The polarization of US politics. Extremist militias and anarchists pose an ongoing threat to government officials, business leaders, and commonalities that tie into conspiracy theories. Such unrest is highlighted in statements such as those by the ‘Oath Keepers’, America’s largest militia, who recently stated that it will refuse to recognize Biden as President. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 181, active, anti-government militias. The recounts saw election officials threatened by militias, as well as by independent actors. Michigan’s Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, was recently trapped, as dozens of armed protestors surrounded her home. Armed protests are expected to continue into 2021. Recently, two women, identified as anarchists, were charged with attempting to derail a train in Washington State.
Post-transition, these groups will not disassemble and will find new avenues to exhaust their tensions. Tensions already exacerbated through economic uncertainty, political discord, and pandemic restrictions. Past organizations, such as the Occupy Wall Street movement, were disruptive to businesses but rarely destructive. The current climate is expected to lead to escalated interactions that reach beyond disruption (the least of which may be seen during the recent events of the ‘Autonomous Zone’.)
Questions to Consider:
How do domestic groups, that have proven their current capabilities, present a threat to U.S. businesses? Are businesses prepared for extremists and unique events? Are businesses cognizant of their web profile and associated targeting risk? How are businesses being proactive in their security?
For answers to questions concerning real-time COVID updates, threat intelligence on protests, targeted global travel risks, and severe weather concerns, we have partnered with Accepted Risk International. Accepted Risk is an intuitive data driven tool that immediately provides accurate data collection across open-source platforms on a ‘single pane of glass’. Contact email@example.com to schedule a webinar. During the pandemic, SSI has been using the Accepted Risk Global Security Operations Center tool answer the most pressing questions that our clients asked in these unprecedented times.
COVID-19: The HIGHLIGHTS
John Hopkins, the leader in COVID research publication, recently published and retracted an article that showed a decrease in national deaths during a pandemic. The School of Medicine stated, “The Editors-in-Chief took down the article on Nov. 26 because the piece was being used to spread dangerous misinformation.” However, multiple groups are currently using the article as a basis to fuel conspiracy theories and anti-government propaganda, in a current climate of tension and distrust.
The FDA has authorized the first over-the-counter take home COVID-19 test and vaccines are rolling out at ‘warp speed’.
The CDC has released a summary on understanding COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to reassure the population of both their safety and their efficacy.
Beyond the noise: INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT
State-sponsored cyber-attacks continue to rise as a means to effect foreign policy and strategic goals without physically crossing borders. Simple ‘fire and forget’ outsourcing of IT security may not be sufficient, as highlighted by the recent U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments hacks, via a compromised security vendor. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Pentagon were also breached in related attacks.
40 Israeli companies were also reported as being hacked, in a suspected state-sponsored attack – potentially in response to the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.
Telecoms security should also be reviewed, as an Israeli company, Cellebrite, claims “its techs can now crack Signal”, and there are reports of China being suspected of accessing Americans’ communications through Caribbean phone networks.
The team at Secure Source International would like to thank all our clients, trusted suppliers, and friends for their support throughout this unprecedented and challenging year. We extend our best wishes, thoughts, and prayers to you all for a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
TRUSTED RESOURCES: for numbers & guidance
Johns Hopkins University – Coronavirus Resource Center
World Health Organization – COVID-19 Pandemic
Center for Disease Control – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Please contact Secure Source International at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a leadership roundtable with our intelligence and security experts to dive into the topics raised in this newsletter. We would love to explore how we can work with you to enhance, develop or support your security, research, and safety related interests.
To download a PDF of this report, please click here.