type of intelligence
1. What kinds of intelligence can HUMINT provide that no other type of intelligence can collect?
When using HUMINT, one can give out discernment into specific information. Through HUMINT intelligence collectors can get information about a planned attack or any new weapon that may have been introduced to the market before they are detected by the use of other collection methods. Moreover, HUMINT data collection is done openly when FBI agents are interviewing suspects or witnesses. Their data collection is also achieved through both covert and clandestine means. Unlike other intelligence, the FBI and some military branches do data collection within the HUMINT collection process. Human intelligence plays a significant role in the development and implementation of national security and U.S. foreign affairs in protection of the state’s interest. HUMINT resources within the National Clandestine Service (NCS), are tapped as a last resort and only when there is well placed physical asset to access the intelligence relevant to the military, policymakers, president, and other key participants of the intelligence community. HUMINT has resources that can present inherent risks to mortal lives. Its supplies can be preserved for other intelligence requirements that cannot be present in other existing intelligence collection methods. HUMINT provides both positive intelligence and information on substantial counterintelligence value. It offers various kinds of information, such as observations during events from travelers or refugees and information on interest and interpersonal networks.
2. Define covert and clandestine. Explain the difference between overt and clandestine HUMINT collection. What are the primary advantages and disadvantages of each?
Covert action involves a specific country’s efforts to influence another country’s economic, political, and military position. For instance, the U.S. can change who becomes the president of Venezuela without showing public acknowledgment but by also working behind the scenes to influence the outcome. Clandestine collection involves operations going on without the general public or the enemy force having any knowledge. Overt HUMINT is done publicly by diplomatic personnel and is one the oldest means of acquiring intelligence from a foreign nation. Overt HUMINT provides individuals with diplomatic immunity and they cannot be prosecuted if found guilty of a crime. The disadvantage for overt operations is that sponsors of their activities must be prevented from disclosure, resulting in security threats or political embarrassment. Clandestine HUMINT is done undercover by an agent from a foreign country. For instance, a Russian political refuge can infiltrate a company based in the U.S. and give information personally to a state. The advantage of this method of acquiring knowledge is that an individual gets information firsthand; therefore, it is more reliable. Clandestine cases are rare and bear a significant disadvantage since most of their agents come into the U.S. with the justification of being political refugees. Once they secure a place within the United States, they can gather financial, political, or technical information requested by their governments.
3. Discuss STUXNET. What was it, what collection was required to support it, how did it work, how was it likely introduced, and what was its effect?
A STUXNET is a malware that was specifically created to cause harm to a targeted computer. It is also a very refined computer malware that exploits a specific windows operating systems vulnerability to infect computers and transmit the virus. After infecting a computer, STUXNET checks to determine if it is connected to other specific models from the Programmable Logic Controllers produced by Siemens. In the absence of Siemens, STUXNET becomes dominant within the computer. The malwares focus point is the data acquisition system. It attacks the programmable logic controllers, which are vital for the automation of mechanical operations. Most of the machines getting attacked are those installed with Microsoft Windows as the operating system. According to reports, the malware was responsible for attacking the nuclear program of Iran. STUXNET works in three stages. First, the worm carries out the initial attack. Second, the link or file disseminates the virus version. Lastly, there is a rootkit that ensures the worm is not detected. It is most likely that the worm can spread through a single USB flash drive therefore degrading several other machines and computers. The primary aim of STUXNET is to target the Programmable Logic Controllers that are applied in automating the processes of a device. STUXNET is recognized as a feature rather than a bug, and they turned themselves off by killing their switch consequently stopping their spread.
4. Describe the categories of Open Source information listed in the readings. What are the top four obstacles to effectively using OSINT?