Quote of the week

The RAF was a comparatively tightly organised, high tech force, by and large with more modern equipment and operational command techniques than the Navy, and more so the Army. One consequence was that they were able to collate and distill information fast for their own purposes.

The upshot was that they had more up to date PR to hand on a regular basis.

Thanks to old_rat Posted: 16 Jan 2009 17:41

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Army discovers cyber warfare

An interesting story from Mick Smith, a well-known former Army Intelligence Analyst. Was he specially selected for this interview I wonder ? One has to ponder where General Richards has been hiding all these years and the rest of the Army to boot? One has to wonder why Smith chose General Richards as the supreme source on this matter, perhaps he is also aligned with the Gunners quadrant…

When the GOSCC was set up almost a decade ago I seem to recall that the Army was singularly absent from stepping up to the plate. Clearly the US version, heavily manned by serving and retired MI analysts was not considered to be a valid a model to follow.

From what I am told by colleagues in the Provost Branch, the quality of some of the Army ‘s contribution to the JSyCC has been interesting. It seems that a number of Radio Supervisors on their final tour of duty have had an excellent time on resettlement there. A pity they were not able to add as much value as they were able to take away away in CV-related collateral. Only in the RAF-led JSyCC has there been any drive to bring physical and logical security together.

Many contributors to the ARRSE thread seem
to be blissfully unaware of the link between physical, personnel and logical security, others seem to hold that there is no link between the application of Physical and Cognitive effect. Yes let’s keep them in isolation where they belong, who would ever want to use the two effects on a complimentary basis. The same commentators also seem content that CNE would be run in isolation from other forms of Intelligence attack, clearly CNE conceptual thinking is at a much higher plain having no relation to IMINT analysis of Infrastructure and social engineering by HUMINT specialists. Remember some of us were doing “dumpster diving” since FIRE CAN was an intelligence indicator, not a museum piece.

The Army has always taken a somewhat disjointed position in the information operations space. The Intelligence Corps CITSS looked at security of IT systems, largely ignoring the physical and personnel related aspects. Although I do wonder whatever happened to that other lot formed after OP STABLES - amalgamated into fleece wearing DHU perhaps? The long-disbanded COMSEC monitoring team was taken as a saving by the Royal Signals many years ago. What remains in the field Army seems to be a body shop to man deployments, today can it really be considered to have the numbers, organisation and the skills to provide a coherent capability?

What of the Territorial Army I hear you ask? They certainly bring enthusiasm, after all you are able to keep hold of your vetting if you are not already a sought after and much respected CLAS consultant. However, they seem totally unaware of and uncoordinated with physical and personnel related issues. You only have to read
Schneir’s blog to see how important the topic is. One wonders how many INFOSEC breaches discovered by this band of experts, find’s its way into the perpetrators vetting file?

Fortunately the Army see no conflict of interests with these weekend warriors working customer side one day, then coming back on Monday on the supplier side. Sadly many telecos will NOT have members of the TA on their premises on duty, because they have an alternative view. I wonder why neither the Navy or the RAF have set up a similar unit.

The blatant disregard for PERSEC by some of their Army reservist only serves to underline ether their ignorance or arrogance; perhaps their complacency. Put my last in what ever order you like :)

Let us now compare an contrast with the junior service, who have a long established unit equipped and established for this role, for may years. Whereas the Army has no COMSEC breaches at all, the RAF takes a view that this is a real issue and utilises the capability both on Ops and training. It's manning level is closer to 60 personnel, than to 6 allowing roulement, personal and skill related training, exercises, leave and harmony time. The
unit has been established since 1952 indicating a degree of coherence that others seen to lack.

The Army, unlike the RAF, changes its mind on information operations, as often as it changes its jumpers and stable belts. General Richards intention is commendable, but in these times of budgetary constraint, does the army have the valid business case, the capability and a demonstrable commitment.

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