Train, Maintain, Sustain

matthew_b_ridway“Train, Maintain, Sustain” is the unit crest and motto of the 81st Regional Readiness Command of the U.S. Army Reserve. According to its official page, The 81st Regional Support Command “provides essential customer care and services to Soldiers, Civilians and their Families in the Southeast Region and Puerto Rico, enabling supported commanders and leaders to maximize resources and meet global requirements.” Their motto is a poignant reminder that training requires maintenance to be sustainable.

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

Napoléon once quipped, “An army marches on its stomach.”

It’s a truism that even Alexander the Great, the Macedonian King whose unprecedented military campaigns through Asia and Africa forged one of the largest empires the world has ever seen, knew all too well. A military leader of world renown, Alexander was a gifted strategic planner and one who capitalized on a seemingly obscure element – logistics.

Indeed, Alexander supposedly planned his military campaigns across Asia to coincide with upcoming harvest seasons. His reasoning was simple: a harvest season made fertile supply routes for a hungry army on the march and provided enough substance to feed both his troops and the pack animals that accompanied the army.

Fundamental Truisms

At the core, many truisms and similarly relevant historical adages boil down to confirm fundamentals. There is, after all, a reason they’re called “truisms.”

Attention to seemingly insignificant details can make or break an endeavor. But such cognizance does not just serve the head of the spear or the commanding general of an army. The true value of consequential particulars touches all those involved; once a best practice is identified, it must be learnt down the ranks through training to truly become an operational staple.

Utility of Best Practices

The utility and applicability of training best practices remains at the core of both intelligence and security professional disciplines. These best practices, however, are constantly evolving within a competitive market and what worked yesterday or today, won’t necessarily work as effectively tomorrow.

To stay abreast and ahead of competitors requires continuous self-education. All businesses seek to create differentiators between competitors; similarly, you, as a prospective job applicant, need to find, highlight, and hold your own individual competitive advantage.

Be a Better Fish

Your academic studies set you apart from your peers and illustrate that education matters, qualifications count, and that you likely rank right up there with the most qualified job seekers on the market. Even so, this just makes you a bigger fish in a smaller pond (or a well-qualified candidate in a pool of other well-qualified applicants).

So how, then, do you make your application stand out? It’s a challenge that has many solutions but no definitive and universally applicable answer. Nevertheless, if you reach back and think about the importance of fundamentals, it becomes clear that supplemental training goes a very long way.

Take the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a case in point. In a ‘frequently asked questions’ segment of its Website, the CIA explains, “The Agency places a high priority on preparing officers for increasing levels of responsibility and leadership over the course of their careers.” Adding later in another section, CIA states, “The world of intelligence is increasingly complex, making continuous learning an imperative.” They’ve made it clear that initial and continuing training is imperative to the operational success of the CIA.

Continuous Learning

The role and utility of training within the intelligence and security community should not be dismissed, ignored, or underappreciated. It’s a vital component for both those currently in the community as well as those seeking to enter it. It can be a stepping-stone for career development, or the differentiating factor of the bigger, brighter, and better fish in the applicant pool.

To that end, we would like to highlight a free training and certification resource that will help build your KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities), bolster your resume, and perhaps even be the key indicator of a diligent applicant who knows the values of continuous learning and therefore holds themselves to constantly improving standards.

Defense Security Service

The Defense Security Service (DSS), an agency of the Department of Defense (DoD), under the direction of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, provides training and education services via its Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE).

The CDSE’s mission is to “Provide the DoD with a security center of excellence for the professionalization of the security community and be the premier provider of security education and training for the DoD and industry under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP). The CDSE provides development, delivery, and exchange of security knowledge to ensure a high-performing workforce capable of addressing our Nation’s security challenges.”

The training and certification programs offered by DSS run the gamut of core elements of security disciplines. Course offerings are broken down by specific functional and operational areas and include: Counterintelligence, Cybersecurity, General Security, Industrial Security, Information Security, International Security, Operations Security, Personnel Security, Physical Security, and other areas of interest. Most of the training and certifications that are publicly available are Unclassified.

Training programs and certifications are the gold standard for DoD security professionals in both civil service and contractor fields. The curriculum is rigorous and the material is challenging. Web-based training videos and course materials are readily available online 24-hours a day.

