DEA Data Shows Drug Cartels Continue to “Operate and Profit” From Marijuana Sales in Legalized Markets

A bulletin from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) released to law enforcement in February 2017 describes how Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are continuing to exploit legalized markets for the sale and distribution of marijuana. In January 2016, EPIC produced a bulletin detailing how “data provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and open source reporting” indicated that Mexican TCOs had not been adversely affected by marijuana legalization in numerous markets, noting instead “that the effort of legalization had conversely brought new opportunities for illicit profits from marijuana sales.”

(U//LES) EPIC Bulletin: Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) Continue to Profit from Marijuana Sales in Legalized Markets

In January 2016, EPIC published Intelligence Note 02303-16a, this product provided analysis of data provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and open source reporting that indicated Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) continued to operate and profit from marijuana sales in legalized U.S. marijuana markets. EPIC research further showed that legalization of marijuana in some U.S. markets had not adversely impacted TCO profitability in marijuana markets, and that the effort of legalization had conversely brought new opportunities for illicit profits from marijuana sales. As of January 2017, EPIC research indicates that TCOs continue to exploit legalized marijuana markets in the United States.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Countering Foreign Intelligence Threats Implementation and Best Practices Guide

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) is charged with leading and supporting the counterintelligence (CI) and security activities of the U.S. government, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and U.S. private sector entities that are at risk of intelligence collection, penetration, or attack by foreign adversaries and malicious insiders. The capabilities and activities described in this Guide are exemplars of program components delineated as requirements in numerous strategies, policies, and guidelines.

(U//LES) DEA Fentanyl Briefing Guide for First Responders

In the last several years, U.S. Law Enforcement has seen a dramatic increase in the availability of dangerous synthetic opioids. A large majority of these synthetic opioids are structural derivatives of the synthetic drug “fentanyl.” Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid currently listed as a Schedule II prescription drug that mimics the effects of morphine in the human body, but has potency 50–100 times that of morphine. Due to the high potency and availability of fentanyl, both transnational and domestic criminal organizations are increasingly utilizing these dangerous synthetic opioids as an adulterant in heroin and other controlled substances. The presence of these synthetic opioids in the illicit U.S. drug market is extremely concerning as the potency of these drugs has led to a significant increase in overdose incidents and overdose-related deaths throughout the nation.

FBI Cyber Bulletin: Individuals Threatening Distributed Denial of Service of Private-Sector Companies for Bitcoin

An individual or group claiming to be “Anonymous” or “Lizard Squad” sent extortion emails to private-sector companies threatening to conduct distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on their network unless they received an identified amount of Bitcoin. No victims to date have reported DDoS activity as a penalty for non-payment.

Defense Intelligence Agency Russia Military Power Report 2017

As part of this vision, DIA has a long history of producing comprehensive and authoritative defense intelligence overviews. In September 1981, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger asked the Defense Intelligence Agency to produce an unclassified overview of the Soviet Union’s military strength. The purpose was to provide America’s leaders, the national security community, and the public a complete and accurate view of the threat. The result: the first edition of Soviet Military Power. DIA produced over 250,000 copies, and it soon became an annual publication that was translated into eight languages and distributed around the world. In many cases, this report conveyed the scope and breadth of Soviet military strength to U.S. policymakers and the public for the first time.

(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Food Product Adulteration Within Reach of Violent Extremists and Insiders

Terrorist and violent extremist groups have long expressed interest in poisoning and adulterating food and beverage supplies in the West but rarely use this as a tactic. Nonetheless, recent incidents in Europe and Africa underscore the continued interest by some groups in targeting food products at point-of-sale, distribution, and storage. The mere threat of product adulteration in the Homeland almost certainly would cause psychological and economic harm. While we have not seen any specific, credible terrorist threats against Homeland food production and distribution infrastructure, we cannot rule out the possibility of inspired violent extremists or disgruntled insiders attempting to adulterate or poison food and beverages with commonly available toxic industrial chemicals or crude biological toxins due to the relative ease of product manipulation, especially at the last point of sale, which criminal actors have demonstrated consistently in the past.

(U//FOUO) DHS Report: Ransomware Goals of Malicious Actors and Current System Vulnerabilities

OCIA assesses that if specific industrial control systems (ICS) were successfully infected with ransomware, it could affect the ability of certain sectors to provide real-time management and control of large networks of geographically scattered equipment. Although security researchers have demonstrated the possibility of ransomware targeting control systems, OCIA assesses that such an attack is highly unlikely given the higher success rate against consumer and business systems, the likelihood that business and process control networks are segmented, and the ability for operators to take a control system out of service and employ manual overrides.

Bilderberg Association Annual Report 2016

An annual report for the Bilderberg Association from 2016 made available through the U.K. Charities Commission. The Bilderberg Association is one of several international non-profit affiliates of the group known as Bilderberg Meetings. The U.S. affiliate is called American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc. and is a registered non-profit in the State of New York.

Bilderberg Association Annual Report 2015

An annual report for the Bilderberg Association from 2015 made available through the U.K. Charities Commission. The Bilderberg Association is one of several international non-profit affiliates of the group known as Bilderberg Meetings. The U.S. affiliate is called American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc. and is a registered non-profit in the State of New York.

(U//FOUO) DHS Report: Potential Impacts of WannaCry Ransomware on Critical Infrastructure

On May 12, 2017, organizations across the world reported ransomware infections impacting their computer systems. The infections, caused by a ransomware strain referred to as WannaCry, restricts users’ access to a computer and demands a ransom to unlock it. The U.S. Department of Justice defines ransomware as, a type of malicious software cyber actors use to deny access to systems or data until the ransom is paid. After the initial infection, ransomware attempts to spread through systems and networks.

