Intelligence

October 7, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Security experts warn companies not to think separately about possible intellectual property theft and cyber attack threats, as they could be one in the same. Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel 

The sophisticated nature of cyber attacks and intellectual property theft performed by adversaries is only increasing, as nation-state actors continue to mount attacks to gain valuable information from the United States, its military and private companies.

The blend of cyber and human espionage is what makes China particularly effective in mounting these kinds of attacks, said Mark Kelton, senior advisor, Chertoff Group and former senior executive of the CIA. The threats to U.S. intellectual property and digitally based assets are not slowing down anytime soon, stated Sean Berg, senior vice president and general manager, Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure, Forcepoint.

September 25, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
Panelists discuss identity intelligence at the Federal Identity Forum and Expo. Credit: Shaun Waterman

For U.S. intelligence agencies, identity is all about “trying to find bad guys,” said Kathleen Lane, the identity intelligence executive for the Office of the National Director of Intelligence.

In a rare public appearance at the AFCEA International Federal Identity Forum and Expo in Tampa, Florida, Lane explained that her attendance was part of a push by ODNI to be more transparent about the increasing U.S. use of identity intelligence.

September 24, 2019
By Shaun Waterman
(l-r) Monte Hawkins, director of the National Vetting Center, Charles Bartoldus, former official and now senior advisor to CT-Strategies, ODNI Identity Intelligence Executive Kathleen Lane, DHS CIO official Emily Barbero, NVC Chief of Staff Casie Antalis and NVC Technical Director Lori Vislocky speak at AFCEA International's Federal identity Forum and Expo in Tampa, Florida. Credit: Shaun Waterman

To guard America’s borders against a lengthening list of threats, the new interagency National Vetting Center (NVC) is flipping the script on watchlisting, officials said Monday.

Instead of compiling lists of individuals believed linked to terrorism or some other threat, the NVC is figuring out how to leverage all the information held by U.S. government agencies about any individual applying for entry to the country, the center’s director, Monte Hawkins, told AFCEA International’s Federal Identity Forum and Expo in Tampa, Florida.

September 5, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
 Panelists at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit discussing the hard truth about disinformation are (l-r) Sujit Raman, associate deputy attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice; Daniel Kimmage, principal deputy coordinator, Global Engagement Center, State Department; Suzanne Kelly, CEO, The Cipher Brief; and Brett Horvath, president, Guardians.ai. Credit: Herman Farrer Photography

Foreign countries are likely to continue their cyber-based disinformation campaigns as an inexpensive way of shaping thinking in democracies, according to a panel of experts at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on September 5. Only a concerted effort by government, the commercial sector and the public can blunt its effects, especially as the 2020 elections loom.

“Disinformation is not the weaponization of knowledge, it’s the weaponization of cognition,” declared Brett Horvath, president, Guardians.ai. “To have a coherent strategy, it has to be built on principles: What are you defending, and what are you attacking?”

September 5, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Exploring the need for intelligence in the newly emphasized space domain at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on September 5 are (l-r) Chris DeMay, founder and CTO, Hawkeye 360; Stacey Dixon, deputy director, NGA; Tina Harrington, director, SIGINT, NRO; and Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, USAF, deputy commander, Air Force Space Command.

With space assuming greater importance as a military domain with its own designated command, the U.S. intelligence community must dedicate assets and procedures to providing vital information about space-based operations. For decades, the ultimate high ground was a valuable source of intelligence across the spectrum of national security. Now, its value as an intelligence target is growing as much as its importance as an operational domain.

September 4, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
The plenary panel discussion on defense intelligence at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit  features (l-r) moderator Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, USMC (Ret.); Kari Bingen, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, U.S. Defense Department; Suzanne White, deputy director, DIA; Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Kruse, USAF, director of defense intelligence (warfighter support); and Rear Adm. Frank “Trey” Whitworth, USN, J-2, The Joint Staff. Credit: Herman Farrer Photography

A panel of military intelligence chiefs was not shy about telling industry what they need from it. Speaking at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on Wednesday, September 4, these flag officers listed their technology and capability wish list for many attendees from the commercial sector.

