Friday, April 14, 2017

Be Good So They Can't Ignore You...

Be Good So They Can't Ignore You...
by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

It is a fact that in this fast pace environment, trust in anything has been diminished. Even Einstein is questioned or Madam Curie dissected to the point of mistrust in all they are to supposed to have said or achieved.

The bomb, bullet, beheadings and political correctness have captured center stage.  Not a headline goes by without the spillage of blood somewhere.  In this instant information age, which in some cases are not the real facts, we live and breath on deceptive and erroneous, false information.  Who do you believe anymore?

So-called religious factions tell you that their God is better than your God and GM states that their cars and trucks are better than Fords!  Well, my washing powder gets my clothes whiter than yours, so there!

Demands are made for us all to be as completely honest in all we do. There are those that do not like that we market our wares and have an ulterior motive in statements we make. Of course, we do, it is a marketing world with half truths abounding like "fly balls" at a baseball game. It seems that anything to do with marketing is not to be trusted. Does that go for political wannabes too?

Steve Martin, that wild and crazy guy, is quoted as saying "Be good so they can't ignore you".  Well, I am that kind guy!  Not perfect, rough around the edges and have certainly changed over the years.  I have, like us all, evolved, learned lessons and evoke that knowledge on a daily basis for the common good of us all.  

Grumpy, argumentative and stubborn can also be adjectives you can loosely attach to my persona.  Pedantic, but not perfect is an understatement!  I do not make statements that cannot be backed up or verified.  Today I am proud to be part of a team that can lay it on the line when it comes to getting it right. Especially on the security of information or all data in motion.

Having cut my teeth in counter-terrorism and seeing the horror of man, I fully understand that the human race is a sadistic, grotesque group of conniving bastards, to say the least. 

Entering the world of computers, in 1976, bringing that terroristic mindset to the world of noughts and zeros, has made me fully understand both worlds and even more so today.

Some twenty-five later, being called back to share my counter-terrorism expertise in the Iraq conflict changed my thinking.  Internet communications were in its infancy and what we term "normal" communication was changing right under our noses.  

The initial attack on Baghdad was controlled from the back of a truck on the outskirts of the city with two laptops and the Internet.  Truly a major attack through what we now call the Internet of Things (IoT)! 

The other real factor was creating the ability to hear the "chatter of the streets" or Atmospherics, as we call it.  Mashed old fashion listening by humans with disruptive technology to enhance our overall success.  For instance, the digital pen and paper.  Who would question someone writing notes in a cafe on a notepad?  Ah, if the pen is digital and everything that is being written is transmitted via the cell phone to another source a world away.  With pinpoint GPS accuracy or location and solid information.  That is the mindset we have created for use in these cyber terroristic times.

Cyber terrorists cost more worldwide that physical blood-curdling terrorism and are ignored by all. 

Financial hackers affect billions annually and cost every single one of our time, money and aggravation, which we can ill-afford.

Why then do you individually download APPS to your Smartphones, knowing full well that the APP is spying on you and can copy all your personal information?

Why do corporations, who demand you give them freely all your financial information and I.D. Numbers never protect you from the hacker?

Is it that we are risk takers, gamblers or just plain stupid?

Corporate Board members, Chief Executive Officers are employees and can be fired or dismissed at will.  Their failure is obvious and Shareholders and Customers alike should screaming Blue Bloody Murder over these daily cyber thefts!

Then again as individuals, YOU must understand how to protect your own information too!

If you won't WE will!

Our Red Tagged Division was formed from a successful group of "like-minded" corporate individuals who are far from the "norm".  Collectively we know our cyber security business inside out and from both sides of the cyber fence. Approaching with candor previously unknown in the "geek and nerd" world of computers.

No one and we mean no one has the mind or tool set to combat this aggressive and progressive dire issue.  Hacking, Phishing, and Man in the Middle Brutal Attacks are not slowing down and corporately the public is being compromised with extreme cost.

Who we are?
  • Origin in Counter Terrorism from 1976
  • Global organization with offices in Europe and US
  • Trusted Partnerships with specialists
  • Cyber Forensic Archaeologists
  • Specialized in Cyber Security
  • Hands-On Security Consultants
  • Security Innovators
Importantly we can talk one on one. Red Tagged is not there to slap or embarrass you or your Information Technology Department. 