From a user perspective, DSS training courses should not be taken on a whim. After registering for a class and successfully completing a course there is a multiple-choice exam that one is required to complete in order to receive full credit. There is an important caveat to note to prospective participants: if you fail an exam three times, you cannot register again for the same exam, and the passing grade is 75 percent.

Perhaps most importantly though, DSS CDSE training courses and certifications are free of charge. To review training courses that may be of interest and to register, check out: http://www.cdse.edu/about.html.

The goal of taking and successfully completing DSS CDSE courses is to one day qualify for entrance into the Security Professional Education Development Program (SPēD). The goal for DoD is to use this four level program as a future hiring requirement. Future promotions will likely require SPēD certification for DoD security positions so it’s a good idea to get started early.

A Key to Victory

Training is a gift. It is intended to be tool of substance and the foundation on which to build a viable skillset for real world application. To excel in the world of intelligence and security, either as a member of the civil service or a contractor, you need to take advantage of the opportunities that provide the right tools for achieving the mission at hand.

Leaders realize this. They provide opportunities for their employees and team members to garner the knowledge that will enable ultimate victory. Good leaders embrace training, but greater leaders instill continuous learning as both an operational imperative and a strategic value – not because it’s easy, but because they know, as General Matthew B. Ridgway observed, “If an army fails, it is because its leaders have failed; if it succeeds, it is because they have succeeded.”

Last Man Standing: Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers

Moh2Walter D. Ehlers, the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Allied invasion of Normandy during ‘Operation Overlord’ in 1944, passed away in Buena Park, California on Thursday of natural causes at the age of 92.

Ehlers was born in 1921, during the post-World War I recession era that soon became known as the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ and in 1940, both he and his brother, Roland enlisted in the U.S. Army.

On June 6, 1944, Staff Sgt. Ehlers was one of more than 160,000 Allied troops who took part in ‘Operation Neptune,’ the code name commonly referred to as D-Day. During the Battle of Normandy, he led a 12-man reconnaissance patrol across Omaha Beach, in Nazi-controlled France, without sustaining a single loss or casualty to his team.

Staff Sgt. Ehlers was later award the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest and oldest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. On December 12, 1944 Staff Sgt. Ehlers received the Medal of Honor, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France.”

While sustaining significant injuries and after learning that his brother Roland was killed in action during the Normandy invasion, Staff Sgt. Ehlers refused to be evacuated and instead continued to lead his squad.

By the war’s end, Staff Sgt. Walter Ehlers had fought in eight campaigns. In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor, he received the Silver Star, three Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, the Presidential Unit Citation with Two Clusters, and the Combat Infantry Badge. Additionally, he received the King George Military Medal from the United Kingdom, France’s Croix de Guerre, Belgium’s King Leopold Medal and was knighted by King Albert II, according to a release by the City of Buena Park, California.

Staff Sgt. Ehlers received the following citation, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, for his personal bravery and self-sacrifice:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership. Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed. The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.”

The Congressional Medal of Honor, was established by General George Washington on August 7, 1782, and is “awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.”

On behalf of a grateful nation and for your honorable and faithful service, Lt. Walter D. Ehlers – America thanks you.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and badges provide organizations and professionals an alternative solution to the high costs of workforce training and continuing education. They play a crucial role in the innovation portion of the President’s Plan to Make College More Affordable and are being utilized by top universities and organizations such as the Veteran’s Affairs supported program: Badges for Vets.

Massive Open Online Courses are free online classes available for anyone to enroll. There are three main platforms for MOOCs: Coursera, Edx and Udacity. Each website lists hundreds of courses from expert practitioners and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, and MIT. A typical class requires students to follow a timed curriculum including reading assignments, video lectures, quizzes and a final exam. Those interested in earning a certification must pass the quizzes and exam before earning a certification.

The initial goal of MOOCs was simply to bring down education barriers and provide anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to learn. As MOOCs have evolved the process of certification has come to forefront. MOOCs require time and effort to complete and those who do complete them need tangible ways to apply them to their professional careers.

