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C4ISTAR for Hacking and Cyber Conflict

As per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4ISTAR

C2I stands for command, control, and intelligence.

C3I stands for command, control, communications, and intelligence.

C4I stands for command, control, communications, computers, and (military) intelligence.

C4ISTAR is the British acronym used to represent the group of the military functions designated by C4 (command, control, communications, computers), I (military intelligence), and STAR (surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) in order to enable the coordination of operations

I increasingly believe that cyber conflict will develop its own terminology and theory and paradigms in due time. In the meantime, it will adopt paradigms from existing military literature and adapt it to the unique sub culture of cyber conflict for both offensive, defensive as well as pre-emptive actions. Here I am theorizing for a case of targeted hacking attacks rather than massive attacks that bring down a website for a few hours and achieve nothing but a few press headlines . I would also theorize on countering such attacks.

So what would be the C4ISTAR for -

1) Media company supporting SOPA/PIPA/Take down Mega Upload-

Command and Control refers to the ability of commanders to direct forces-

This will be the senior executives including the members of board, legal officers, and public relationship/marketing people. Their name is available from corporate websites, and social media scraping can ensure both a list of contact addresses (online) as well as biases for phishing /malware attacks. This could also include phone (flooding or voicemail hacking ) attacks , and attacks against the email server of the company rather than the corporate website.

Communications- This will include all online and social media channels including websites of the media company , but also  those of the press relations firms handling communications , phones,websites- anything which the target is likely to communicate externally (and if possible internal communication)

Timing is everything- coordinating attacks immediately is juevenile, but it might be more mature to attack on vulnerable days like product launches or just before a board of directors meeting

Intelligence-

Most corporates have an in-house research team, they can be easily targeted using social media channels, but also offline research and digging deep. Targeting intelligence corps of the target corporate is likely to produce a much better disruption. Eventually they can be persuaded to stop working for that corporate.

Computers- Anything that runs on electricity and can be disabled – should be disabled. This might require much more creativity than just flooding.

 surveillance-  This can be both online as well as offline, and would be of electronic assets, likely responses for the attack, and the key people who are to be disrupted.

target acquisition-  at least ten people within each corporate can and should be ideally disrupted, rather than just the website. this would call for social media scraping, and prior planning. even email in-boxes can be disrupted (if all else fails)

and reconnaissance-

study your target companies, target employees, and their strategies.

Then segment and prioritize in a list of  matrix of 10  to 10, who is more vulnerable and who is more valuable to attack.

the C4ISTAR for -a hacker activist organization is much more complicated but forensics reveal that most hackers tend to leave a signature style (in terms of computers,operating systems,machine ids,communication, tools, or even port numbers used)

the best defense for a media rich company to prevent hacking attacks is to first identify its own C4ISTAR structure for its digital content strategy and then fortify as well as scrub vulnerabilities (including from online information regarding its own employees)

(to be continued)

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

The Hacker Attitude

2011 Forecast-ying

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Image via Wikipedia

I had recently asked some friends from my Twitter lists for their take on 2011, atleast 3 of them responded back with the answer, 1 said they were still on it, and 1 claimed a recent office event.

Anyways- I take note of the view of forecasting from

http://www.uiah.fi/projekti/metodi/190.htm

The most primitive method of forecasting is guessing. The result may be rated acceptable if the person making the guess is an expert in the matter.

Ajay- people will forecast in end 2010 and 2011. many of them will get forecasts wrong, some very wrong, but by Dec 2011 most of them would be writing forecasts on 2012. almost no one will get called on by irate users-readers- (hey you got 4 out of 7 wrong last years forecast!) just wont happen. people thrive on hope. so does marketing. in 2011- and before

and some forecasts from Tom Davenport’s The International Institute for Analytics (IIA) at

http://iianalytics.com/2010/12/2011-predictions-for-the-analytics-industry/

Regulatory and privacy constraints will continue to hamper growth of marketing analytics.

(I wonder how privacy and analytics can co exist in peace forever- one view is that model building can use anonymized data suppose your IP address was anonymized using a standard secret Coco-Cola formula- then whatever model does get built would not be of concern to you individually as your privacy is protected by the anonymization formula)

Anyway- back to the question I asked-

What are the top 5 events in your industry (events as in things that occured not conferences) and what are the top 3 trends in 2011.

I define my industry as being online technology writing- research (with a heavy skew on stat computing)

My top 5 events for 2010 were-

1) Consolidation- Big 5 software providers in BI and Analytics bought more, sued more, and consolidated more.  The valuations rose. and rose. leading to even more smaller players entering. Thus consolidation proved an oxy moron as total number of influential AND disruptive players grew.

 

2) Cloudy Computing- Computing shifted from the desktop but to the mobile and more to the tablet than to the cloud. Ipad front end with Amazon Ec2 backend- yup it happened.