Red Tagged is here to show you your issues, recommend security changes and importantly, leave you with on-going security measures in "real time" to protect all your daily and future needs.  Importantly your shareholders, customers, and clients.
It is all about Duty of Care and Corporate Governance!

So in true Red Tagged style, Do Not Ignore Us!

We Are Not Going To Ignore The Cyber Terroristic Issues!

copyright 1976 - 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Suicide Is Dangerous, More Is Coming...

Suicide Is DangerouS,
By Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

Since terrorists started using the bomb, by the way, it is much early than you think, they have been working out ways to inflict death and mayhem on their enemies.  We shall not go back to beginning yet but shall look at modern day terrorists who use the explosive device to make sure their message is heard loud and very clearly.

The IRA’s (Irish Republican Army) London bombing campaigns during the 1970s caused considerable destruction and left many dead and injured in their wake. On 31 October 1971, a bomb exploded at the Post Office Tower in central London forcing it to be closed to the public.

It was this incident that started our investigation in how we could protect the citizens of Great Britain against the cowardly IRA bombers. 

Many around the world, especially in America have no idea of what or how terrorism and the use of the bomb started or what it caused.  The U.K. were at the forefront and cutting edge of mitigation and collateral damage resolvement.

The IRA detonated two car bombs on 8 March 1973 killing one person and injuring around 200. One of the bombs was placed outside the Old Bailey. In September that year, other bombs at King's Cross and Euston railway stations injured 12 people.

On 17 June 1974, an explosion at the Houses of Parliament injured 11 people. 

A bomb went off at the Tower of London on 17 July killing one person and injuring 41 others. 

Three members of staff were injured on 22 October when a device exploded at Brooks’s, a private members’ club popular with military officers. 

A bomb thrown through the window of a pub near the Royal Artillery Training Centre at Woolwich killed two people and wounded 28 others on 7 November. 

A bomb exploded at the Belgravia home of Conservative Party leader Edward Heath on 22 December.

After a short ceasefire, the IRA resumed its campaign by carrying out a number of attacks in the West End (Regent and Oxford Streets shopping area) during January 1975. 

A booby trap device planted in Kensington killed a bomb disposal officer on 29 August 1975. On 5 September 1975, a bomb at the London Hilton killed two people and injured 63 others. 

The list goes on and on…

I think you have got the picture! 

Hanging a bomb amongst clothing hidden within the rack of clothes, a paper carrier bag left in a restaurant or pub, a bag under a seat on a bus, all marks of the terrorist method of placement of an explosive device to do as much damage to human life and grab the headlines of the news media.  

That was and is the IRA method of operation and some of the methods used.

Others followed suit in using explosives in their quest to garner action for their misguided cause.  Planes, boats and train travelers have all experienced the wrath of the bomber.

Worldwide we have progressed in many simplistic ways, bicycles, scooter, motorbikes and even the ox cart are used.  

Using human carriers of the explosives into public places, using suicide bombers is not recent and just an extension for ease of access.

A little history, with the invention of dynamite in 1860 by Nobel, things changed.  Almost by accident, Russian terrorist Ignaty Grinevitsky found that one effective way to use a dynamite bomb was to couple it to a human trigger.

Grinevitsky was a member of the People’s Will, a terrorist organization committed to murdering Alexander II, leader of Imperial Russia. The People’s Will tried on numerous occasions to kill Alexander using dynamite bombs between 1879 and early 1881. We still use the human trigger mechanisms, although successful it is riddled with faults and failures. 

Thank goodness they are not the brightest spark from the fire.

Sadly we have come full circle and in the last few days, suicide bombers have left a distinctive message.  Fear is abounding and over the last decade, terrorists in Russia are still using suicide bombers.  The rest of the world had better not stand down and needs to be on high alert as this is a message that is extremely loud and clear. 

Is the female suicide bomber is back and will be used AGAIN!

Hasna Aitboulahcen who blew herself up in Paris a couple of years ago was not the first and will not be the last! 