Udacity, Coursera, and Edx have all been working to authenticate their certification processes. Most courses available through the platform will allow the student to receive a certificate upon completion of the course. As a way to further authenticate this process more courses are offering the option of paying a small fee to have the certification verified or even apply the coursework to college credit.

Mozilla, in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation, has taken the certification process one step further with the creation of virtual badges. The purpose of the badges is to provide a holistic view of the professional by looking at an individual’s entire learning ecosystem. Mozilla’s Open Badges website provides a platform for earning, issuing and displaying badges. The credibility of the badges is verified through a digital hyperlink showing the issuing organization and all criteria met to earn certification. Badges allow professionals to show exactly how proficient they are in both specific skills such as HTML or foreign language as well as more difficult to define skills such as those learned through volunteering or military service. Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education states “Badges bridge the divide between formal and informal education, and they have the power to transform competency-based learning and hiring practices.”

MOOCs and badges create a mutual beneficial relationship between organizations and professionals. Money is saved on workforce training and higher-level employees do not have to spend as much time leading in-person trainings, and recruiters are able to choose candidate with the specific abilities they desire. In turn, professionals are able to more articulately present a holistic view of their skill set and showcase their intellectual curiosity and desire for life-long learning.


References:

About the Author: Kathryn Bly is a Lint Center volunteer.

2013 Year In Review

We hope you had a great year and are ready for the New Year. In anticipation, the Lint Center for National Security Studies is pleased to provide you with a snapshot of our yearly wins in this 2013 Year End Report.

Dear Friends,

The Lint Center has had a tremendous year and we are excited by what lays ahead in 2014. We know that it is because of individuals like you that the Lint Center continues to grow and extend its impactful reach. Our successes are directly correlated to your support and our incredible team of dedicated volunteers.

2013 was a busy year for the Lint Center mentoring team and I am proud to report that we awarded our 30th scholarship.

We ramped up our volunteer outreach efforts and external affairs endeavors, which have provided the infrastructure necessary to continue our important work to enhance, enable, and empower the next generation of counterintelligence and national security workers.

For the last six month, our new Director of External Affairs, Jessica Crawford, has been managing 19 volunteers (including three interns) while also working on various vitally important projects for the Lint Center.  A special thanks also goes out to our dedicated intern, Bre Wexler, for her assistance in growing the volunteer program.  We truly appreciate all the incredible work our volunteers do for our operation, especially with virtually connected members stretched across the USA and around the world.

The Lint Center continues to make use of the Presidential Service Award program (www.presidentialserviceawards.gov) to recognize volunteers for their service. Starting in 2013, the Lint Center is excited to now offer a new volunteer recognition tool – Reward Volunteers. This program offers a chance for individuals to win prizes just by logging their volunteer hours.  Logged hours are shared via Facebook allowing the Lint Center to increase its social media presence.  We can use the widget on our website, or at RewardVolunteers.coop, and volunteers can even download the iPhone app to upload hours from anywhere.  In turn, we would like to remind all volunteers that we appreciate the donation of your time and want you to be recognized for your assistance and service, so please utilize one or both of these programs – you’ve earned it!

Our winners continue to receive the support of our longest running corporate sponsor, Stratfor, a leading provider of strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs. Stratfor graciously provides all Lint Center winners with a free annual subscription to its online subscription services.

Additionally, the Lint Center also has a new corporate sponsor, which has been a significant base of support for Lint Center winners. Teaming with the OPSEC Professionals Society has afforded our winners an invaluable introduction into Operational Security methods and its fundamental importance.

In mentor news, one of our most seasoned mentors just went to Afghanistan in a very well placed job. We wish the mentor well – Godspeed.

The Center is a well-rounded group of talented individuals helping to support and defend this nation while also finding time to give of themselves to educate and elucidate with effect, a younger crop of dedicated individuals seeking to leave their mark in the national security arena. In the middle of it and keeping the Lint Center afloat, we are backed by a truly inspiring team of very gifted administrators, managers, and even a scientist that have kept us operational for more than six years.

Perhaps the most important tangible benefit of the Lint Center’s work is reflected in the caliber and quality of the individuals selected to receive scholarship support and mentoring tutelage. The Lint Center is pleased to provide a quick run-down on this year’s winners for your review.

