks.”

The second thing we can do is to develop some criteria we can include when scouting out potential ACE members; we need to find those mental giants capable of heavy lifting. There are probably individuals in your community who may not be able to physically contribute to security, but can certainly contribute mentally. These are the people we want…

Click here to read the whole article at Forward Observer.

RELATED:

FO: Four Bases of Intelligence and Community Security

FO: Four Type of Intelligence Collection for Community Security

FO: Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Survival, Preparedness, and Community Security

FO: Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Community Security

Forward Observer has a nice article up titled Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Survival, Preparedness, and Community Security.  Sam Culper, the author, explains the difference between intelligence and information and why it is important to you. Between the writings of Kit Perez at American Partisan and Sam Culper at Forward Observer, you can get a pretty good grounding in intelligence matters. Sam Culper has also a written a book, SHTF Intelligence, if you want to delve even farther into these topics.

If the lights went out tomorrow – if some catastrophic event occurred, perhaps the event for which you are preparing – then then my number one concern is the ability to anticipate the effects on our community. For instance, a cyber attack that disables portions of the power grid for 12 hours is going to produce much different conditions than the persistent effects of a viral epidemic.

No matter the cause of the event, one thing that Intelligence does for us is that it allows us to reduce uncertainty about the future. It makes little sense to prepare for a highly unlikely event, when we can establish scenarios that are more likely to occur based on an examination of the facts instead of on the fear mongering that surrounds the highly unlikely scenarios.

One of the largest problems facing our preparedness community is the condition of being the “least-most prepared”. You probably know someone who falls in that category. These folks have the most preparations – the most stored food and water, the most medicine, the most firearms and ammunition – but are actually among the least prepared for the future. They may have have tons of gear but they have no clue how to use it. Or they may be a small island of preparedness in a bottomless sea of needy people. Either way, all their preparations are less likely to sustain their family and more likely to sustain whoever capitalizes on their lack of intelligence and misfortune.

The people who fall into the category of the “least-most prepared” may have all the gear and storage, but they still have lots of uncertainty. They haven’t started to answer some basic questions about what types of threats they’ll face in any given scenario, or what the local effects would be of a national, regional, or local emergency. They don’t know when an event is going to happen. They don’t what it’s going to look like. They don’t know how it will affect their home and community. And they don’t know what specific threats will be posed to them.

Having all the stuff does us little good if we haven’t identified and don’t understand the threat we’re facing. And when we don’t understand the threat, we make ourselves extremely vulnerable to strategic shock; that is, being exploited by a threat we didn’t know existed or for which we weren’t prepared. In one sentence: your stuff is useless to you if you aren’t prepared to defend it, and you aren’t prepared to defend it unless you understand the threats. And that’s where intelligence collection and analysis come in.

I think the proverbial “nine meals from anarchy” is an adequate initial description of any SHTF event. That idiom describes the length of time between a disruption in public services and logistical systems, and empty grocery stores being the least of your worries. The higher the population density, the shorter that window becomes. The more people, the greater the need. How your living conditions are affected may vary greatly in any scenario, but the critical need for threat intelligence will stay the same. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Star Valley, Wyoming or on Staten Island, New York; you will need threat intelligence as part of your day to day survival.

One thing that separates those who are least-most prepared and those who are best prepared is access to early warning information and threat reporting — in other words, access to timely information in order to produce Intelligence. Regardless of the trigger event and your community environment, you’re going to find yourself in one of two situations:

Click here to read the whole article at Forward Observer.

CSG: New Items Coming to Store

Combat Studies Group has announced some new items coming soon.

We have been hard at work over the last several months developing new tools to help secure your digital life. We continue to refine the Sepio Secure OS and expect to release the Sepio 2 this summer. Other items that are coming soon:

Sepio-Offgrid Rugged Laptop

– Offers the same level of rugged MILSPEC protection as the famous Toughbooks
– 14 inch HD screen
– 8-32GB RAM
– 128GB -1TB SSD or HDD
– i3 CPU (non vPro)
– Sepio Secure OS
– Optional packable solar panel/battery combo for field use
– Estimated Price: $1600-2000

The Libertas XL

– A 9 inch rugged tablet with:
– Dual-core 64bit CPU
– 2GB RAM
– 16 or 32GB storage
– Estimated price: $650

Sepio-Micro Desktop

– A full featured Sepio desktop not much larger than your hand.
– Plug in your own keyboard, mouse and monitor
– Estimated price: $750

Graybox Secure Router

– Router, Access Point, Bridge, Firewall, Intrusion detection and VPN all in a small package.
– Estimated price: TBA

Home Theater System

– This would replace your Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, AmazonFire, etc media devices. It will have the same functionality – streaming of your favorite shows, music, etc, but without the spying.
– Estimated Price: TBA

GrayMatter VPN Service

– We have been testing the beta of our very own VPN service. What will it offer?

– Servers in jurisdictions that are respectful of privacy rights
– Servers setup with same security you would find in the Sepio
– No logging of customers
– Anonymous account creation and payment support
– Wireguard, TOR, OpenVPN and Shadowsocks
– Multihop support
– Secure, non-logging DNS

– Estimated Price: $6-10 monthly


I should mention that all of our products are fully patched against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. 

CSG is also holding a GroundRod Primer course in Boise, ID on March 24-25, 2018. The GroundRod Primer is an intensive digital security course of instruction.

K of Combat Studies Group to Speak at March 8th LVA Meeting

K of Combat Studies Group will be the featured speaker at the March 8th, 2018 Lower Valley Assembly of the Whole in Prosser, WA. His topic will be digital security.

