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LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for uncovering intelligence on individuals business life. Whether for #CompetitiveIntelligence or #OSINT, knowing how to get the best out of #LinkedIn is crucial.
There are lots of tricks - many of which I've taught in AWARE's Open Source Intelligence workshops (e.g. buff.ly/2Tk5025). Bellingcat has recently brought out an excellent guide for investigators covering lots of tricks for getting more out of Linkedin - from undocumented / hidden operators to using Google to find out more. They also warn about fake profiles (although not my personal favourites at buff.ly/2TqdR29, buff.ly/2TkOjDD, buff.ly/2YfQITJ and a few others that are similar).
Whether you’re investigating a company purporting to have damning information on Robert Mueller or conducting research on anti-Islamic State foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, LinkedIn can serve as...
In recent years disruption has become the battle cry of business. Disruption occurs when an innovation creates a new market and business model that cause established players to fall. We love the ease of taking, sharing, and storing digital photographs — a disruption that led to the demise of both Kodak and the once ubiquitous film market. Millions of us benefit from Uber’s driver-on-demand service, even as it displaces existing taxi companies.
But is this the only way to grow? Another approach is what authors of Blue Ocean Shift, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, call nondisruptive creation. This offers a new way of thinking about what’s possible. It highlights the immense potential for creating new markets where none existed before. This is creation without disruption or destruction. All the demand generated by this kind of innovation is new.
Most companies remain stuck in the mindset that in order to create you must disrupt or destroy. Nondisruptive creation breaks the existing frame on innovation and growth and allows for a much broader view of how they are generated. It expands the conversation about where real opportunities reside. #Strategy #growth #innovation #disruptiveinnovation ... See MoreSee Less
One of my favourite blogs is the Farnam Street blog - and the latest post is an example of why I like it. It's an explanation on why diversity is so important - and should be encouraged. Although not mentioned, it explains how the USA became the global power that it is, and why Israel looks like bing the 4th country (and smallest) to land a spacecraft on the moon.
When a society encourages a diversity of opinions you get creativity. Creativity is not just needed for the arts but for all life and to solve all problems. The blog starts off with a question: what should mankind do if a large meteor was spotted heading directly for the Earth, that would wipe out life in the same way that a meteor ended the large dinosaurs 65 million years ago? Would it be wise to select only a handful of people from a single organisation to solve the problem or should as many ideas as possible be encouraged. The answer is that mankind is unlikely to be saved if only one or two people look at the problem. It needs a range of ideas and a process to evaluate them to select the best ones.
The same applies for all problems. In the workplace, a business selecting employees that all match a specific template is less likely to be successful in comparison to one that encourages diversity. As Farnam Street write:
"Diversity is necessary in the workplace to generate creativity and innovation. It’s also necessary to get the job done. Teams with members from different backgrounds can attack problems from all angles and identify more possible solutions than teams whose members think alike. Companies also need diverse skills and knowledge to keep a company functioning. Finance superstars may not be the same people who will rock marketing. And the faster things change, the more valuable diversity becomes for allowing us to adapt and seize opportunity."
This also applies in biology. A monoculture is less likely to survive as it becomes more susceptible to disease that will wipe it out. Organisms need diversity so that they have the resilience to survive whatever happens. Some may die but the species will continue.
The trouble today is that diversity is often spoken about but in reality people seek out people who look, think and work like them - rejecting those that don't. We see this in people calling to block immigration, and the move to political extremes. In social media we reject those that write divergent opinions - who then seek peers who agree with them. This then becomes self-fulfilling. (As an example, a recent post from a Brexiteer in the UK claimed that people have all moved to supporting Brexit because this person did not know a single person who would vote to remain in the EU. All they were really saying is that their peers all think and write and speak the same - and (unsaid) if they don't they will be rejected as odd). ... See MoreSee Less
US Cyber Command operation disrupted Internet access of Russian troll factory on day of 2018 midterms buff.ly/2tDJwTx
The strike on the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg was part of the first offensive cyber-campaign against Russia designed to thwart attempts to interfere with a U.S. election. The defensive operation took the IRA offline and marked the first real demonstration of preventative actions to protect US democracy. #CyberSecurity #CyberAttack #OSINT ... See MoreSee Less
A Forbes essay (buff.ly/2tDLjb6) quotes David Seuss of Northern Light as suggesting their new product offers an AI alternative to search. Northern Light was, pre-Google, a major search engine. I was a fan and it offered something different. It was then acquired & the new owner destroyed it. (This has happened to other search engines too). Seuss bought it back but if Forbes is correct, he seriously misunderstands the risks of letting AI find information based on knowledge of the user. All this will do is increase the biases we see already where the average user lives in a "filter bubble" ignoring information that is contrary to what they believe.