Scholarship Winners from January and July 2013

Four scholarships were awarded this year to another group of accomplished and deserving individuals.  In January, the U.S. Counterintelligence Agent, Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton, Jr. Scholarship was awarded to SSgt Thorpe.  SSgt Thorpe is stationed at United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). During his military career as an Intelligence Applications Specialist, SSgt Thorpe has deployed four times in Afghanistan, Africa, and Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the past, he served within Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) on Hurlburt Field from Sept 2006 – Sept 2012, and United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) from May 2003 – Sept 2006. Currently, he is pursuing a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Homeland Security through Pennsylvania State University.

Megan Rosenberger was awarded the First Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert Scholarship in January of this year.  Megan is currently attending the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Class of 2017, and studying engineering. During her two years of research and development, she successfully engineered a hydroelectric generator to her rain barrel in her backyard, which she is currently patenting. On April 16, 2012, she was invited to attend the White House Summit on Environmental Education where she was awarded the President’s Environmental Youth Award for her state and six-state region, one out of more than six thousand applicants. Megan was also honored to speak at the Summit about her research

In July, Denae Ford received the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship.  At NC State University, Denae is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and is Vice President of Women in Computer Science and a student athlete on the Varsity Track and Field team, she has found a way to challenge herself in multiple venues. She has also had the opportunity to work at SAS Headquarters in Cary, North Carolina as an InDatabase Development Testing Intern.

Also in July, the Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Alana Perez.  Alana is currently a sophomore at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she is pursuing a double major in Political Science and East Asian Studies with an emphasis on Chinese.

The whole Lint Center family would all like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.  More information about these winners, including biographies and essays, can be found here.

Personal Updates:

On a personal note, I have doing a bit of writing these past few months. I am pleased to report that I published some articles on the impact of furlough/sequester on the Army and espionage.  I was co-author with a great friend and the Lint Center’s COO, Tim Coleman, which was published in an industry-leading magazine Homeland Security Today and reprinted by the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. The articles have been well received, as they were timely, especially as they highlighted the impact of budget cuts, furloughs, and sequester on opportunistic espionage.

In addition, I published my first book on Leadership and Management Lessons Learned, A Book of Management Vignettes. All proceeds go directly to the Lint Center scholarship fund so I encourage you to take a look and give it a read.

On behalf of the Lint Center team, I wish to thank you for all that you do and for your continued support. We wish you all a very happy and blessed new year!

Warm Wishes,

Jim Lint, Chairman
Special Agent (Retired)

PS – We are always looking for volunteers, especially for our newsletter, video production, volunteer coordinating, and web research. Contact us to get subscribed to our newsletter. info@LintCenter.org or direct to me.

We hope you have had a good year and we will see you on email or social media.

Have a great New Year!

2013 Successes PDF

Veteran’s Day: Our Debt of Gratitude Has No Bounds

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On this Veteran’s Day, the Lint Center wishes to thank all those that have nobly served this great nation. We honor those great American patriots that have made and continue to make this country strong and free.

Veterans epitomize that which makes this country great. They are a powerful testament to the great cause of freedom everywhere. We are eternally grateful to them all. We are honored by their courage, commitment and valor.

And we are reminded on this day of our responsibility to our veterans as well – past, present and future. As George Washington noted, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

May God bless the heroic men and women who served and those who continue to serve this nation in our armed forces.

Once a Marine, Always a Marine

“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines:  Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.”  – Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army
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Sunday, November 10 is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and it is a fitting time to reflect on the glories, the illustrious history, and the heralded reputation of the Corps. It is also an important reminder of the very real sacrifices generations of brave Marines have endured for this nations freedom.

The Lint Center would like to offer its most sincere thanks and pay the appropriate homage to all Marines and for the everlasting brotherhood the Corps remains – Semper Fidelis!

“You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth–and the amusing thing about it is that they are.” – Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War

USA Cyber Warrior Scholarship for IT Security

Last week, ISC(2) in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, revealed the inaugural recipients of the 2013 USA Cyber Warrior Scholarship. The program was developed as a way to provide training opportunities to United States military veterans within the information security field.
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The recipients of the 2013 scholarships are Brian Eighmey, Temecula, CA; Bryan Johnson, Midvale, UT; Regina Porter, Chesapeake, VA; Jacobo Schreiber, Owens Cross Roads, AL; Eric Shaver II, Crossville, TN; and Jacobo Soriano, Fayetteville, NC.

