The COVID-19 pandemic sheds an important light on the criticality of futures-based thinking to move us beyond conventional assumptions and positions. In today’s chaotic cycle of rapid change, growing complexity, and radical uncertainty, the national security establishment must develop the skills and flexibility to adapt to the unexpected. To be sure, the fallout from COVID-19 has revealed overlooked vulnerabilities for our supply chains, our society, our economy, and—most pertinent for this report— our national security strategy, which relies on all three. The primary aim of this report is to disrupt how we conceptualize national security futures. Rather than arrive at “definitive” conclusions or prescribe budgetary, policy, or force structure recommendations, this document instead challenges us to consider how the future can defy accepted probabilities to affect the Department of Defense and the Department of the Air Force.
(U//FOUO) Maryland Fusion Center Bulletin: Islamic State Propaganda Video Encourages Incendiary Attacks in the Homeland
On 26 July 2020, al-Hayat Media Center, a news outlet of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), released an English-language propaganda video entitled “Incite the Believers,” which encourages ISIS supporters to conduct incendiary attacks in the United States. The narrator acknowledges that ISIS supporters may have difficulty traveling to ISIS-controlled territory overseas and instead encourages them to conduct attacks where they live. The video also encourages ISIS supporters who are unable to obtain firearms or explosives to consider using incendiary attacks as an alternative.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Report: Protecting Against the Threat of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Fusion Centers, U.S. Secret Service
This Joint Threat Assessment (JTA) addresses threats to the 59th Presidential Inauguration taking place in Washington, DC, on 20 January 2021. This JTA is co-authored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/US Secret Service (USSS), with input from multiple US Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners. It does not include acts of non – violent civil disobedience (i.e., protests without a permit), which are outside the scope of federal law enforcement jurisdiction.
(U//FOUO) Domestic Violent Extremists Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach, Domestic Terrorism Threat Likely Amid Political Transitions
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) is intended to highlight the threat of violence from domestic violent extremists (DVEs) in the wake of the 6 January violent breach by some DVEs of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, following lawful protest activity related to the results of the General Election. Anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists (AGAAVE), specifically militia violent extremists (MVEs); racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs); and DVEs citing partisan political grievances will very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021.
This playbook is intended to support sites interested in administering COVID-19 treatment under EUA including:
• Existing hospital or community-based infusion centers
• Existing clinical space (e.g. urgent care, emergency depts)
• Ad hoc new infusion sites (e.g. “hospitals without walls”)
• Long-term care facilities or home infusions with infusion delivery capability
Asymmetric Warfare Group Study: Russian Private Military Companies in Operations, Competition, and Conflict
Russian PMCs are used as a force multiplier to achieve objectives for both government and Russia-aligned private interests while minimizing both political and military costs. While Moscow continues to see the use of Russian PMCs as beneficial, their use also presents several vulnerabilities that present both operational and strategic risks to Russian Federation objectives.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Mail-In Voting in 2020 Infrastructure Risk Assessment
All forms of voting – in this case mail-in voting – bring a variety of cyber and infrastructure risks. Risks to mail-in voting can be managed through various policies, procedures, and controls.
The outbound and inbound processing of mail-in ballots introduces additional infrastructure and technology, which increases the potential scalability of cyber attacks. Implementation of mail-in voting infrastructure and processes within a compressed timeline may also introduce new risk. To address this risk, election officials should focus on cyber risk management activities, including access controls and authentication best practices when implementing expanded mail-in voting.
(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Russia Likely to Continue Seeking to Undermine Faith in US Electoral Process
We assess that Russia is likely to continue amplifying criticisms of vote-by-mail and shifting voting processes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine public trust in the electoral process. Decisions made by state election officials on expanding vote-by-mail and adjusting in-person voting to accommodate challenges posed by COVID-19 have become topics of public debate. This public discussion represents a target for foreign malign influence operations that seeks to undermine faith in the electoral process by spreading disinformation about the accuracy of voter data for expanded vote-by-mail, outbound/inbound mail ballot process, signature verification and cure process, modifying scale of in-person voting, and safety and health concerns at polling places, according to CISA guidance documents provided to state and local election officials.
We assess that some violent opportunists have become more emboldened following a series of attacks against law enforcement during the last 24 hours nationwide. This could lead to an increase in potentially lethal engagements with law enforcement officials as violent opportunists increasingly infiltrate ongoing protest activity. We also have received an increase in reports on shots fired during lawful protests nationwide—an indicator we associate with the potential for increased violence moving forward—and several uncorroborated reports of probably violent opportunists pre-staging improvised weapons at planned protest venues. Law enforcement officers continue to be the primary targets of firearm attacks, though several incidents last night involved violent opportunists shooting into crowds of protestors.
We assess that violent opportunists will continue to exploit ongoing nationwide lawful protests as a pretext to attempt to disrupt law enforcement operations; target law enforcement personnel, assets, and facilities; and damage public and private property. We have identified multiple tactics currently at play, including the use of weapons, counter-mobility, physical barriers, screening and concealment, intercepted communications, and pre-operational activities.
