TrapWire is a secret global surveillance system, founded in 2004 and run by ex-CIA chiefs, with clients all over the world. It’s significance is that it is being used for all sorts of surveillance, including everyday protests. The existence of TrapWire was only made known a few days ago, thanks to documents published by Wikileaks (and hacking of Stratfor docs by Anonymous). It is now believed that the recent cyber attacks on the Wikileaks sites were in retaliation for the exposure of Trapwire, which is both a product and a company (previously a subsidiary of Abraxas Corporation). Here, Darker Net provides a) an introduction to the TrapWire technology, b) details of how that technology works and c) the people who run TrapWire AND Abraxas. Oh, and then there’s the mysterious green and blue badgers (!!!) – see below…
For hackers, here is the TrapWire operating console.
According to Richard Hollis Helms, ex-CIA and founder of Abraxas in 2001, TrapWire was designed to share threat information and establish patterns of data that could be used to predict attacks. “It can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists,” he said. “The application can do things like ‘type’ individuals so if people say ‘medium build,’ you know exactly what that means from that observer.”
A leaked email from Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, states that the TrapWire network is now covering most North American and British high-value targets (HVT.) “I knew these hacks when they were GS-12′s at the CIA. God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients,” he wrote.
“….tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) — the heart, brains and soul of the CIA – has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas , Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. “These firms recruit spies, create non-official cover identities and control the movements of CIA case officers. They also provide case officers and watch officers at crisis centers and regional desk officers who control clandestine operations worldwide. As the Los Angeles Times first reported, more than half the workforce in two key CIA stations in the fight against terrorism – Baghdad and Islamabad, Pakistan – is made up of industrial contractors, or ‘green badgers,’ in CIA parlance. “Intelligence insiders say that entire branches of the NCS have been outsourced to private industry. These branches are still managed by U.S. government employees (‘blue badgers’) who are accountable to the agency’s chain of command. But beneath them, insiders say, is a supervisory structure that’s controlled entirely by contractors; in some cases, green badgers are managing green badgers from other corporations.” R.J. Hillhouse, July 8, 2007, Washington Post.
TrapWire is also linked to the National Suspicious Activity Reporting (NSI) Initiative, a program designed to help aggregate reports of suspicious activity around the USA. One email from TrapWire states “TrapWire SAR reports are fed directly/automatically into the National SAR Initiative” as well as “the FBI’s eGuardian system if/when there’s confirmed nexus to terrorism or major crimes (which is happening frequently).” The email goes on “our networks in LA, Vegas and DC all support See Something Say Something (S4 as I call it).” Further, Over the past few years, several cities around the U.S. have implemented websites allowing the public to report suspicious activity, including Washington D.C., Houston and even the U.S. Army. These activities are part of a larger program called iWatch, which also feeds into TrapWire according to a leaked email.
B. The TrapWire technology
The prevention of terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure requires the ability to detect various discreet but identifiable indicators of pre-attack preparations. Only by uncovering such attack preparations can we take actions designed to deter or intercept a terrorist strike before it begins. While international terrorist organizations are using increasingly sophisticated methods, their modus operandi does contain a critical vulnerability: meticulous pre-attack preparations require the terrorists to approach a target facility on multiple occasions to identify physical and procedural vulnerabilities, probe for weaknesses and conduct practice missions. For example, the terrorists planning the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia reportedly surveilled the facility on 40 occasions. Terrorists will typically surveil multiple facilities prior to selecting an appropriately vulnerable target. Therefore, as the number of facilities on the Trap Wire network increases, so does the probability of detecting pre-attack preparations. Trap Wire is specifically designed to exploit this vulnerability by combining deep counterterrorism experience, proven counter-surveillance techniques, unique sensor systems, and data mining capabilities to detect attack preparations and allow security personnel to deter or intercept terrorist operations.
TrapWire dramatically increases the ability to detect pre-attack preparations and to take appropriate action to detect, deter and intercept terrorist attacks. A visual monitor of the entire system-a map with dynamic status indicators for each entity connected to the Trap Wire network- facilitates the ability of decision makers to absorb vast quantities of information quickly and efficiently. The dynamic status indicators show the threat level at each facility and highlight those that have moved to a higher threat level over the preceding 24 hours. Security officials can thus focus on the highest priorities first, taking a proactive and collaborative approach to defense against attacks. The information collected by Trap Wire can also be shared with law enforcement agencies to assist in their counterterrorism efforts.
The basic premise behind the TrapWire system is as follows: Through the systematic reporting of suspicious events and the correlation of those events with other event reports for that facility and for related facilities across the network, terrorist surveillance operations can be identified, appropriate countermeasures can be employed to deter attacks, and steps can be taken to apprehend the perpetrators. The TrapWire system provides the following capabilities:
• A mechanism for a facility’s personnel to record suspicious activity data in a structured format;
• A mechanism to identify and link related events following human review;
• The ability for a facility’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) to identify threat trends at his/her facility (increasing or decreasing) and to drill down into the specific event reports that generated those threats;
• Alerts to the CSO of events that do not affect the threat score but may nevertheless be of interest;
• The ability to notify a facility of a changing threat level within its industry or geographical location;
• A mechanism to correlate external events such as watch list events for suspected terrorists or stolen vehicles with other observed event data already within the system;
• The ability to correlate events occurring at different facilities by related individuals, and to notify all affected facilities of the increased threat to their facility based on this related activity;
• A mechanism to reduce the system-calculated threat level at a facility, based upon the time since the last threatening event; and
• Notifications, alerts, and possible action recommendations based on a particular site’s security plan, implemented via a set of rules that act upon event information.