The recipients were chosen from a pool of applicants who had service-related IT experience and expressed a passion for cyber security. Each will have the choice of pursuing one of four cyber certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional, Certified Authorization Professional or Systems Security Certified Practitioner. All expenses associated with earning the certification will be covered by the scholarship.

The USA Cyber Warrior scholarship program was created to meet the demands of the rapidly growing cyber security field. In 2013, Frost and Sullivan, in partnership with ISC(2) conducted a Global Information Security Workforce Study. The study concluded that as the use of BYOD (bring your own device), cloud computing and social media in the workplace grows; the most effective defense against rapidly evolving threats is cyber security professionals.

The findings narrowed in on a specific skill set found to be most advantageous including leadership, communication, and a broad understanding of the security field.  These skills correlate well with those of veterans entering the workforce.

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As stated by Booz Allen Principal Tony Urbanovich, “Veterans have performed tasks in the military that, with additional training, can lead to successful cyber and information security career.”

ISC(2) hopes that their scholarship will not only close a gap in the demand for cyber security professionals but also ease the process for veterans assimilating into the civilian workforce; providing them the training needed to enter a financially and intellectually rewarding field.

Congrats to all the winners!

To learn more about the scholarship, please visit ISC(2).

About the Author: Kathryn Bly is a Lint Center volunteer.


References:

Must Read: Leadership and Management Lessons Learned

Lint_BookThe Lint Center is pleased to announce that our Chairman and CEO recently published his first book titled, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned, A Book of Management Vignettes.”

As James R. Lint explains, “The concept of this book is a series of short stories from service in US Marine Corps, Army, government contractors, Civil Service overseas, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), acquiring MBA, and teaching college at AMU. This book is a total of 38 years in Leadership and Management Lessons Learned.”

Further Lint says, “Lessons can be learned with humor and retrospect. This book attempts to do that and look at the new lessons to be learned for supervisors and managers pertaining to Social Media.”

The Kindle Edition went on sale at Amazon.com on Thursday, October 17, 2013. All profits and proceeds go to the Lint Center for National Security Studies scholarship program. We encourage you to take a look and help spread the word. The book is priced at $4.95 and is available for purchase here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G04EG1E.

Honoring our Gold Star Mothers

Gold-Star-MothersWith loving thoughts and heartfelt prayers, the Lint Center wishes to honor the brave and deserving Gold Star Mothers.

On this day, we pay tribute to these loving mothers of our country’s fallen military heroes.

We, as a nation, should pause to honor those who have given so much.

We pray for hope to fill each Gold Star Mother’s heart, comfort to fill her days, and peace to fill her soul.

A Soldier’s Legacy: Richard S. Eaton Jr

us-flag-capitol-half-staff-737281August 12, 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of the passing of Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., a Counterintelligence Special Agent for the US army.  He died due to medical complications following a 24-hour firefight in Hit, Iraq while deployed with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion.

Eaton was a highly decorated soldier with awards including the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Expert Marksmanship Badge with bars for rifle, pistol, and grenade.  During his 18 years of Army service, he served tours in Korea, Honduras, Panama, and Iraq.

Eaton dedicated his career to the advancement of Counterintelligence and national security.  Since his passing, his accomplishments have been honored by his family and colleagues.  Eaton’s family established the SSG Richard S. Eaton, Jr. National Security Collection at the University of New Haven’s library in 2003 (http://www.newhaven.edu/library/SpecialCollections/Eaton/).  Just last year, he was honored with a plaque at the US Army Reserve Center Memorial at Fort Meade.

In 2011, the Lint Center for National Security Studies announced an educational scholarship to be annually awarded in honor of this fallen soldier.  This scholarship provides both financial and mentoring support to those who have chosen to follow in Eaton’s footsteps.

zzeaton-richard“I had the honor of serving with Rick both at home and abroad,” said James Lint, Chairman of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “His exemplary achievements during his career are a testament to the character, conviction, and courage of those who continue to serve this nation – always out front. I owe Rick a debt of gratitude that only service members can understand and Counterintelligence specialists can appreciate; this country owes him the honor befitting his sacrifice. The Lint Center is committed to ensuring Rick’s deeds, personal example, and noble heroism are both honored and memorialized.”