Yes! I could see AI helping out for queries such as "Find me the cheapest flight to…" or "Who is the USA President?" However what about if the question is changed to "Who is Venezuela's President?" That will require much more explanation: would a brief summary report really answer the question. Then make it even more complex & ask about the Israel-Palestine conflict, vaccinations, or "Is a vegan diet healthy". A user's pre-conceived view will lead to greater bias & for the professional searcher it spells disaster. #search ... See MoreSee Less
Disclaimer: At the moment, using a scraping tool or an extension on LinkedIn is not permitted, and it is a risk for your account: LinkedIn monitors some extensions and blocks access to their services....
When Max Benwell found out someone was using his photos to approach women online, he decided to track down the trickster – setting up a fake Instagram account and changing his gender on Tinder along...
NATO Group Catfished Soldiers to Prove a Point About Privacy.
NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence tested whether they could manipulate soldiers into divulging intel about a large-scale military exercise. Stage 1 was to uncover as much information as possible using #OSINT - Open Source Data - including participants. Stage 2 was to see if this could be used to influence participant behaviours - including setting up fake Facebook profiles.
The answer was that it was possible to influence behaviour and gather intel - and the cost was trivial.
Although the article does not mention it, it is known that malicious third parties have tried to use social media to influence serving soldiers. Seven months ago it was reported that Hamas had set up fake social media profiles to entrap Israeli soldiers - using sports data, dating apps and similar. This shows that the NATO experiment is important in proving how even those supposed to know the risks still can get caught. buff.ly/2MH5Pz9... See MoreSee Less
Disinformation and ‘fake news’: The UK Government's report has now been published. It calls for a compulsory ethical code for tech companies, a regulator to police code breaches, requirement to remove harmful & false information & more. #fakenews #ethics ... See MoreSee Less
I've used the Kodak vs Fujifilm story as a case study. It's a really important example showing how to change....
The course advertised is not cheap but Osterwalder is the originator of the Business Model Canvas which is one of the best analytical tools for the last 20-30 years. Especially for looking at new opportunities. ... See MoreSee Less
While Kodak is struggling; Fujifilm, its old rival, is thriving.
Once rated as one of the world's five most valuable brands. Today Kodak's revenues are only $1.5 billion per year, down from $15.97 bil...
Both Strategic Foresight & #CompetitiveIntelligence are needed - but is there a difference. Does effective #CI lead to strategic foresight or does it work the other way around?
Although this article states that CI is aimed at short-term forecasts & analyses it gets it wrong by suggesting that you first need a broad understanding of the future - and then CI for tactical reasons. This misunderstands CI. CI is not just about competitors but the overall business environment. Only by having a full understanding of the business environment can you have the intelligence needed to anticipate the future - i.e. to gain strategic foresight. Both are needed - and CI is the first step. ... See MoreSee Less
For many people, including professionals, the difference between strategic foresight and competitive intelligence can be confusing. And understandably so. Both are concerned with an organization's env...
When researching #fraud the writing style, signature, logos used and much more can be clues. An often overlooked element is the font used in the forged document.
In Canada recently a fraudster got found out by preparing fraudulent documents using Microsoft's Calibri font, and dating the documents for a time before this font came into use.
Checking the fonts on a PDF document or actual document can give a clue to when it was actually typed - allowing a document to be dated. There are often other clues too. I frequently look for a 4-point type (or smaller) date indicator on brochures commonly used by companies to date such documents. Most would usually miss such clues - but in an investigation they can be crucial in creating a timeline. #OSINT #investigation ... See MoreSee Less
Recently a highly disturbing video emerged of an atrocity - where armed soldiers executed two blindfolded women with their children. BBC Africa investigated to find out where the murders took place and by whom. The initial suspicion that it was Cameroonian soldiers was denied by the Cameroon government. Multi-faceted #OSINT research looking at background details in the video allowed the identification of precise location and approximate date and time and then the individuals responsible who are now about to go on trial.