3) Open Source grew louder- yes it got more clients. and more revenue. did it get more market share. depends on if you define market share by revenues or by users.

Both Open Source and Closed Source had a good year- the pie grew faster and bigger so no one minded as long their slices grew bigger.

4) We didnt see that coming -

Technology continued to surprise with events (thats what we love! the surprises)

Revolution Analytics broke through R’s Big Data Barrier, Tableau Software created a big Buzz,  Wikileaks and Chinese FireWalls gave technology an entire new dimension (though not universally popular one).

people fought wars on emails and servers and social media- unfortunately the ones fighting real wars in 2009 continued to fight them in 2010 too

5) Money-

SAP,SAS,IBM,Oracle,Google,Microsoft made more money than ever before. Only Facebook got a movie named on itself. Venture Capitalists pumped in money in promising startups- really as if in a hurry to park money before tax cuts expired in some countries.

 

2011 Top Three Forecasts

1) Surprises- Expect to get surprised atleast 10 % of the time in business events. As internet grows the communication cycle shortens, the hype cycle amplifies buzz-

more unstructured data  is created (esp for marketing analytics) leading to enhanced volatility

2) Growth- Yes we predict technology will grow faster than the automobile industry. Game changers may happen in the form of Chrome OS- really its Linux guys-and customer adaptability to new USER INTERFACES. Design will matter much more in technology on your phone, on your desktop and on your internet. Packaging sells.

False Top Trend 3) I will write a book on business analytics in 2011. yes it is true and I am working with A publisher. No it is not really going to be a top 3 event for anyone except me,publisher and lucky guys who read it.

3) Creating technology and technically enabling creativity will converge at an accelerated rate. use of widgets, guis, snippets, ide will ensure creative left brains can code easier. and right brains can design faster and better due to a global supply chain of techie and artsy professionals.

 

 

STEM is cool

Lady Gaga holding a speech at National Equalit...

Image via Wikipedia

A good video created by my favorite social media people from a company in North Carolina.

STEM is cool (Science Technology Engineering Maths?)

No, Science is not kool aid- it is just COOL. and better paying than watching Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga videos. Get those lazy teenagers out of Glee clubs and back into Science clubs.

The video itself-

Disclaimer- I have no direct or indirect  financial relationship with the creators of this video. I think it is cool people express creativity in positive ways to help their favorite software,company, and even the world. Blah Blah Blah :)

Yeah, STEM is cool again.

 

 

Google :Protocol Buffers and Lively

1) An Alternative to XML. This is quite a cool initiative as long as it doesnot lead to more skirmishes with the guys from redmond.http://code.google.com/apis/protocolbuffers/docs/overview.html

“”For example, let’s say you want to model a person with a name and an email. In XML, you need to do:
John Doe
jdoe@example.com

while the corresponding protocol buffer message definition (in protocol buffer text format) is:

# Textual representation of a protocol buffer.
# This is *not* the binary format used on the wire.
person {
name: “John Doe”
email: “jdoe@example.com”
}

In binary format, this message would probably be 28 bytes long and take around 100-200 nanoseconds to parse. The XML version is at least 69 bytes (if you remove whitespace) and would take around 5,000-10,000 nanoseconds to parse.

Also, manipulating a protocol buffer is much easier:

cout << “Name: ” << person.name() << endl;
cout << “E-mail: ” << person.email() << endl;

Whereas with XML you would have to do something like:

cout << “Name: “
<< person.getElementsByTagName(“name”)->item(0)->innerText()
<< endl;
cout << “E-mail: “
<< person.getElementsByTagName(“email”)->item(0)->innerText()
<< endl;

However, protocol buffers are not always a better solution than XML – for instance, protocol buffers would not be a good way to model a text-based document with markup (e.g. HTML), since you cannot easily interleave structure with text. In addition, XML is human-readable and human-editable; protocol buffers, at least in their native format, are not. XML is also – to some extent – self-describing. A protocol buffer is only meaningful if you have the message definition (the .proto file).””

We think it is one more Google googly at Microsoft (!). But if its faster for consumers so be it.

2) www.lively.com

This one is like Yahoo Avatars or a crude Second Life. We downloaded  it, the app was quite small, but running it was slow ,and  bandwidth heavy (I tested Eve online on the same bandwidth)As more developers pile on, it should get bigger inevitably. Its a fun project but yes you can prompted to click remember chat history ( so as Google can tie up more behavioral ad- targeting to your IP address). Ouch !


Poem-Why are we creative ?

root cause of creativity

is most often necessity

to improvise and move on ahead

often is a matter of butter and bread

sometimes its just an whimsical

impulse created out of sheer boredom

dissatisfaction with the prevailing status quo

may lead to bursts of creativity for me and you

Modern scientists say creativity is affected by the serotonin in  your brain

I think it’s simpler – a desire to break out of your mundane daily pain

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