"Infowar Melts with Black Marketeering in the Information Age, Creating Black Dagger"
Infowar Melts with Black Marketeering in the Information Age, CreatingBlack Dagger
ByAnthony Cajigas (kah-hee-gus)
So it seems like a gazillion years ago when twenty four brokers, gathered together to trade bonds. The month was May and the year was 1792, the birth of the New York Stock Exchange. Today, the stock exchange trades in vast amounts of complex financial instruments. Similarly, organized crime will have its own trading systems riding the waves of the Information Age too. Reams of electronic data, worth billions of dollars, will be bought and sold, daily, to the highest bidder, creating a massive and unified information black market. That future crime market, code named Black Dagger, may dominate the information world using information warfare to steal trillions of dollars worth of information. New and complex analysis techniques could be used to make that trading possible. Herein, a new insight into the reality of information is proposed to elucidate the relationship between money and information. Some portions of the following arguments concerning Black Dagger are merely designed to explore the possibilities in detail. This article will explore some of the ramifications of infowar-organized crime proliferation. Let us investigate the possibilities together -we can meet the future first.
"When this black market reaches sufficient sizability, everyone will know of its existence. Everyone will know how to contact it and what it expects."
Perhaps Black Dagger really is a distant possibility. Nevertheless, in today's whizzing world, data in itself can be translated into monetary terms faster than its whisper-short staledate. In many respects, Wall Street buys and sells nothing but information -data -ones and zeros. There are paper profits and losses -nobody sees any stocks and no one sees any green. Debt, capital, and money are all truly ventured but the wins and losses are carefully penned in magnetic media and scribed by the cyber quick fingers of monastically nimble chips. In reality, information is the, true, common currency of the money market world.
In the Secret Battlefield, it was shown how infowar possesses a flavor christened, the economic campaign. These campaigns could be conducted, in concertation with future military campaigns, to sharpen the bitterness of social conflict. The same economic warfare techniques could be used to further industrial espionage too. Indeed, one of the emerging tenets of information warfare is that it could be carried out by non-government entities, or non-state political actors. These actors could be comprised of respectable organizations akin to Greenpeace and Amnesty International. Rapidly changing information technology will soon blur the physical boundaries between groups and nations. Information warfare can be waged by organized crime syndicates, terrorists, religious organizations, anarchists, as well as groups genuinely seeking human rights, justice, and revolutionary social equity.
The future of Information Age, organized crime, is information crime. Organized crime is already the largest industry in the country, with the chemical industry very close. Will the situation change? Will there be a wider breach? It is naïve to believe that organized crime will not fit into the Information Age picture. Since the criminal industry proves to be quite adaptable, the modus operandi of the black market will evolve, since wealth is shifting from the material to the ethereal realm of information. This will be a radical departure from the material value chain, though thefts encompassing encumbrances of material value, or within the material value chain, will still be prominent. Concerning value chains, Michael Wilson describes how war itself changes to suit the times, whereas the orbs and tools of power evolve. As value chains transform and evolve, so must the means of war change. This evolution applies to organized crime Information Age adaptations:
Society, a political economy, is about a mechanism I will refer to as the 'value chain.' A value chain is an aggregate infrastructure of processes, best explained by example.
One instance of a value chain comes from Mankind's early days--metal. Based on what ores are readily available in an area, Man has built a variety of implements, starting with rough-hewn rock or wood, moving via the process of discovery and learning to more complex substances--iron, bronze, steel. Years and centuries pass, and the materials, knowledge, and processes that started turning out plowshares now turn out automobiles, airplanes, bridges, skyscrapers. Each step in the process, each advance made, adds just a little more value to the output of the previous step, building vastly more complex systems from the interactions of numerous smaller ones.
Politics is about the ownership and control of the value chain…
War is a challenge to or from the value chain. Just as the discovery of steel heralded a new wave of conquests against those less developed, war is the competition of value chains. Whether fought with Toledo steel swords, or composite-armour tanks, conventional and unconventional warfare are about attacks on various stages of the material value chain, by methods best suited to the attack on each link. This is 'hardwar'--an obsessive emphasis on the real control of real things, in methods, means, and end objectives.
This approach loses sight of the fact that the material value chain is not the only value chain, and I would venture to say, not the most important one. Value chains stretch back to the beginnings of civilization, by definition in fact. Behaviour is purposeful, directed, and a driving force is needed, a motivation. Maslow worked out a hierarchy of needs that do much to explain the beginnings and evolution of political economies.
