Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Post

Getting Back to the Basics of Actionable Threat Intelligence

Shoot, move and communicate more effectively

I remember it like it was yesterday, the first few hours of basic training. I stood there cooking in the South Carolina humidity with a very loud and short man, named Drill Sergeant Doll screaming a few inches from my ear, "You need to shoot, move and communicate!" At the time, I had absolutely no clue what he was talking about. However, over the course of a few weeks I would start to understand that these would be the basic skills I needed to successfully complete my training.

Later, I would learn that these three skills needed to be honed together and each soldier would eventually take what they learned and apply it under the pressure of a live fire exercise. This would test our ability to work as a team, each soldier required to direct precise suppressing fire, moving swiftly in alternating bounding movements towards an objective all while communicating with one another, taking care not to shoot a fellow team member. "Shoot, Move, and Communicate" became the cornerstone of our military training.

We see communication as a vital attribute underpinning much of what we do as a community on a daily basis. We communicate within our circle of influence, within and across our organizations, as well as with external parties or even autonomous machines. Communication is what builds interpersonal relationships and is what allows us to draw upon a larger community that then becomes a countermeasure, which can be organized and wielded against modern threats.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Not unlike training for and conducting conventional combat, neutralizing asymmetric cyber threats requires some of the same basic teamwork skills. The njRAT infrastructure takedown operation conducted by Microsoft this week has been nothing short of controversial. If you shoot and move but fail to communicate, the result often means someone is going to get hurt. The unilateral takedown has served its purpose of impacting the attackers, but has also negatively effected all the stakeholders, such as Microsoft,  Vitalwerks (NO-IP), and its users alike.

While this is a highly complex example, the anatomy of the problem is disguised behind a two-front war, and as we look closer, the Microsoft takedown illuminates some of the problems we face today. Certainly there are the obvious technical challenges that the threats pose, but those are largely dwarfed in comparison to the interpersonal, social and cultural issues we have with one another, our individual motivations, as well as how and why we choose to communicate. The fallout between Microsoft and Vitalwerks (NO-IP) is a strategic inflection point within a decade old industry that seemingly fumbles every time one of us gets the ball.

There are many viewpoints, both for and against the actions Microsoft took, that have been posted on blogs, discussed on mailing lists and questioned in the news. Like trying to solve any challenge faced on a global scale, pulling one lever will undoubtedly move three or four somewhere else, triggering unforeseen consequences, in many cases becoming the new focal point and problem. As an industry, we need to become more situationally aware and selfless. We cannot continue to go at it alone, nor should we try. Unity is our strength. The sooner we all recognize this, the more effective we will be in dealing with common adversaries.

Solution Focused vs. Problem Focused
We specifically engineered ThreatConnect to be the enterprise solution that allows the security community to cross the chasm that exists between the technical and non-technical security challenges we face today. ThreatConnect was created with the intention of giving anyone the ability to easily develop and control their own threat intelligence by aggregating data from any source they deemed of value, allowing them to analyze and dynamically enrich contextualized indicators over time with the ability to communicate their findings in a controlled and trusted manner.

This flexibility gives analysts and network defense personnel the precision that is needed to accurately focus in on specific indicator types of interest and effectively manage their knowledge and pool resources. When it comes time to operationalize the information and coordinate their neutralization, there are capabilities to communicate around the data, intent to convey and actions to coordinate in order to minimize the risk of uninformed stakeholders and unintended consequences.

No Excuses
In today's highly connected world, there should be no excuse for breakdowns in communication when conducting such important and delicate operations as infrastructure takedowns. As of late April 2014, ThreatConnect has been sponsoring a free private ThreatConnect Community, proactively reaching out to service providers who are victims of abuse and wish to actively contribute resources to support coordinated takedown operations.

This emerging community is populated with vetted individuals and organizations within enterprise security teams, dynamic DNS providers and domain registrars. The goal is to deliver a platform and environment in which all stakeholders can easily come together and adopt a selfless attitude, and then deliver results for the common interest of our users and customers.

On a daily basis, the ThreatConnect Intelligence Research Team (TCIRT) leverages ThreatConnect to effectively share information and collaborate with large organizations, such as Microsoft and small to medium sized organizations, like Vitalwerks (NO-IP), so they are able to act on information in a coordinated manner. We do this because it is the right thing to do and the best way to do it.

If you or your organization is interested in participating in this community or others in ThreatConnect, register for a free basic account and get started, so you can do your part and enter into a community which will allow you to shoot, move, and communicate more effectively.

More Stories By Rich Barger

Rich is the Chief Intelligence Officer for Cyber Squared and the ThreatConnect Intelligence Research Team (TCIRT) Director.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...