(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Ongoing Violence, Information Narratives Nationwide Poses Continued Threat to Law Enforcement
In the last 24 hours the types of people or groups seeking to carry out violence in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has shifted in many cities. The initial violent looters and protestors were believed to be organic members of the local communities. However, domestic violent extremists are attempting to structure the protests to target specific symbols of state, local, and federal authority. We anticipate armed individuals will continue to infiltrate the protest movement. We assess with high confidence during the period of darkness from 30 to 31 May the violent protest movements will grow and DVEs and others will seek to take over government facilities and attack law enforcement.
In a domestic complex catastrophe, with effects that would qualitatively and quantitatively exceed those experienced to date, the demand for Defense support of civil authorities would be unprecedented. Meeting this demand would be especially challenging if a cyber attack or other disruption of the electrical power grid creates cascading failures of critical infrastructure, threatening lives and greatly complicating DoD response operations.
This definition provides a baseline for follow-on efforts to better identify Defense Support of Civil Authorities requirements and assess a broader range of forces, defense installations assets, and other DoD capabilities that could aid in response to complex catastrophes, if approved by the Secretary of Defense or directed by the President.
In a domestic complex catastrophe, one whose effects would qualitatively and quantitatively exceed those experienced to date, the demand for DoD support of civil authorities would be unprecedented- DoD must be ready to meet the demand to save and protect lives, and must do so in ways that would not require additional force structure.
The New Jersey Regional Operations & Intelligence Center (ROIC) conducted research regarding the process necessary for successful recovery from COVID-19. This research and subsequent analysis focused on proper return-to-work procedures for first responders, while ensuring the safety of all. Although limited data is available specifically referencing first responders, numerous international scientific studies provide best practices for determining an individual’s ability to safely resume their duties. Links for more information are provided throughout this report.
(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Cybercriminals See Opportunity to Exploit Online Distance Learning Platforms and Users
Most US school districts as of 23 March 2020 are and will remain closed until the end of the academic school year or “until further notice” because of COVID-19, according to data provided by a Maryland-based online publication that provides scholastic news and analysis. This Article assumes that while pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools, institutions of higher education, and business and trade schools are closed, many are relying on internet-enabled distance learning (eLearning) alternatives in place of traditional classroom instruction.
The FBI’s Minneapolis Division, in coordination with the Office of Private Sector (OPS), Criminal Investigative Division (CID), and 3M, prepared this LIR to make the Healthcare and Public Health Sectors aware of indicators related to fraudulent sales solicitation of 3M Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or indicators of counterfeit 3M PPE, including N95 respirators.
(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: APT Actors Likely View Zoom Vulnerabilities as Opportunity to Threaten Public and Private Sector Entities
APT actors likely will identify new or use existing vulnerabilities in Zoom to compromise user devices and accounts for further exploitation of corporate networks. This judgment includes critical infrastructure entities using Zoom. We base this judgment on recent public exposure of Zoom’s numerous vulnerabilities. While vendors regularly publish patches for vulnerabilities, reports indicate there are instances in which users and organizations delay updates. The patching process is undermined by APT actors who often capitalize on delays and develop exploits based on the vulnerability and available patches.
The COVID-19 virus is a new pathogen that is highly contagious, can spread quickly, and must be considered capable of causing enormous health, economic and societal impacts in any setting. It is not SARS and it is not influenza. Building scenarios and strategies only on the basis of well-known pathogens risks failing to exploit all possible measures to slow transmission of the COVID-19 virus, reduce disease and save lives.
(U//FOUO) California State Warning Center Situation Cell Incident Report 2020 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) February 9, 2020
Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus. Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but some degree of person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring. It is not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. While CDC considers this as a serious public health concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.
FBI Cyber Bulletin: Website Defacement Activity Indicators of Compromise and Techniques Used to Disseminate Pro-Iranian Messages
Following last week’s US airstrikes against Iranian military leadership, the FBI observed increased reporting of website defacement activity disseminating Pro-Iranian messages. The FBI believes several of the website defacements were the result of cyber actors exploiting known vulnerabilities in content management systems (CMSs) to upload defacement files.
(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI-NCTC Bulletin: Escalating Tensions Between the United States and Iran Pose Potential Threats to the Homeland
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) is intended to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial counterterrorism, cyber, and law enforcement officials, and private sector partners, to effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to incidents, lethal operations, or terrorist attacks in the United States that could be conducted by or on behalf of the Government of Iran (GOI) if the GOI were to perceive actions of the United States Government (USG) as acts of war or existential threats to the Iranian regime.
Based on our analysis of terrorist publications such as Rumiyah and observations of terrorism-inspired events worldwide, we believe terrorist organizations overseas have advocated conducting vehicle ramming attacks against crowds, buildings, and other vehicles, using modified or unmodified large-capacity vehicles. Such attacks could target locations where large numbers of people congregate, including sporting events, entertainment venues, shopping centers, or celebratory gatherings such as parades.