Within the terms of Information Age wealth and technology, therein lies the vacuum of untold profitability and power. If organized crime cartels fail to adapt then organized crime, as we know it, could be supplanted by faster growing Information Age cartels, staffed with information warriors. In time, they could choke the underworld, as even the miry underworld itself knows it. This could lead to crime wars with the old order fighting the new order. To remain competitive organized crime may transform itself riding the Third Wave, to its fullest. It may leverage its power by tapping into a new layer of information resources. This serves to increase the available crime market by increasing the number of lucrative resources. Concerning the idea of the Third Wave, Stein says his own words best:
As "first wave" wars were fought over land and "second wave" wars were fought over physical resources and productive capacity, the emerging "third wave" wars will be for the access to and control of knowledge. And, in the Tofflers’ construct, as the "combat form" in any society follows the "wealth-creation form" of that society, the wars of the future will be increasingly "Information Wars."
To the point of becoming viable national defense threats, organized crime could evolve current information-warfare tenets and methods to efficiently steal data, from government and private sectors. Concerning organized crime, the Defense Science Board report, sponsored by the DoD (Department of Defense) Joint Chiefs of Staff, included organized crime as a viable national defense threat. Organized crime is listed in the IW-D (information warfare defense) threat list (see figure 1). This inclusion may be justified, since new IW (Information Warfare) techniques and tools will amplify the number of data thefts to epidemic proportions. Technically, information warfare entails stealing, modifying, or controlling the flow of information. It also involves destroying or altering the information machinery that controls or produces that information, or worse instantaneously reacts to information. Most of the IW tools used in information warfare could be found using COTS, (Commercial Off The Shelf Technology) the Internet, or attending hacker conventions. Numerous data thefts and the difficulty of apprehending perpetrators, or info-perps, will assuredly lead to a growing black market.
Few people readily acknowledge that organized crime is already in the information business. Organized crime figures regularly buy and sell information concerning threats, resources, potential scores, and likely suppliers, buyers, and sellers of merchandise. Opposed to information warfare, these information pursuits are focused on selected tasks. What is interesting to note is a personal experience. An acquaintance mentioned a strange service. Anyone needing information on someone could get that information for a small fee. This friend wanted to "check out" someone. He said he paid money to a contact an hour before. Within the next hour, a car pulled up and man gave him an envelope. In the distance, it was hard not to notice that the stuffed envelope had photographs too.
Black market growth will blossom because the ease of data theft is real. Currently many national defense organizations acknowledge their information warfare vulnerability. The DSB is especially concerned with the theory that effective IW-D countermeasures evolve too quickly. The expense of IW-D can far outstrip the typical expense for an IW attack. Organized crime members will realize the value of this inharmonious relationship. They may envision the Las Vegas opportunities that aGIM, Global Information Marketplace has to offer. Organized crime figures can either learn about information age tactics from non-associated criminals or from crews experimenting with data theft. This could initiate a criminal precedent. The specific goal: experimenting with the doctrines of information warfare. Even without infowar principals, the computer skills needed to steal data are elementary. One National Computer Security Association professional, Ira S. Winkler, who is employed to test security weaknesses, recounts his data theft experiences - at a well-protected site:
The CEO sat quietly as I showed him the complete manufacturing instructions for his top product in development. He remained expressionless when I placed his company's master development schedule on his desk. He sat back in his chair as I pulled out several documents describing his bargaining position in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. The CEO finally spoke. "I guess we should be happy you're not working for a competitor," he said.
… Significantly, I by no means exhausted the methods that a real industrial- espionage attack might have included. I never needed to. I made no effort to plant bugs or tap phone lines. I did not try to recruit other employees. I did not rifle through any trash. I spent very little time and money; a real attack would have been planned and executed over a period of months, and there would have been millions of dollars invested in the effort.
Times change faster than minds.
Once the precedents are set, the direction of organized crime will change. The current security status amongst the government and private sectors has a great deal to do with material age mindsets. This is a powerful idea. We watch TV, see movies, play video games, work, and go to school. These habiliments teach us how to survive, think, and advance in the material age. Information age mindsets are harder to procure. In this point of history, the same mediums must teach information age principals too. Then, those ideas must be (creatively) applied. Serious application goes beyond casually use of networks and computers. Since we are in the priming stages of a more explosive Information Age, this requires a great deal of inquiring, experimenting, and inventing with newer information tools and concepts. In this point of history, the people who are inventing the Information Age or its corresponding information warfare principals are getting a good glimpse of the brave new world. Indeed many excellent information warfare principals and actors add to the body of Information Age wisdom and understanding -sometimes, the prophecies are self-fulfilling.
The direction of organized crime will mutate, in part, thanks to the lack of enforceability of many computer crime laws. Moreover, many governments are ill equipped to handle information crimes. For example, the NCCS recently went into service with only a handful of agents answering thousands of computer emergencies. For more information warfare related emergencies, expect the same level of resource allocation. The technology for detecting such crimes also lags far behind. Criminals will realize that there is a huge defenseless market tappable if only motivated people are acquired. Therefore, many workers will be recruited for transitory information theft-work or more permanent organized crime crews. This will mark the beginning of an info-crime avalanche, part of the [1° ] primary stage evolution of Black Dagger.
