The most infamous spies, moles, and saboteurs have come from intelligence and military organizations.  However, recent allegations made against an employee by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, serve as a stark reminder that private companies also find themselves vulnerable to potential malicious insiders capable of  causing millions of dollars in damage ...

Sometimes we're the threat, whether to ourselves or others, without even realizing it. Insider threats trace back to humans, thus, it's at our own peril that we ignore the lessons of psychology when building our threat mitigation program. This is especially the case in an era of mass shootings, and ...

Michael Morell, former acting and deputy director of the CIA, resigned Thursday from his teaching position at Harvard University in protest of the school’s naming of Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army soldier convicted of leaking classified information, as a Visiting Fellow. “I cannot be a part of an organization - ...

Tackling insider threat — everything from leaking classified information to potential workplace violence — is a key part of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s mandate. Leading efforts to develop new policies and pilot programs on the issue is NCSC Director Bill Evanina, who recently sat down with The Cipher ...

Malicious and trusted insiders pose a range of challenges in terms of counterintelligence risks and physical threats, and experts say policy needs to catch up quickly to the new technologies available to help mitigate the problem. “There’s a lack of willingness to share information, and that’s why I still believe ...

Each minute of each day federal cybersecurity teams triage an unimaginable number of threats to our national security. While many of those threats are from nation-state backed hackers attempting to breach our defenses, there are just as many critical threats coming from inside an agency. Insider threats are not new. ...

With the help of big data analytics, the Department of Defense Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center — better known as the DITMAC — is looking to transform the DoD’s approach to the threats trusted insiders can pose to personnel and information. Developed in the wake of the 2013 shooting ...

CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks a “non-state, hostile intelligence service” that is “often abetted by state actors like Russia” in his first public speech since becoming the head of the intelligence agency. Pompeo said Thursday during an address at the the Center for Strategic and International Studies that WikiLeaks ...

The top counterintelligence priorities of the United States government are insider threats, protecting critical infrastructure, and supply chain security, according to National Counterintelligence Executive Bill Evanina, and tackling those requires a “team approach” of the government and private sector. “The threats are real and our adversaries are more brazen than ...

The leak of documents allegedly describing secret CIA hacking techniques has shined a light on the intelligence agency’s use of contractors and its efforts to tackle the insider threat problem. WikiLeaks published the documents on Tuesday, and the CIA has not confirmed the authenticity of the files. Little is known ...

Among the least understood and considered elements of the Edward Snowden saga are the details around what his job was and what data he could actually access.  Did Snowden ever access or use Prism data?  Did he understand it and its protections?  Did he have long-term access to the signals ...

Steven Bay was a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton for nine years.  He was working on an NSA contract in Hawaii when he hired Edward Snowden.  You can read more about Bay’s experience with Snowden here. He is currently the Founder and CEO of S.S. Bay Group. The latest allegations against former ...

Now that the dust has settled on President Obama’s unexpected decision to, his last week in office, commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, it’s worth revisiting what it might mean for U.S. national security.  The decision surprised everyone.  Left wing, right wing, everyone was left scratching their heads as to ...

Steven Bay has held his secrets and his struggles close for nearly four years now. Bay was Edward Snowden’s boss in June of 2013 when Snowden, who joined Bay’s team just two months earlier at a National Security Agency outpost in Hawaii, downloaded and stole terabytes of classified data.  Snowden ...

Distinguishing between whistleblowers who want to point out and fix problems within the intelligence community and employees who want to damage national security will demand increased attention as the insider threat problem grows, experts say. On November 30, contractors who hold facility clearances were required to have a written insider ...

When defense contractor Harold Martin was charged with the alleged theft of highly classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA), federal prosecutors deemed the potential crime “breathtaking” in scope. The documents were said to date back from 1996, when Martin first got security clearance, to his arrest this year. ...

In the wake of the arrest of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Aldrich Ames as a spy, then-CIA Chief of Counterintelligence Paul Redmond commented, “There is an actuarial certainty that there are other spies in U.S. national security agencies, and there always will be.”  I recalled that statement when considering ...

President Barack Obama’s decision on Tuesday to commute the sentence of U.S. Army private Chelsea Manning’s sentence is being met with outrage in the military and intelligence communities. Manning, who was born Bradley Manning, leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. The 29-year-old private was sentenced to 35 ...

NSA leaker Edward Snowden “has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services” since his arrival in Moscow, a declassified report released on Thursday by the House Intelligence Committee alleges. While some of the report, and much of its footnotes, remains heavily redacted, Thursday’s release highlights a number ...

The filing of a criminal complaint by the U.S. government against a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor has once again raised the harrowing possibility that for the second time in three years, an insider has allegedly stolen highly classified and damaging secret information. The FBI secretly arrested Harold T. Martin, ...

American businesses lose an estimated $160 billion to $480 billion annually due to trade secret misappropriation. To combat this loss, over the past few years the law enforcement community has enhanced its strategies, Congress has passed legislation to expand trade secret protection, and many businesses have made sweeping changes to ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Steven Grossman, VP of Strategy and Enablement at Bay Dynamics, to discuss the current cyber threat landscape facing the financial sector. According to Grossman, insider threats pose the greatest risk to the global banking industry and that “being able to track, manage, and understand ...

There are two different types of insider threat: negligent and malicious. Negligent insiders are people who give attackers access by mistake. For example, the employee who clicks on a spear-phishing email and lets hackers into their employer’s networks is a negligent insider. This is a significant problem, but one that ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Stuart Clarke, Chief Technical Officer for Cybersecurity at Nuix, to discuss how the visualization of data plays a critical role in detecting cyber threats, including insider threats originating from within a company itself. According to Clarke, visualization “solves a lot of problems” and being ...

Behavioral profiling plays an important role in the wider effort to counter cyber threats, explains Steve Bongardt, VP of Security Consulting Services at Fidelis Cybersecurity. When it comes to external threats, behavioral profiling helps when trying to“ understand motives in general and come up with typologies,” says Bongardt.  In regard ...

There’s still much to be learned about the unauthorized release of the so-called Panama Papers, the documents exposing the financial interests of prominent world figures in offshore tax havens. What we know so far is that the release represents the single largest leak of data in history, totaling 2.6 terabytes ...

“But what is new is that the small fry also have the power of betrayal…Science, adding to our armoury, continually demands more mechanics and more clerks and with every demand makes the problem of security more difficult to solve.” - Rebecca West, The New Meaning of Treason (1966) When West ...