Thursday, February 18, 2021

An Executive Guide to Successful Cyber Extortion Negotiation

 Are You Extortion-Ready? An Executive Guide to Successful Cyber Extortion Negotiation

Are You Extortion-Ready? An Executive Guide to Successful Cyber Extortion Negotiation

(Via Fireeye): Cyber extortion incidences are increasing at an unprecedented rate, and with them, crypto-extortion demands are skyrocketing. Negotiations often lead to cyber claims of $1 million or more, not to mention a host of legal issues. When the worst happens, you need to know how to respond, and how to determine when the time is right to engage external counsel. This panel discussion will walk through a successful intelligence-led cyber extortion event, highlight best practices for those first critical hours, and give you the information you need to empower your organization against a malicious adversary.

More here from Fire Eye

Kimberly Horn, Global Claims Team Leader, Cyber & Tech Claims – Beazley (Moderator)
Navid Jam, Managing Director, Mandiant Consulting – FireEye
Steven B. Roosa, Head of NRF Digital Analytics and Technology Assessment Platform, United States – Norton Rose
Bill Siegel, CEO, Co-Founder – Coveware

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Negotiations during a Ransomware Attack; a perspective from 2 professional Hostage Negotiators

Many crisis management situations do not only require high-pressure analyses and decision making but solid communication – and (in worst case scenario) negotiation skills. Sue Williams and Jacob van ‘t Slot, 2 expert hostage negotiators, discuss how negotiation tactics can help organisations mitigate the consequences of a ransomware attack, and what factors to consider when negotiating with adversaries. They position negotiation in the context of Crisis Management and evaluate the differences and similarities of cyber extortion cases and situations where lives are at stake.

Both Jacob and Sue are experienced negotiators operating sometimes in the real-, sometimes in the virtual- but always in the shady world and with a lot at stake. Sue was in charge of the Kidnap and the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Units at Scotland Yard, and advised the UK government on cases of kidnap and abduction. She teaches hostage negotiation tactics at Harvard University, and is still active as a kidnap response and cyber extortion consultant. Jacob has a background in psychology, security and crisis management, and has worked as a kidnap response consultant at the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice. Jacob lectures at the Harvard Humanitarian Academy, and develops the SECO-Institute’s crisis management education program.

This write up guides you through the process of a ransomware attack, and how to prepare and conduct cyber negotiations with your opponents...

  1. Key Takeaways

  • Require ‘Proof of Life’ in the broadest sense of the definition: Are they able to execute the cyber- attack they are threating with? And in case of a ransomware attack: Are they able to actually decrypt your files, even if they decide to do so? There are a lot of poorly designed ransomware products on the market that can actually destroy your data. As a negotiator, ask them to decrypt a test file.
  • Define clear objectives for your negotiation strategy: Are you buying time while the IT Department is solving the issue? Are you aiming to mitigate the damage, to lower the ransom?
I highly recommend reading the full article from the Seco Institute [HERE].

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

February 2021 Newsletter

1. Inside Look Into The NYPD Hostage Negotiation Team (Video)
When Richmond Hill, Queens, became a hostage negotiation scene on Tuesday, chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst was there. He breaks down what happened – and why.
[Read more]

2. From Kidnappings to Hostage Negotiations: Here's What the 'SAS Training' That Meghan Markle Was Reportedly Given Involves
'Staged kidnappings involve the individual being tied up to restrict mobility and their head being covered with a bag,' says a hostile environment training expert.
...Andrew Toze, chief instructor at Hostile Environment Training Ltd, says the training helps to overcome your natural response: “[Being] paralysed by fear is a common natural phenomena that is a direct result of the senses being overwhelmed and therefore the body struggling to make conscious thoughts or reactions to a situation. The training would involve forcing this reaction in an individual through physical contact, extreme aggression, gunfire, smoke and speed.”
[Read more]
This article is about you and looking after each other and our families
The year 2020 has exacted a psychological toll on Americans. Levels of anxiety and depression have skyrocketed alongside increases in drug overdoses and alcohol consumption.

“There’s a difference between being alone and feeling alone,” said John Draper, executive director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “Feeling alone is feeling like nobody cares about you, nobody values you, so it’s really important now for us to let people who we care about or we’re worried about know how much we care about them and value them.”

It is also important to pay attention to an “absence of things,” said Nadine Kaslow, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. If people are ignoring your phone calls and text messages, not posting on social media as frequently as they used to or are declining invitations to virtual holiday celebrations, those are potentially concerning signs, Kaslow said.

[Read more]

4. Crack garda team saved eight Irish citizens kidnapped abroad
The role played by highly trained members of the Garda national negotiation unit, which is part of the force's Special Tactics and Operations Command (STOC), has not previously been revealed.
...Gardai have been deployed on the ground dealing with incidents in Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and Cambodia and worked closely there with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and local authorities.