Aitboulahcan is understood to have activated a suicide vest during a police raid on a flat, following Friday's deadly attacks in Paris.

This is also one the female suicide bomber who joined the list of past bombers and sadly will not be the last! 

Using women as the human mechanism is not new and has been used the world over with great success for the terrorist groups.  The selection of a suicide bomber is simple, they choose a person within a family that has differing problems.  Those with mental and medical problems or has disgraced their family in some manner, such as, out of wedlock pregnancy or contracted AIDS. They are used and the terrorist group uses Islam as an excuse to resolve the family issues.

The blending of the bomber with the public is the secret.  Someone, somewhere knows exactly what is going on and this is where Atmospherics (Chatter on the Streets, comes into play.  

People talk, they cannot keep their mouths shut and we must use our expertise of listening and accumulating the collected information.  Data collection and its analysis are vital.  It is from this we can perform “Next Event Predictability” to track the terrorists and their ill-gotten plans.

We have had the typical suicide bombers targets, public gathering locations such as train stations, airports, sports facilities, in fact anywhere the public is in numbers.  The second is the transportation itself, bus, trolley, train or plane.  Both have been used and from the evidence, others will follow.  

These targets use the location as a deadly means, they are a confined space.  The suicide bombers inflict their damage by a body bomb that will kill and maim those around them, approximately 30 – 60 feet is the main kill zone.  

The damage is horrific, I will not describe the carnage, you can Google for yourselves and see what is left of the bomber and what is inflicted on innocent people.

The energy of the bomb is looking for an escape route, to vent out of the confined space, taking and ripping everything in its path.

In bomb blast protection we always “harden” a building for the outside car bomb blast potential.  Over the last 45 years we, as a company, have perfected our solutions.  We have not ever forgotten the need for venting of a confined space for the possibility of a suicide bomber.  I believe we were the first to create a solution for venting public buildings in the event of a suicide bomber.

I remember my meeting and presentation in Washington D.C. on March 11th, 2004, the day Spain suffered a railway train explosion that changed each Spaniard’s opinion of terrorism.  This is a country that has been suffering with Basque terrorist for decades and that day, it was taken to a whole different level.  This meeting had approximately 50 people booked to attend at the Department of Transportation, we were informed that the location was being changed as over 200 hundred had now, that morning, asked to attend due to our subject matter and the chain of events.

I was even asked that day if we could invent a bomb detection device for bus transportation and the man was serious!

What are the targets? 

Terrorists select locations and dates by anniversaries, history, special events and their terroristic concerns.  The build up is a major concern, there are more anniversaries both political, religious, historical and event driven than most years. 

The research is more than a full time job and those tasked must keep their information fresh and fluid.  It is not just what someone thinks, it is their actions that can trigger a terrorist group to latch on to the situation or concerns.

The Olympics are a major target since Munich in 1972 and the murder of
athletes. The security of the Brazilian Olympics is as important as it has been a target all along.  It is the regions terror groups who have promised to make this a violent games and the Russian government is publicly showing some concerns.

Today, they may be more worried than ever before.

Drug cartels and massive gangs are the concern, the bomb has hardly ever been used by them but is an option when these people see the message that is sent out through mass killings by using the bomb.  It is the headlines of fear that drive these morons.

Proactivity is more vital than ever in this dangerous age.  We started our prevention, secure techniques and solutions over 45years ago and our standards have not changed.  

Whether it be word of mouth, fingers, and thumbs of social media, or just plain detective work, we are the same and as diligent as ever.

Our passion is as fired up to protect those that bear the brunt of these attacks.  

People, people who work for corporations as they are the ones affected more than any other group.  Commerce is the major collateral sufferer of terrorism, it affects your business, staff and clients and we must reduce the risk. 

You cannot afford not to be pro-active! 

WE are in the NOW and

KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…

Copyright 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Proactivity Is The Demanded Requirement From This Day Forward

Proactivity Is The Demanded Requirement in Global Security,
Both Physical Terrorism and Cyber Crime.
by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

Having a foot in both camps of both physical counter and cyber terrorism for thirty-nine (39) years or more, means we have seen and been involved in the worst situations this world has seen.