“Industry needs to help us modernize our manpower-intensive linear labor processes,” said Kari Bingen, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, U.S. Defense Department.

September 4, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Panelists discussing military service intelligence priorities at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit are (l-r) panel moderator Lt. Gen. Robert Noonan, USA (Ret.); Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, USA;  Lt. Gen. Veralinn “Dash” Jamieson, USAF; and Rear Adm. Steve Parode, USN. Credit: Herman Farrer Photography

Intelligence experts at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on Wednesday, September 4, offered that the hybrid cloud may be the digital holy grail for future intelligence operations. Disciplines ranging from international intelligence sharing to artificial intelligence, which are being counted on for effective operations, might not attain their true potential without it.

September 4, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. Joseph Votel, USA (Ret.), former SOCOM and CENTCOM commander, discusses the challenges facing the intelligence community with Michele Flournoy, co-founder of WestExec Advisors, at the Intelligence & National Security Summitt 2019. Credit: Herman Farrer Photography

Better information exchange, improved analysis and innovative technologies to keep up with adversaries will be essential if the intelligence community is to serve U.S. national security interests effectively in the coming years, stated experts at the opening session of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on Wednesday, September 4.

September 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. soldiers stand by for firing orders during exercise Agile Spirit 19 near Tbilisi, Georgia. A global threat picture vastly different from the one during the war on terrorism has compelled the Defense Intelligence Agency to revamp its technology base to serve greater levels of decision makers and warfighters.  U.S. Army photo

The new threat picture has signaled the time for defense intelligence to come together in an unprecedented common operating picture. This effort, which may include a moon shot equivalent known as MARS, will require many technology-driven improvements, according to the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

September 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology’s claim to fame is its ability to combine technologies and capabilities across disciplines in ways that others cannot imagine and that make technology seem magical, says Dawn Meyerriecks, who leads the directorate. Pan Andrii and Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock, edited by Chris D’Elia

If Hollywood were to create a movie about CIA human intelligence gathering, it would need to be more Mission Impossible than James Bond, more about teamwork and technical expertise than individual exploits, says Dawn Meyerriecks, who leads the agency’s Directorate of Science and Technology.

September 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is working to use traditional tools, such as geographic information systems, in new ways to provide geospatial intelligence to the Defense Department and the intelligence community.  Shutterstock/Ammit Jack

Threats to the United States from across the world are more frequent and persistent, from nation-state actors to terrorists to rogue players. As a result, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency that provides key imagery, intelligence and geospatial information to the Defense Department and to the intelligence community, has had to change some aspects of its tradecraft, says Susan Kalweit, director of analysis at the agency known as the NGA.

September 1, 2019
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The intelligence community is in for major changes as it confronts new and emerging threats across the entire spectrum of operations. While the challenges have developed over time, the intelligence community’s changes must be revolutionary, not evolutionary.

As different as the war on terrorism was from the Cold War, so is the current threat picture from traditional conflict profiles. Kinetic operations vie with cyber and social media activities for dominance in the new battlespace. Often, all three act in concert. Intelligence must focus not only on determining enemy activities before they have an effect, but also on waging operations that prevent or neutralize adversarial operations.

August 26, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Members of the Air Force Research lab work on a new enhanced reporting, narrative event streaming tool built in cooperation with business and academia. The tool is aimed at streamlining tasks performed by intelligence analysts, which will be essential for future intelligence processes. Photo by Wesley Farnsworth

U.S. intelligence must become more integrated and agile to address both growing threats and emerging technologies, according to a former defense intelligence official. This will require new approaches to leadership for integrating the community amid burgeoning capabilities and missions, says Lt. Gen. Robert W. Noonan Jr., USA (Ret.), former head of Army intelligence and current chair of the AFCEA Intelligence Committee. He adds that the biggest challenge for defense intelligence may be to leverage all of the U.S. intelligence community’s capabilities.