“It has been ten years since he left us, but not a day goes by that doesn’t fail to remind us of who he was, what he did, or what he meant to us. We continue to proudly remember his legacy of service and his many years of friendship.”

A special thank you goes out to the Eaton family for their long time support of the Lint Center’s mission to support the educational pursuits of America’s next generation of intelligence and national security workers.

 

To learn more about SSG Eaton’s life and accomplishments, please visit the links below:

  1. Together We Served
  2. Honor the Fallen
  3. The Courant
  4. Rense

 

*This post was written by Jessica Crawford, a Lint Center volunteer.

Bletchley Park, the Best-Kept Secret of WWII

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Creating and staffing Bletchley Park, a highly secret government organization, took place during the hard days of fighting and dying of WWII. The organization’s goal was to defeat the use of the German’s coding warring information. Bletchley Park was one of history’s most covert operations and was under close protection from enemy disclosure.

As the home of one of the first computer and code breaking equipment, Bletchley Park ultimately broke the German Enigma code. The British cracked the German codes to uncover enemy schemes and the secrets of Hitler’s plotting. Deciphering the German forces hidden encoded messages was the accomplishment of brilliant dedicated men and women, including chess champions, mathematicians, cross word experts and a variety of other fields. Bletchley Park’s Alan Turing is credited for breaking the enigma code.

Bletchley Park enabled Allied forces to uncover hidden messages encrypted into German radio traffic and was a useful defensive weapon of the intelligence network. Iain Standan, CEO, of Bletchley Park Trust said, “Many historians these days often estimate that the work here at Bletchley Park shortened the Second World War by two years thereby saving millions of lives.”

Bremont, the luxury watchmaker, is teaming up with Bletchley Park Trust to commemorate this profound historical event and aid in its rebuild and preservation as a historical site. To honor the toilsome labors and dedication of those who contributed to Bletchley Park’s success, Bremont, has constructed a watch, the “Codebreaker.” This elegant timepiece contains actual components from the enigma machine and debuted on June 26.

To view the entire video, please click on the link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W08dyqL5ek&feature=player_embedded


About the Author:

Laurie A. P. Copeland has a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from Western Reformed Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. Her interests include, counterintelligence, cyber warfare, and terrorist groups. She is a Lint Center volunteer.


Sources:

  1. Iain Standan, CEO, Bletchley Park Trust, Bremont Codebreaker Limited Edition 2013 (pre-release film)

Image Courtesty of Blectchley Park Trust:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

DNS Amplification Attacks

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There are many types of DNS (Domain Name Server) attacks out there but a recent one is the Amplification Attack. But first let’s go over what a DNS is before we go into why an Amplification Attack is more complicated and a bigger threat. Domain Name System servers, are servers which map domain names such as  “google.com” to an IP address of the host server for the particular website.

When a user of a web-browser types “lintcenter.org” into a web-browser, the browser will ask a pool of DNS servers what the IP is for that server. Only then can it ask the server for the appropriate web page. Think of the DNS servers as dictionaries, where each word (domain name) has a server’s IP as its definition. But there can also be more information in that dictionary such as backup name servers, aliases, mail servers, etc.

An attacker can take advantage of how long it takes to compile a whole zone worth of definitions. In fact DNS servers can be just as vulnerable to DoS attacks as other servers with this. A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is a set of methods that can be used to make a server unreachable. By far the most popular are Distributed DoS attacks, where multiple parties (or a single party controlling multiple vectors) attack a single victim.

One such DDOS attack targeting DNS servers is called an Amplification attack. It starts when an attacker asks multiple DNS servers for a zone full of information masquerading as the target DNS server. The intermediary servers will chug and dump a bunch of information onto the target DNS server, hence the term Amplification attack.

Those that are impacted by an Amplification attack are those who have a misconfigured DNS server. But detection isn’t as easy to find.