The example shows the full power of using open sources in investigations - and demonstrates why such research is necessary in today's world. ... See MoreSee Less
How to Detect Fake News in Real-Time. buff.ly/2VtSrDB How it happens, why and how to stop it.
The challenge to stopping #FakeNews isn't technical. It's operational willingness by the tech company leadership. Stopping fake news is down partly to cost, partly belief in the importance of free expression and partly fear of getting it wrong i.e. censoring articles. However it looks like the tide is changing and the tech companies are recognising the moral imperatives for blocking fake #information and are looking at solutions. #Facebook #Google ... See MoreSee Less
For some #OSINT investigations it's better to stay hidden. Here is how - and knowing how can help spot fake profiles too.
There are lots of fake profiles on the web - created for various reasons. Unlike the fake profiles created for investigations, most fakes are not innocent and being able to spot them can be important. This guide gives tips on creating a "sock puppet" - a term used to describe an investigator's false identity. Knowing how to create a good one should also help spot others too. ... See MoreSee Less
We are just starting 2019 and I wonder if it would be possible to create an index of stupidity? Who will be the most stupid people or what will be the most stupid actions taken in 2019. One only needs to look at 2018 for a long list of actions. (Not wishing to be political - but it's hard to avoid - initiating a trade war without thinking about longer term ramifications would be one of them, and the current fall in the stock market is an indicator that suggests that this may be the case. Saying Daesh / ISIS is defeated would be another - when terrorism still occurs globally....)
Stupidity is overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information.
Crucial information is information that you need to pay attention to - that is conspicuous i.e. right in front of you. Yet you overlook it or dismiss it. That is stupid!
What causes this? A magician deliberately misdirects attention - the goal is to make you fail to see something you should have i.e. to make you stupid. Magicians are fun, but fraudsters are not and they do the same thing. Seven factors can lead to such failures: 1) Peer pressure. You don't want to stand out as different. 2) You are outside your comfort-zone so unfamiliar with your surroundings or the environment (or it's changed) so may focus on the wrong thing. 3) Somebody who is or claims to be an expert says something - which may actually be wrong. However as they are the expert you doubt your own wisdom and go with the expert. (You may also be the expert - and reluctant to change a long-held opinion despite new evidence i.e. a reluctance to change) 4) You are in a hurry - so ignore the new information as it will get in the way of what you are rushing for. (You think you are late for a meeting... your phone beeps with a text message saying the meeting is cancelled. Yet as you are in a rush, you ignore reading the message and hurry to the meeting. When you get there to find nobody else is, you check your messages and then you feel really stupid! Especially if the journey was time-consuming). 5) You are really busy so cannot give this crucial information the respect or time it deserves - and so you dismiss it, even when it should be the priority. Perhaps, you need to focus on something else - so only give this crucial information a tangential look and dismiss it. 6) You have too much information so cannot prioritise properly and so miss the crucial information. 7) You are physically or emotionally tired and so make sleep your priority even when it shouldn't be. (Essentially you give up. A predator is about to pounce and although you should run, tiredness prevents it and so you sacrifice yourself, perhaps hoping the predator is also tired. It's why predators chase their prey - they aim to exhaust the prey so they can get dinner).
(Side note: the idea for this - and some of the content came from the Farnam Street Blog which contains excellent posts on how to think - of relevance to anybody working in business, marketing or competitive intelligence). ... See MoreSee Less
Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human. It's not only search engine bots. There's also real fake material out there: people, metrics, news, businesses, politics, content… according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For some of 2013, half of YouTube traffic was bots masquerading as people. buff.ly/2Q0oebu #FakeNews #intelligence ... See MoreSee Less
5 Lessons for Reporting in an Age of Disinformation.
How does #fakenews and #disinformation spread - and what can be done stop it or slow it down. Five tips for all involved in gathering and reporting information... buff.ly/2V9Ocx3 #CompetitiveIntelligence #Strategy #News ... See MoreSee Less