5. Calls for police crisis negotiations in 2020 triple previous record set in 2019
Police saw demand for crisis negotiations shatter that record in 2019, with 40 calls for help in high-risk situations with people harboring suicidal thoughts; holding hostages; or refusing to comply with a warrant.
"Most notably, CNT has seen a spike in suicide intervention calls in 2020...
[Read more]

6. Unique Negotiations: Texas State University Hosts 31st Annual Hostage Negotiation Competition
Texas State’s hostage negotiation competition has grown in its 31 years. Mullins said that it began as a friendly wager between law enforcement in Austin and San Antonio, then it expanded to four teams, then eight and in 2020 the competition saw 40 teams from around the globe.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mullins said he wasn’t sure this year’s event would occur. But Texas State approved a limited competition for 2021 with only nine teams competing, including members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 
Click the link to see who won! Great work yet again by pulling this event off by Wayman and team!
“He walked into the front doors of the police department. He pulled a knife out and put it to the girl’s throat,” he said. “He requested police officers to shoot him and to kill him.”
[Read more]

8. Parsons (Kansas) Police arrest suspect after 23-hour long standoff
Police in Parsons, Kansas shortly before 3 P.M. on January 29 arrested a suspect in a hostage situation that lasted 23 hours. Officials say they received word that a 35-year-old male had locked himself and a child relative in a house, and that the male was possibly armed. Authorities say they tried to negotiate with the suspect for 23 hours
Sounds like a great story for a conference debriefing, especially with personnel deployment, breaks, relief, etc. 

9. Insight into the vital tactics of a SWAT negotiator
CAPE CORAL, Fla. — David Thomas, a professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University says it’s all about negotiators building trust with the suspect, during SWAT situations.
“ I don’t look at SWAT’s job as necessarily helping, I look at their job as protection and containment. The other job to that, is hostage negotiation, and that's an entirely different job,” said Thomas.

10. (RESEARCH)  From deployment to debriefing: Introducing the D.I.A.M.O.N.D. model of hostage and crisis negotiation
Even if you are not a researcher, push yourself a bit outside your comfort zone. Read this article to learn about this model and dig a bit into the research behind these skills because after, to have an expertise requires 1) continual practice and 2) understanding the science behind the art form of crisis communication. 
So, go ahead and click below!
[Read more and then click "download PDF file' to read the full paper]

11. EVENTS (Date order)

Fraternal Order of Police Officer Wellness Summit

'Moral Injury': Police Resilience Symposium Webinar

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Officer Safety & Wellness Symposium

International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) Evidence in Action Conference

Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) Conference
March 22-26

Crisis Negotiators of Oklahoma

American Association of Suiciology 

Western States Hostage Negotiators

New York Association of Hostage Negotiators Annual Conference

Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators

Monday, February 1, 2021

From Kidnappings to Hostage Negotiations: Here's What the 'SAS Training' That Meghan Markle Was Reportedly Given Involves

 From Kidnappings to Hostage Negotiations: Here's What the 'SAS Training' That Meghan Markle Was Reportedly Given Involves

'Staged kidnappings involve the individual being tied up to restrict mobility and their head being covered with a bag,' says a hostile environment training expert.
...Andrew Toze, chief instructor at Hostile Environment Training Ltd, says the training helps to overcome your natural response: “[Being] paralysed by fear is a common natural phenomena that is a direct result of the senses being overwhelmed and therefore the body struggling to make conscious thoughts or reactions to a situation. The training would involve forcing this reaction in an individual through physical contact, extreme aggression, gunfire, smoke and speed.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Police Resilience Symposium


Police Deserve Positive Mental Health & Resilience

The international Police Resilience Symposium will take place from September 22-24, 2020. It is being co-hosted by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute.

This virtual event will bring together leading researchers in resilience and related areas under the theme of “Resilience and Well-Being NOW.”

We have specifically chosen this theme because we have to address now both the global and local-based issues that are taking a negative toll on police personnel both mentally and physically. It is when the individual and agency take responsibility for their well-being that science-based practices in resilience can help members become aware of resilience techniques in order to develop practical, positive coping strategies in order to persevere during these hard times.

Join more than 1,400 attendees from over 30 countries to learn from more than 40 speakers from across the world.

More information: 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Resilience Goes Hand-in-Hand With This

Let me start off with the spoiler alert in the headline: It’s self-compassion. Yes, self-compassion. Who would have thought that a critical component to resilience is the hard-core, science-backed practice of self-compassion? Not me.

Are you skeptical like I initially was? Here are results from a research study by Rabon and her colleagues (2019) for you to think about:

  1. Self-compassion in military veterans negatively correlated with depressive and PTSD symptoms, angershame, thwarted belongingness, and feeling like a burden to others.
  2. Bolstering self-compassion in military veterans can also help reduce suicide risk.
Read more at [HERE].