San Bernardino DA Report on Sheriff’s Department Response to 2015 Terror Attack

On December 2, 2015 at about 10:58 am San Bernardino Police began to receive numerous calls of shots fired at the Inland Regional Center located at 1365 South Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino. Initial calls indicated that there were several gunshots heard. Another call reported that there were two or possibly three subjects in all black clothing and masks armed with assault weapons. Within a matter of three to four minutes there were multiple calls reporting that multiple masked subjects had entered in the conference room, located in Building 3 of the Inland Regional Center, and opened fire in the main conference room.

National Guard White Paper: The Role of National Guard Intelligence During Civil Disturbances

Recent large-scale civil disturbances in two states led the respective governors to mobilize state National Guard (NG) forces. These incidents raised questions and concerns about the appropriate and effective use of NG intelligence capabilities to support domestic civil disturbance operations. Domestic missions are no different from overseas missions in that a key requirement for mission success is situational awareness (SA)—leaders and commanders at all levels must be aware of the situation on the ground and have a deep understanding of the operational environment in which their forces are operating and the inherent threats faced in that environment. Overseas, where the threat is by definition foreign, the intelligence component provides the preponderance of threat data. Domestically, defining threat information may entail the collection of information concerning U.S. persons. By law, the military and civilian intelligence components face constraints in the manner they may lawfully collect, disseminate, and retain such information.

U.S. State Department Europe Migrant and Refugee Snapshot March 2017

Since 2014, over 1.6 million migrants and asylum seekers have arrived by sea to Europe. European countries registered over 3.18 million new asylum applications. Over 700,000 applicants were granted a form of protective status, mostly in Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands, with 450,000 applicants rejected in the same time period, and over 1.1 million pending applications at the end of 2016. Amendments to the Schengen Border Code, proposed in response to terrorist threats, aim to strengthen external borders by requiring systematic database checks at entry and exit.

UN Guidelines for the Use of Force by Military Components in Peacekeeping Operations

These guidelines briefly highlight the strategic considerations that guide, oversee and provide the resources for the operational and tactical use of force. While the strategic considerations of the use of force are rooted in the core peacekeeping principles, mission mandate and rules of engagement, the guidelines recognize that political and other context specific factors influence the strategic considerations on the use of force. The main emphasis, however, is on the operational and tactical considerations regarding the use of force. This document examines the required thinking and action (including situational awareness and operational/strategic communications) at these levels to pre-empt, deter, contain or respond to threats without excessive use of force.

(U//FOUO) New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center: Reduce Online Exposure by “Opting-Out”

Law enforcement and public officials should take the following proactive steps to limit the amount of personally identifiable information (PII) that is accessible online. Cyber criminals and extremists, such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), capture personal information of law enforcement, military, and government officials, and then share it with their associates, encouraging both physical and virtual attacks. The Office of the ROIC Threat Analysis Unit, and the Cyber Threat Intelligence Unit, are providing these “opt-out” guidelines to reduce online exposure from websites that provide or sell PII.

(U//FOUO) Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center: Vehicle Ramming Attacks Increasing

Use of vehicles by violent extremists for ramming attacks has increased steadily, while use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) remains rare outside the Middle East. Given the ease with which ramming attacks can be accomplished, it is likely use of this tactic will continue to rise. Unlike VBIEDs, ramming attacks require little specialized training or skill, present minimal risk of detection when acquiring the weapon, and offer flexibility with regard to preparation, timing, and target. Foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) have pointedly encouraged use of vehicle ramming attacks, offering explicit tactical advice on vehicle selection, driving tips to maximize fatalities, and targeting suggestions that include parades, festivals, street fairs, outdoor markets or conventions, political rallies, and other crowded targets of opportunity.

(U//FOUO) TSA Report: Vehicle Ramming Attacks Threat Landscape, Indicators, Countermeasures

Vehicle-ramming attacks are considered unsophisticated, in that a perpetrator could carry out such an attack with minimal planning and training. It is likely that terrorist groups will continue to encourage aspiring attackers to employ unsophisticated tactics such as vehicle-ramming, since these types of attacks minimize the potential for premature detection and could inflict mass fatalities if successful. Furthermore, events that draw large groups of people—and thus present an attractive vehicle ramming target—are usually scheduled and announced in advance, which greatly facilitates attack planning and training activities.

DHS Guide: Risks to Critical Infrastructure Using Cloud Services

Cloud services offer a number of benefits such as scalability, high availability, and decreased ownership cost. As a result, owners and operators in several critical infrastructure sectors such as Communications, Energy, Financial Services, Information Technology, and Transportation Services have migrated in-house computing resources to cloud infrastructures. However, cloud service environments still possess many of the same potential vulnerabilities associated with internally hosted environments, as well as additional exploits to virtual systems or networks. Owners and operators of critical infrastructure need to fully understand the risk environment as they address current cloud services and consider additional migration.

(U//FOUO) DHS Critical Infrastructure Note: Healthcare and Public Health Sector Cyberdependencies

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assesses that given the high value of patient information and proprietary data on the black market, the Healthcare and Public Health Sector will continue to be one of the primary targets for malicious cyber actors. Stolen health data sells on the black market for more than 10 to 20 times the price of stolen credit card data. DHS assesses that growth in the medical device market over the next 4 years will result in more devices connected to the Internet, and an increase in the number of cyber-related incidents that target those devices. This is partly because manufacturers do not place enough emphasis on the security of medical devices.