The Cyber Resilience Institute (CRI) and National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) in Colorado Springs teamed up to discuss parallel hunting techniques in the information environment.

Two presentations focused on the use of social media and technical telemetry to reveal sources of disinformation and misinformation. Link analysis enables deep source checking to help analysts evaluate and connect influencers and trending hashtags to their sources. This challenging task is critical to exposing adversary nation-state influence operations, such as election interference.    

Doug DePeppe (CRI) opened the session by outlining how cyber hunters venture beyond fact and source-checking to profile malicious infrastructure and influencers. Such deep-sourcing of incidents involves linking and fusing information by trained experts who research complementary indicators. Through practiced techniques and in-depth knowledge of adversary tactics, CRI discerns agendas and campaigns. 

Jane Ginn (CRI) delved into malicious behavior and surveyed several tools used to combat it. In addition to detection, proactive thinking and analytic decision making are required to integrate intelligence, draw conclusions, and track persistent threats. A number of examples illuminated how well-trained teams of cyber hunter-analysts are able to reveal otherwise hidden agendas and actors.  

Mattie Gullixzon (NCC) wrapped up the insights with a Call to Action. Citizens can get involved in two basic ways. First, by detecting the use of data and information to manipulate thinking and behavior. Second, by developing skills in cyber hunting. An effective way to begin is with JMark Services courses on the information environment and disinformation, CRI’s c-Watch 2020 cyber intelligence training, and NCC’s national connections.

CRI‘s mission is to build cyber capacity in communities. NCC‘s mission is to secure the world. These presentations demonstrated how CRI, with support from NCC, is doing just that through community engagement. The fight for truth-finding is on everyday.