Steganography—the practice of concealing data within a carrier—may be used to obscure malicious or criminal information and activity from law enforcement. While steganography dates to the fifth century BC, it has long been regarded as, and remains, one of the most advanced forms of clandestine communication. In modern usage, the Internet allows accessibility to, and broad dissemination of, steganography tools, and its application continues to evolve with technology. Understanding steganography in its current state is essential to its identification and detection.
You are browsing the archive for Fusion Centers.
US citizens and assets – including the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency, InfraGard, the state of Arizona, and major defense contracting companies – experienced high-profile cyber threats and attacks in the first half of 2011. Most of the tactics and techniques used were not new, however the increase in attacks during the past few months exemplifies the growth of cyber incursions and reinforces the need to be aware of risks and mitigation techniques associated with cyber threats.
The purpose of this bulletin is officer awareness. Officers should know that instigators involved in violent demonstrations might be familiar with, and might try to apply, techniques from the “Crowd Control and Riot Manual.” The handbook, from Warrior Publications teaches protestors how to defeat law enforcement crowd control techniques. Although it does not address specific groups or organizations, the information is widely applicable.
As articulated in the United States Constitution, one of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment is the right of persons and groups to assemble peacefully. Whether demonstrating, counterprotesting, or showing support for a cause, individuals and groups have the right to peacefully gather. Law enforcement, in turn, has the responsibility to ensure public safety while protecting the privacy and associated rights of individuals. To support agencies as they fulfill their public safety responsibilities, the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) developed this paper to provide guidance and recommendations to law enforcement officers in understanding their role in First Amendment-protected events. This paper is divided into three areas, designed to provide in-depth guidance for law enforcement.
The Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) is releasing this informational bulletin to enhance the situational awareness of law enforcement and security personnel with regard to a highly suspicious break-in incident that occurred on 24 October 2011 at the Haralson County Water Treatment Facility. During this incident, a subject broke in to the facility and was recorded (via security camera) taking pictures of the facility’s chlorination system, including the chlorine tank. In light of this highly suspicious incident, GISAC is urging facilities to be vigilant in their security measures and report any suspicious activity regarding water treatment facilities, or other critical infrastructure as soon as possible.
Copies of an “informational” letter were left on a table for protestors pick up and read during the “Occupy Phoenix” event at Cesar Chavez Park. The presence of the letter was reported to the ACTIC by a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy who had responded to an un-related call and was alerted to it by another deputy working the event. This letter is blatantly anti-government and anti-law enforcement in nature. It not only condones but even encourages citizens to kill any “government agent” (i.e. law enforcement officer), who in their perception violates their rights. Examples are given in the document, of “illegal” search and seizure, sobriety and border checkpoints, airport security, etc… In essence this document states that citizens have the right and moral obligation to resist any action by law enforcement that is viewed as a violation of the citizen’s rights, and often-times resistance involves killing officers.
October 28, 2011 in News
The Nebraska Information Analysis Center, the state’s law enforcement data fusion center, has unveiled a website for collecting suspicious activity reports from the public. By clicking on Suspicious Activity Report in the Quick Links box on the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) homepage, residents can access the SAR portal and provide information on suspicious events they believe should be shared with law enforcement. The automated website uses software from the Memex Solutions Team at SAS, which helps analysts evaluate and respond to SARs more effectively, Memex officials said.
The intent of the Houston HIDTA Threat Assessment, produced by the Houston Intelligence Support Center (HISC), is to identify the potential impact of drug trafficking trends within the Houston HIDTA and to deliver accurate and timely strategic intelligence to assist law enforcement agencies in the development of drug enforcement strategies.
September 20, 2011 in News
The recent ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks brought a deluge of news regarding the transformation of the United States in the wake of the most devastating terrorist attacks in the country’s history. Many reports focused on debating the efficacy, or lack thereof, of policies implemented over the decade since the attacks occurred. One set of particularly revealing reports from the Center for Investigative Journalism discussed suspicious activity reporting at the Mall of America and the transformation of Homeland Security following September 11. Some publications discussed the waste inherent in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its various grant programs. In addition to these critical evaluations of security policy, a number of public relations pieces from the national network of fusion centers appeared in local publications around the country. A local television station in Michigan covered the state’s local fusion center, having “unprecedented access” to walk around inside without cameras. Another piece from Tennessee discussed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s fusion center, ending with appeals for viewers to report suspicious activity and “say something” if they “see something”. Articles from other states including Arkansas and Alabama, sometimes written by Homeland Security officials, emphasized the important work of their local fusion centers and the continued need for funding and support.