For more see http://www.trapwire.com/trapwire.html
C. Current Abraxas and Trapwire management
Dan Botsch is one of the founders of the project. He was with the CIA for more than a decade, working on Russian and Eastern European affairs.
Michael Maness is Trapwire’s business development director. He was with the CIA for two decades, working on counterterrorism and security operations in the Middle-East, the Balkans and Europe.
Michael K. Chang, is TrapWire’s director of operations. He was with the CIA for around 12 years, also on counterterrorism and a close friend of Helms.
2. Abraxas Corporation
Rodney G. Smith, President
Smith leads the sales and business development activities of Abraxas. Drawing on a distinguished career leading highly specialized organizations to remarkable success, Smith has for more than four years brought that same success and mission focus to Abraxas where he drives revenue and earnings opportunities across each of the Abraxas products and services. A former local and federal prosecutor and criminal justice policy advisor during the Reagan Administration, Smith capped a remarkable career in the National Security community where he last led two operational divisions. Smith holds a Bachelor’s degree cum laude from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor from Boston University. He is a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Katherine M. Green, Senior Vice President
Green brings more than 27 years of operational and leadership experience in the National Security community to Abraxas Corporation. Her experience ranges from niche operational efforts to service as the Executive Director for one of the National Security community’s largest issue-based Centers. With extensive experience in operations and resource management, Green brings in-depth understanding of how to effectively leverage and mesh the two disciplines. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Basil “Bill” Trikas, Vice President Technical Services
Trikas has 34 years intelligence community experience and knowledge of technical systems, operational tradecraft, deployment methodologies, and integrated learning solutions. He brings to Abraxas extensive experience leading technical, operational, and analytical organizations in support of the global intelligence community. Trikas served in critical roles shaping the strategic intelligence workforce directing recruiting and diversity outreach, learning and employee development, leadership development, language training, and historical studies. Trikas holds a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. He is also a graduate of the Intelligence Community Senior Leadership Program, the Intelligence Community Senior Intelligence Fellows Program, and the Harvard Senior Managers in Government program.
Matthew Broderick, Vice President Defense and Homeland Security
Broderick brings extensive operational and leadership experience to Abraxas leveraging three years as the DHS Director of Operations, a career in the US Marine Corps at every level of troop command, earning the rank of Brigadier General, and significant private sector experience responsible for 1100 employees generating in excess of $100M net sales and marketing revenue. Mr. Broderick is a graduate of Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Naval War College and Worcester State College.
John Etgen, Vice President Maryland Operations
Etgen has over 25 years of national security service in the industry, government, and the military. He is an accomplished leader in business execution and astutely skilled in strategic planning, opportunity identification, capture management, and program execution. Prior to joining Abraxas Corporation, Etgen was a Department Manager at Applied Signal Technology and Director for Business Development for the Titan Corporation. Prior to entering private industry, Mr. Etgen served in a number of technical and management positions at the National Security Agency. Etgen began his career in 1982 enlisting in the United States Air Force as a Morse Systems technician and proudly serving until 1989. He has a Bachelors of Science degree from University Maryland and is a certified Program Manager.
Barry McManus, Vice President Training and Education
McManus served 26 years in the intelligence community as a leading expert in deception detection, behavioral assessment, interviewing, and interrogations. He served for more than 10 years as a CIA Chief Polygraph examiner and interrogator, working against terrorists, hostile intelligence services, and other high threat targets. He has conducted extensive research on the uses of the polygraph and developed sophisticated interview and interrogation techniques. McManus has developed and implemented training programs within the FBI, DHS, and the commercial financial arena in behavioral assessment, interviewing and elicitation in diverse cultures for law enforcement and intelligence organizations to include computer web-based training. McManus earned a BA in Sociology at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD; an MA in Organizational and Security Management at Webster University, St. Louis, MO; and will complete his Doctorate of Arts in Higher Education from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA in spring 2011. McManus was also recognized as an Oxford scholar and attended the prestigious Christ Church College at Oxford University.
John F. Weiland, Director Abraxas Engineering
John Weiland is a leading designer of Applications Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), joining Abraxas from Intrinsix Federal Systems and previously Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Weiland is a recognized leader on ASIC design tools and methodologies and has spent his career designing cutting edge chips and assemblies. A Westinghouse Lamme Scholarship recipient, Weiland pursued advanced studies in project management and artificial intelligence at the MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Studies before directing his skills to design of trusted solutions for the National Security community. Weiland holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a BA in Mathematics from Swarthmore College, a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Posted from the darker net via Android.