Information gathering in this digital age is seen by most as the ultimate defense as long as it is not just stored in a data silo.  

There are not enough intelligence eyes, ears and algorithms to be on top of the morons of terror.  For both physical and cyber terror it has to be a mixture of human and digital searching.  It takes a special commitment with a working knowledge.  Knowing it is all time sensitive.

Atmospherics, the collection of street chatter is just as important.  

Most will have never heard of Atmospherics, it has saved our rear ends in a war against the Irish Republican Army, the Red Brigade (Baader-Meinhof), Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world's terror spots. 

It is all about chatter, humans cannot keep their mouths shut and discuss their plans and successes in great detail.  Just like the local burglar, he would spend his ill-gotten gains at the local pub and we all know that with a few beers, the mouth runs and information flows.  That is where used Atmospherics in the old days.

It is the same for cyber hackers, they want recognition for their success and discuss on social media and in Internet cafes.  Things have not really changed in how we must gather information.

That is why the formation of IRATC (International Repository of Analysis for Terrorism/Cyber Crimes) was formed.

The software is proven and working internationally and in over 650 law enforcement departments.  It has proven its worth in event predictability for the US D.O.D.  It is not just for internal use, it has a public information capability for all to see the crimes and their locations.

It is a solid bridge for communications of crime issues between all nations and simply links all, with solid facts.

Knowing both sides of these actions, you understand that the terrorist wants to instill FEAR in all, whether physical attacks or cyber, it is all about FEAR!

It is returning to the COMFORT ZONE that is all important...

Let us take this short journey together...

copyright 2016

Sunday, April 9, 2017



Reduce crime and improve public safety. CommSmart Global Group, a LexisNexis Risk Solutions Partner’s public crime map, Community Crime Map, connects law enforcement with the community to reduce crime and improve public safety. Crime mapping helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe.

Community Crime Map goes beyond crime mapping by automatically alerting the public about recent crime activity and by improving communication between the public and law enforcement through anonymous tips. Community Crime Map empowers the public to make better decisions about crime by putting the same technology used by law enforcement to analyze and interpret crime activity into the hands of the public.
Sources of information

Community Crime Map compiles crime data and other information from law enforcement agencies to make it easier for the public to stay informed about crime. Data in Community Crime Map is provided directly from each law enforcement agency. Because Community Crime Map is just the public side of a much more robust crime data sharing and analysis system for law enforcement, we take every step to ensure that the data is of the highest quality and accuracy. To uphold these quality standards, LexisNexis works with each agency to set up an automated feed of the data from their crime database into the database. Receiving the data directly from each law enforcement agency ensures that the data is always up to date, accurate and complete.

You can see the source of the crime data for any incident by clicking on the incident on the map. The information window lists the "Agency" that provided the information. The Metadata tab also lists the source and links to each source's web page for the incidents that are currently in view.

How does it work?

Law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about each incident that occurs in their jurisdiction. When an incident happens, the officer that responded to the incident writes a detailed report with information about the event including the location, people involved, related vehicles and other useful information. This information is stored in large, secure databases within each law enforcement agency. Between departments, these databases can vary in structure and complexity, and even the data itself can follow different standards to describe the event. This can make it difficult for two neighboring cities to share crime data and benefit from being able to analyze events and offenders that cross city boundaries. CommSmart Global Group's regional data sharing products help centralize and standardize this information into a national database of crime to improve regional data sharing and analysis. Community Crime Map takes this data, cleans it to protect victim privacy, and displays it to the public so citizens can be aware of the events that occur in their area and take action to stay safe.

How can your city participate?

CommSmart Global Group with LexisNexis offers Community Crime Map as a way to give back to the community. As former (and current) analysts and officers, CommSmart Global Group hopes to help law enforcement and defense use cutting edge analytics to protect and serve the community. Providing crime mapping and tips to the community help law enforcement keep the public aware of the crime, it builds trust with their citizens and it improves communication between the public and law enforcement. By allowing law enforcement to provide these services to the public at no cost through Community Crime Map, LexisNexis reduces any barriers for law enforcement to use public crime mapping as a crime reduction strategy.


Telephone: (515) 300.6130

copyright 2017