The growing popularity of methamphetamine over the past 15 years has increased the risk of exposure to the surrounding community and law enforcements personnel. Methamphetamine is a controlled substance that is “cooked” using many common household ingredients which can be volatile and generates by‐products that can be very harmful to humans. When these products are combined, they emit toxic fumes and may cause chemical burns upon contact. Toxic residue from the cooking process saturates every surface and can remain there for months or years if not properly sterilized. Since the chemicals can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin, everyone coming in contact with those surfaces is vulnerable. Acute exposure occurs over a relatively short time and produces symptoms that include: shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, dizziness, lack of coordination, chemical irritation, and burns to the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth. If toxicity levels are fairly high or a person is particularly vulnerable (i.e. pre‐existing breathing problems), acute exposure can cause death. Less significant exposure can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or lethargy, and can lead to other long‐term health problems.
The following Gang Threat Assessment, prepared by the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center (“MSAIC”), was produced to provide a general outlook of gang presence and criminal activity in the State of Mississippi. Data in this report was obtained from the Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) and provides statistics, research and key findings from corrections data, law enforcement reports as well as academic and open source research. This assessment is a follow-up from the Interim Gang Threat Assessment issued by MSAIC in September of 2010. The assessment contains crimespecific and corrections statistics attributed to the four most prevalent gangs (“core” gangs) in the state: Gangster Disciples, Simon City Royals, Vice Lords and Latin Kings. From the four core groups they are attributed to the higher affiliations which are Folk Nation (Gangster Disciples and Simon City Royals) and People Nation (Vice Lords and Latin Kings). The assessment also includes brief descriptions of other gangs including MS-13, Aryan Brotherhood and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
(U//LES) Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Overview of Pharmaceutical Abuse and Diversion
The threat of pharmaceutical drug abuse and diversion in the Houston HIDTA has been dangerously high and increasing for the past several years. Drug investigators report that it is becoming more widespread, addicting abusers from middle school to middle age. Perhaps the most concerning threat related to pharmaceutical abuse is the alarmingly high potential for overdose or accidental death from controlled prescription drugs. In Harris County alone, from 2006 through 2008 pharmaceuticals were present in over 66% of the 1533 cases of toxicity-related deaths.1 In 2009, over 78% involved pharmaceuticals. Not only is diversion a deadly problem, it is incredibly profitable. Pain management clinic owners gross an average of $4,000-$5,000 per day at each location. A successful owner running multiple clinics can easily make $75,000 a week from only three operations, getting paid entirely in cash.
The intent of this bulletin is to provide Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) with a general knowledge of ambush tactics used by the Tijuana Cartel against Mexican LEOs in Tijuana, Mexico. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Safety Bulletin dated October 3, 2010, outlining Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations’ (DTOs) and San Diego street gangs’ use of Tijuana Cartel tactics in San Diego County, identified a need for a more comprehensive review of cartel tactics used south of the U.S. border.
According to recent open source reporting, law enforcement officers (LEO’s) have been encountering bombs made of innocuous trash bags that have caused injuries to responding officers or significant damage to property. LEO’s are encouraged not to touch the light (airy), low-flying, closed trash bags; consider evacuating the immediate area; and, to call the appropriate response personnel.
In April 2011, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported up to 82 percent of all cocaine seized in the United States contained levamisole, a veterinary drug used to de-worm livestock. Law enforcement and public health officials in the United States are warning of serious public health consequences for drug users related to contaminated cocaine use.
As Al-Qa‘ida and other terrorist groups continue to seek innovative ways to conduct attacks and circumvent security procedures, there is concern that the holiday season provides attractive opportunities for terrorists to target the Homeland. This bulletin focuses on lodging facilities that serve large numbers of business and leisure travelers and provide venues for a variety of holiday events.
Historically, indoor Marijuana-Mushroom grows have been “no big deal” to law enforcement as a HazMat or public health concern. However, due to recent Arizona events the Department of Public Safety would like to bring situational awareness to law enforcement (LE) and first responders regarding the hazards associated with responding to indoor marijuana grow locations. This information is provided for officer safety purposes.
On April 8, 2011, an undercover officer working as part of a drug task force was shot while conducting surveillance. The officer survived the shooting but suffered injuries not only related to being shot but also from having his vehicle rammed several times during the incident. This bulletin is being produced to help outline some of the officer safety issues discussed during the initial review of the shooting incident, which may impact your future surveillance operations. The investigation into this shooting is on-going so specific details are not included, as to avoid compromising that investigation.
Infiltration of any law enforcement agency by a gang member can have severe ramifications for the agency involved, its employees, the public it serves, and its allied agencies. Gangs employ various tactics to include infiltrating an agency directly or indirectly, to achieve their objective; to counter this threat, law enforcement must remain cognizant of and employ mitigation strategies. Gangs’ motivations for infiltrating agencies vary; thus law enforcement must remain cognizant of suspicious employee behavior, identify possible motivations for infiltration, and employ mitigation strategies to counter infiltration threats.