Posts by Chameleon Associates

Age of Fear?

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[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. —Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513 Last week’s post concerned the ‘definition’ of terrorism.  While usually politically motivated, terrorism as a phenomenon has itself become politicized.  Terrorists and their supporters are of course…

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When is an Attack a Terrorist Attack?

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Does an attacker shouting ‘allahu akbar’ make it a terrorist attack?  How many people have to die for it to be an act of terrorism?  This week in downtown Fresno, California, Kori Ali Muhammad shot and killed three random people.  Muhammad was already a suspect in the shooting of a security guard at a Fresno…

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More Things, More Trouble

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The Internet of things (IoT) is (Wiki definition) the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.   Last weekend, when I finally bought home security cameras whose…

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The Spirit of the Law

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How can security personnel know what to do when doing the right thing contradicts the rules?  After all, life is often complicated and things are rarely black and white. Here are two examples.  One of our school security clients was conducting a lock down drill.    Lock down procedures at that campus state that no…

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Laptop Bombs are Not New

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Bringing an airliner down has been a big prize of terrorists since .. forever.  It is hardly a new goal.  The most recent U.S. security shift is a ban in airline cabins of all electronics larger than a cell phone on flights originating from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the United…

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National Security Strategy

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  A National Security Strategy has been produced every few years going back to 1987, under the Reagan administration.  The latest NSS was published in 2002 and 2006 by President Bush, and in 2010 and 2015 by Barack Obama. The purpose of the NSS is to communicate a President’s vision to the Congress as well as…

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Role Playing for Red Team Testing

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A key element of security training is testing.  And the best testing is in the form of red teaming or simulated adversarial tests.  You may already be familiar with the kind of red teaming that the TSA does, where for example, their agents try to infiltrate a weapon onto a flight.  There is much more…

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No Such Term as Active Shooter

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The term Active Shooter is not used in Israel. That might seem surprising to hear, given the terrorist threats against that country.  Although there is an ebb and flow in violence, terrorist attacks in the form of knife stabbings, Molotov cocktail throwing, car and truck ramming and of course shootings are an intermittent reality there. …

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Border Security that Trumps

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Some people are comparing Trump’s vision for a fence along the Mexico-U.S. border with the Security/Separation Fence that runs along the West Bank in Israel.  A far better example that more closely reflects the respective borders is a very different fence.  It’s in a place where ISIS enjoys its second largest stronghold in the world. …

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The Method to the Madness of Criminal Intent

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Late in the summer of 2015, open source news reporting indicated that Chinese hackers may have been to blame for the breach of information at USIS, which is the major U.S. contractor for security background investigations for the U.S. Government. Initial estimates indicate that the cyber security hacking included more than 25,000 private records. Investigators…

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