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Hours long standoff, man armed with a spear, axe and knives arrested


Wyoming man arrested after hours-long stand-off with deputies in Rhododendron

Deputies found the suspect off Road 27. He had armed himself with a spear, axe and knives before being taken into custody.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

HERO: Saddle Brook Police Officer Coaxes Distraught Youth, 15, Off Highway Ledge


Route 46 was closed down and an air mattress was inflated beneath a Bergen County overpass as police tried to convince a troubled 15-year-old not to jump.

Officers found the Saddle Brook teen perilously perched on the Outwater Lane overpass in Garfield, near the Lodi border, around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler said.

“The juvenile felt more comfortable speaking with Officer Diaz and requested that she be the lone negotiator,” the chief explained.

...“There can be no doubt that Officer Diaz's calm, professional manner defused a very tense situation and led to the best possible outcome," he said.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The business of kidnapping: inside the secret world of hostage negotiation

 Official policy in the UK and US – unlike in many other countries – is to never make concessions to kidnappers. Those taken sometimes die as a result. Is it time to rethink? By Joel Simon

Kidnapping and ransom insurance was created in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 60s that it began to really catch on, following a spate of kidnappings in Europe by groups such as Eta in Spain, the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. The appeal was simple: in the event of a kidnapping, the insurance would provide reimbursement for ransom payment.

Read more from the Guardian [HERE].

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Questions linger in aftermath of bus shooting incident; man who was shot has schizophrenia

For years now, Grant Paul Dalton has been homeless and roaming the country, sometimes landing in pretty serious trouble with law enforcement.

But his time in Asheville almost turned deadly on Aug. 20, when Asheville police shot Dalton in the thigh after he exited a city bus, the culmination of a 90-minute standoff. The confrontation stemmed from Alcohol Beverage Control officers' attempt to serve warrants on Dalton related to July incidents in which an ABC officer was beaten and his vehicle stolen, and the earlier vandalism of an ABC vehicle. 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

UK team helps free Iranian hostages from Somali pirates

LONDON: A British team has helped secure the release of three Iranian sailors from Somali pirates, amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran over the case of the imprisoned charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.The deal for the sailors’ release involved a ransom payment of $180,000 — brokered by the UK-based Hostage Support Partnership — which was coordinated by Kenya-based former British diplomat John Steed in partnership with Leslie Edwards, a UK-based hostage-negotiation specialist. 

It ends the longest-running maritime hostage situation in the region to date, with the three men having spent five-and-a-half years in captivity.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ukraine hostages freed after President Zelensky plugs Joaquin Phoenix film


A stand-off in Ukraine has ended with security forces freeing 10 hostages from a bus in the city of Lutsk and detaining the gunman, after a bizarre intervention by the president.
Pictures showed the gunman lying on the ground after his arrest.
Just before the man's arrest, President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to comply with his demand to post a short video, with the words: "Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings."
All the hostages are unharmed.

Read more from the BBC [HERE]. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Lutsk terrorist case: View of former law enforcers


A tense situation in Lutsk city, where a twice-convicted man seized a bus and held hostage 21 people, including children and pregnant women has become yesterday’s breaking news for all the news channels of the country... Traffic in the center of the city was blocked, an operational plan "Hostage" was announced, and even Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov arrived in Lutsk on a special flight to coordinate all the units.

... Taking hostages on such ideological grounds is a rarity for Ukraine.

This is a very atypical crime for Ukraine. The kidnappers captured rich children for extortion, armed groups, organized crime groups. Mainly - for selfish motives, and here we are dealing with a person who was undergoing compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital (information about treatment was later refuted by MIA head, - ed.). Our police officers have experience of work there is no such category of criminals yet. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is very difficult or almost impossible to predict his behavior and to predict how the situation will unfold further,” says lawyer Serhiy Burlakov, who himself was previously an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Read more from [HERE]. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

What does hijacker wants: How security forces negotiate with terrorists?

That is why the art of such negotiations has its own subtleties and stages, ignorance of which will certainly entail sacrifices. For example, having heard the demands of a terrorist, a common man in the street will draw conclusions about his ambitions and psychological state, while for professional negotiators, his demands become the key to resolving the situation.

The first thing law enforcement officers should do in such a situation is to make a clear distinction between instrumental and expressive motivation. If terrorists take hostages, seize buildings or kidnap people in order to exchange them for specific results (travel abroad, capture to avoid arrest for a crime committed, seizure by mentally ill people seeking to attract attention to themselves, the achievement of any political goals), then they are driven by instrumental motivation. It is in the case of such motivation that it makes sense to enter into negotiations, during which, through skillful psychological manipulations, it is possible to achieve success by lowering the level of readiness, alertness of terrorists, neutralizing it.

Read more from 112.International [HERE].