K is a combat veteran, owner/instructor of CSG Inc, overseas government contractor, and a wilderness medic. He has trained thousands of personnel from all four branches of the military, special operations forces, federal agencies, police and responsible citizens, in firearms, tactics, survival and trade-craft. Combat Studies Group teaches classes in firearms tactics, kidnap defense, austere medicine, vehicle and home defense and most recently has been teaching many classes around the country about digital security dubbed “Groundrod” courses.  Combat Studies Group also creates and sells secure phones, tablets and laptops.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Brushbeater: Questions Concerning Church Security Details (Comms)

NC Scout of the Brushbeater blog has written a short article concerning communication protocols for a church security detail.

It’s a sad reality that I have to write this, but I am heartened by the fact that people are asking these questions. We live in an age of Christian persecution, whether some wish to admit it or not, and that persecution has led to our Churches and gatherings becoming easy targets. The paradigm shift from simple castigation and stigma to legal discrimination has slid, predictably, to violence amid a society where nothing is deemed Holy…

That said, I was presented with the following question:

I’m on my Church’s security detail and comms are pretty relaxed and there is no real protocol in place. Can you give me some pointers, etc?

This is a much deeper topic than it appears…

Click here to read the full article at Brushbeater

RELATED:

Force Dynamics: Church Training

Sheepdog Seminars – Church Safety Seminars

Principle Defense Systems: Security Team Tactics training

Carl Chinn – Church Security

Combat Studies Group: Full Spectrum Training

From K over at Combat Studies Group, Full Spectrum Training…Does It Matter?

So I know the question is out there….why is this website supposedly devoted to the study of warfare always talking about computer security and cryptocurrency? Shouldn’t I just be posting articles about “improving your shot group” or the latest in “tactical accoutrements”? It essentially boils down to this:

1. As anyone who has attended my courses knows, I believe in what I call “The Heinlein Doctrine” (or the Competent Man principal). In essence, a warrior (or just a human being for that matter) must be good at everything…not just shooting, or grappling, or navigating.

2. Right now, technology is at the forefront of not just battle, but our everyday lives….like it or not.

3. Many believe that war lies in the not too far future of the western world. I believe that this war has already begun. Perhaps not the shooting part, but the IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace) has begun in earnest in the technical space. We ignore this aspect of the battlefield at our greatest peril.

4. And finally, there are hundreds of sources these days for sound tactical training, but very few sources for full spectrum training exist.

***

 “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

— Robert Heinlein (From Time Enough For Love)

 

Continue reading over at CSG by clicking here

CSG Groundrod I & II, July 6-9, 2017 in Prosser, WA

Combat Studies Group will bring their Groundrod Primer/I and Groundrod II classes to Prosser, WA in July.  Groundrod I (Primer) will be held July 6th and 7th. Groundrod II will be held on July 8th and 9th.

GroundRod Primer  –  Internet and digital tradecraft

GroundRod Primer is designed to address the fundamental concerns of journalists, concerned citizens, activists, whistle blowers, missionaries and liberty lovers in general, with regard to digital security. Whether hackers, governments, criminals or acts of espionage; our privacy is in serious jeopardy.

You will learn to secure your devices and communications in the following ways:

Properly employ symmetric and asymmetric encryption
Create and safely store powerful passwords
Guard against common criminal and state level intrusion techniques
Recognize unsafe software you are using now and explore safe replacements
Surf the web anonymously
Explore the deep web
Transfer files safely
Communicate securely and privately
Understand and deal with malicious firmware

GroundRod Primer is meant to take the uncertainty and guesswork out of digital security, give you a fundamental base of knowledge to grow from and get you up and running with the highest levels of security available TODAY.

Follow on courses will delve deeper into these subjects and address escape and evasion techniques and other tradecraft.

Gear Requirments

* Laptop
* Three USB thumbdrives (4-8 GB)
* Note taking materials
* extension cord

Cost
$ 350

GroundRod 2  covers the following:

– Review of GroundRod Primer skills

– Discussion of current events as they relate to privacy, security and liberty

– In depth study of the Invisible Internet Project / I2P

– Setting up anonymous mail service via I2P

– Exploration of Zeronet and other distributed networking systems

– Setting up and using Retroshare with extra anonymity

– The latest in encryption techniques, including ECC

– Setting up open source router firmware

– Metadata analysis

– Testing secure alternatives to Skype and other mainstream teleconferencing software

– The latest in crypto-currency trends, techniques and software

– Real-world tradecraft application

– Setting up resilient, “Ministry of Truth” proof websites

– Hands on training for SEPIO laptop owners

– and tons more………

You can find a review of Groundrod I (Primer) on Forward Observer through this link.

If this course is centered on two things, it’s problems and solutions.  In a more technical sense:  vulnerabilities and countermeasures.  What is an adversary’s “attack surface”and how do we harden ourselves against that attack?  Utilizing electronic means to communicate — whether that’s via the internet, a cellular network, or radio signals — opens us up to electronic surveillance (at a minimum) and possibly direct targeting to exploit our communications.  As was discussed in the class, Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.), who was the director at both CIA and NSA, famously quipped, “We [the US] kill people based on metadata.”  Your cell phone number, its IMEI number, call times and duration (what’s referred to as “exposure”), and geolocation of those calls are all examples of metadata.  Furthermore, your email address, IP address, and MAC address are metadata easily found via the internet.  This metadata is associated to the caller or emailer, which is another data point in your pattern of life.  With sufficient data points, analysts like myself  can map out your pattern of life and begin to anticipate future activity.  That’s a vulnerability, and it’s one that deserves a hard look.

To register for the classes, go to the Combat Studies Group website and then the Store page and scroll down to Class Deposit with the Buy Now button. You will need to then email them after making the $100 deposit to specify the class date and location for which you are registering.