“While it is not easy to identify authoritative name servers used in DNS reflection attacks as vulnerability is not caused by a misconfiguration, there are several freely available options for detecting open recursive resolvers.  Several organizations offer free, web-based scanning tools that will search a network for vulnerable open DNS resolvers.  These tools will scan entire network ranges and list the address of any identified open resolvers.”

It’s not impossible to repair a server when it’s found it’s been exploited, but it is time consuming. US-Cert has offered several open source and free options and instructions on how to prevent and fix this type of attack.


About the Author:

Kana Kennedy is a third year Information Security and Forensics major at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Her specific interest is in Policy Writing and Procedure. She is also the Lint Center’s IT Security Associate.


Sources:

  1. https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-088A

Image Credit:

  • Flickr

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

New McAfee Study on North Korean Malware

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According to news reports, there is a new piece to the Dark Seoul puzzle. A new Malware is on the loose and it’s after information on South Korean and U.S. Military secrets. The report does not identify which government networks have been targeted specifically, just that it’s looking for information on the two specific countries. The researchers have found it’s been gathering information since 2009, but the attack wasn’t discovered until March 20, 2013. It’s called Operation Troy, after the historic city in which the Trojan War took place. A significant reference considering how much of a historic impact the war had on Greek literature. Not to mention that the city of Troy fell due to the enemies breaking through with the famous Trojan horse. All familiar references in modern day hacking and hackers love their references.

McAfee Labs stated that the first attack found was named Dark Seoul, in which they discovered the hard drives wiped of critical data. But Operation Troy is a second attack but may have been implemented by the same group. The Malware was programmed to seek out certain keywords in varying versions of ‘military secrets’.

“This goes deeper than anyone had understood to date, and it’s not just attacks: It’s military espionage,” said Ryan Sherstobitoff, a senior threat researcher at McAfee who gave The Associated Press a report the company is releasing later this week. He analyzed code samples shared by U.S. government partners and private customers.”

My advice would be for the McAfee researchers to keep looking, as in the case of the Trojan horse, the city forces were looking in the wrong direction. McAfee already found two parts to this attack, perhaps there are more.


About the Author:

Kana Kennedy is a third year Information Security and Forensics major at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Her specific interest is in Policy Writing and Procedure.She is also a Lint Center volunteer.


Sources:

  1. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/09/asia-pacific/malware-hunts-military-secrets-in-south-korea-mcafee/#.UeBfgz9jfq4
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War
  3. http://www.lignet.com/ArticleAnalysis/Is-North-Korea-Poised-to-Launch-a-Cyber-Attack-#ixzz2Z8bByzev

Image Courtesy of Wikicommons.

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

Lint Center Team Article published in Homeland Security Today

Screen_shot_2013-07-15_at_4.20.15_PMIn today’s austere espionage market economy due to sequester and furloughs, foreign intelligence services are looking to ensnare broke and bitter USG personnel to sell secrets for bargain prices.

On his deathbed in 1801, legend has it that the infamous American Continental Army Gen. Benedict Arnold, a hero of the battles of Ticonderoga and Saratoga who defected to the British Army, uttered his regret: “Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.”

EXCLUSIVE – Sequester and Furloughs: It’s Discount Espionage Time

To read the full article, please click on the link below:

http://www.hstoday.us/blogs/guest-commentaries/blog/sequester-and-furloughs-its-discount-espionage-time/ce7c3324c8fc03c57cac45bacd507b1a.html

Congratulations Midshipman Megan Rosenberger

We are extremely pleased to extend our most hearty congratulations to MIDN Megan Rosenberger, USNA Class of 2017, and winner of the Lint Center’s First Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert Scholarship Award 2013 for her induction into the United States Navy on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
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Chairman of the Lint Center, James R. Lint, who served in both the US Army and in the US Marine Corps told Poly Rosenberger, mother of MIDN Rosenberger: “It will be a great, but tough journey she will be on. She will wonder if it is worth it.  Having served 21 years myself, I know the nation deserves individuals of your daughter’s caliber in the years to come.”

Adding, “For me, it was a great journey. The lessons I learned, the skills I honed, and the knowledge I attained, culminated in a fruitful career. Serving this great nation in uniform is a unique experience and a strong testament to emerging leaders who wish to follow in the footsteps of great patriots.”

(Photo: Courtesy of the Rosenberger Family)