August 15, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., USA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director, describes how the agency’s new Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System, or MARS, will change the way intelligence data is processed and accessed.

The new global threat picture has signaled the time for defense intelligence to come together in an unprecedented common operating picture. With the broader availability of new technology and the need to conduct globally integrated operations at scale and speed, U.S. forces must move away from stovepipe systems and operate more as an enterprise, posits Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., USA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director. “For us to be able to operate really as an enterprise, to be able to move information from the intelligence community level down to warfighters … and to be able to ingest that at the services, we must be much more interoperable than we’ve been in the past.”

August 13, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Segey Cherviakov/Shutterstock

At the top of the list of the tools that the U.S. intelligence community is expecting to help accomplish its future mission is artificial intelligence, or AI. It is being counted on to help the collection and sorting of the large amounts of data that are growing exponentially. However, like many of these tools, AI can be co-opted or adopted by adversaries well-schooled in basic scientific disciplines. As a result, AI can be a trap for unwitting intelligence officials, offers Bob Gourley, co-founder and chief technology officer of OODA LLC.

July 24, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
The National Security Agency (NSA) has created a new Cybersecurity Directorate to improve cyber partnerships and increase intelligence coordination.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is launching its new Cybersecurity Directorate with a promise of “opening the door to partners and customers on a wide variety of cybersecurity efforts,” according to an agency statement. These partners will include established government allies in the cyber domain such as the U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. The directorate also is promising to share information better with its customers to help them defend against malicious cyber activity.

July 3, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Thousands of British and French troops wait on the dunes of Dunkirk Beach, France, for transport to England during World War II, between May 26 and June 4, 1940. The Central Intelligence Agency cites the military evacuation of Dunkirk as the time its predecessor agency started depending on the private sector for key strategic intelligence. Credit: Shutterstock/Everett Historical

Charged with providing national security information to the nation, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, has had a long history of partnering with the industry to solve challenges. That need has not diminished, said Randy Burkett, staff historian from the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence. 

Burkett, speaking at a recent Foundation for Innovation and Discovery (FINND) event, walked attendees through a few of the agency’s historically interesting challenges in which the industry came to its aid, beginning at the start of World War II. 

July 2, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has selected 10 innovative projects to help the agency measure the Earth’s magnetic field as part of its MagQuest competition. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey VP

Magnetometer locations ranging from on the bottom of the sea to orbiting in space constitute the first round winners of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA's) MagQuest open innovation challenge. Designed to generate novel ways of measuring Earth’s magnetic field, MagQuest is offering prizes totaling $1.2 million for novel geomagnetic data collection methodologies.

June 5, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S. Navy sailors collaborate with Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific’s RESTORE Lab to explore how three-dimensional scanning and printing can deliver an effective and reliable solution to repair critical warfighting equipment. U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. John P Fagan /Released

The U.S. Navy is working to keep pace with its land counterparts by providing the right information, software updates and new technical capabilities to its sailors at the right place and the right time. In the case of the sea service, the right place is often out at sea and under suboptimal conditions for satellite transmissions. The right time is every moment they need it.

May 24, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats discusses national security issues with other leaders during a visit to The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. The intelligence community is seeking advancing capabilities to help strengthen national security. Credit: Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a special notice on May 22 seeking input from companies on advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence, data management and advanced computing to aid the intelligence community and strengthen national security. The request for information ask interested parties to respond by July 26.

The agency, or ODNI, is broadening the range of its Intelligence, Science, and Technology Partnership, known as In-STeP, to provide input on innovative capabilities that address ODNI's Intelligence Community (IC)-wide Strategic Initiatives.

ODNI’s IC-wide Strategic Initiatives include:

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