For Black Dagger to really take off, it must be able to recruit insiders at almost any level of the organization. This reflects a [2° ] second stage black market evolution. With infiltrators, electronic IW-D can be easily circumvented (Something like 97% probability). This is an essential concept because Black Dagger's projected global influence, hinges on adaptable and proven recruiting abilities. Black Dagger is envisioned to be a non governmental Big Brother, sucking up enough precious information to comfortably place it in worldwide control. Violent means, to achieve this dominance, would be counterproductive and shortsighted. Criminal tools of this variety would meet with public backlashes and distrust. Once such events occur, rebellious perpetrators are likely to be quickly disciplined, by wiser organized crimes figures seeking to disassociate themselves. Therefore, the black market seduces all of its new recruits. Black Dagger will leave a telephone number and a myth.
Recruits with information for sale may determine the focus of a Black Team's future activity, whereas opportunity knocks. To elucidate, Black Teams are black market Red Teams. Red Teams are information warriors used to steal data. With each new target, Black Teams will use front men to scout for more recruits. Soon the target organization is under black market control.
The hellbound knows this secret in their heart of hearts. Because of fast changing technology and criminal ingenuity, the literal word of the law can never carry the spiritual burdens of lawlessness.
Inevitably, Black Dagger will exploit the property that people possess important information, for the health and security of an organization, even though their social status in no way reflects their "new" information power (role knowledge). The ease of recruiting will be a consequence of societal entities ignoring and or minimizing the human needs described in Maslow's Hierarchy. With cunning, Black Dagger brokers will target gross deficiencies in a target organization's application of the tenets in Maslow's Hierarchy (seeMapping Maslow's Hierarchy to the Human). PSYOPs planners, those using IW PSYOP principals, could effectively uncover organizational weaknesses using that map. They can reapply the same map to find, on an individual scale, hierarchical deficits. Ultimately, planners will analyze hierarchical deficits, forming effective recruitment strategies. To aid you in your review of Maslow's principals, please read the encyclopedic excerpt below:
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow devised a six-level hierarchy of motives that, according to his theory, determine human behavior. Maslow ranks human needs as follows: (1) physiological; (2) security and safety; (3) love and feelings of belonging; (4) competence, prestige, and esteem; (5) self-fulfillment; and (6) curiosity and the need to understand. No single theory of motivation has been universally accepted, but a direction is evident. Formerly, many psychologists stressed the reduction of stimulation to its lowest possible level. An organism was thought to pursue that behavior most likely to bring about this desired state of no stimulation. Many human physiological systems do in fact operate in this manner. Recent cognitive theories of motivation, however, portray humans seeking to optimize rather than minimize stimulation and are thus better able to account for exploratory behavior, the need for variety, aesthetic reactions, and curiosity.
In similar fashion, cults find recruits because they promise to fulfill the newer needs following an organizational or personal ascension up the hierarchy (re: Heaven's Gate). According to Maslow, the lowermost needs must be fulfilled first before other needs are realized. For example, a starving person may sacrifice freedom and security for food. Today, technology helps to make basic foods cheaper and more plentiful. The problem with modern society is that in some rungs of the hierarchy, many of the lower most needs, like hunger, are being fulfilled, whilst higher needs are springing. In many work places, it is believed that such needs and sensations are superfluous and should be best left at home.
In other societal segments, lower needs are not being met. Indeed, society professes to meet these needs and uses disinformation tactics to alter our perception of employment gains. What's wrong with providing accurate employment information -a vital economic tool? It is possible that accurate representations will show that more jobs are being shipped overseas, whilst domestic job offerings comprised of near minimum wages are growing, faster than any other segment. This is a consequence of the nuclear family growing beyond the tribal concerns of our fellow human beings. We are creating more and more labor that cannot support even one-person families. The educational bar keeps being raised to the point that the workers of tomorrow possessing the education level of an associates degree will have to compete for minimum wage jobs. Technology, (unwise) productivity enhancement, and the promise of robotic labor worsen the situation. Black market PSYOPs would identify, localize, and exploit emerging hierarchical deficits, appropriate to the target. New advances in netwar methodologies, and the Internet are perfect PSYOPs mediums. Inevitably, the medium for spreading appealing PSYOPs propaganda will spread to mouth-mouth communications, then invade the more overtly persuasive media.
Other factors make recruiting easy. Information theft is a bloodless, victimless crime, whereas the perceived "victim" may never garner social sympathy. The victim may even be judged irresponsible by workers and police, due to perceptions of "cheap" security measures, incompetence, and aggrandizing management. (Recently, a hospital security manager, two years before retirement, was fired when thousands of dollars worth of computer chips were stolen from a combination-door lock closet.) The victim may even wish to keep silent, for reasons far beyond embarrassment. The victim's future may lie in criminal hands. The chances of finding and prosecuting those criminals are slim -with criminal charges impossible to prove. The fact information can be quickly transferred, globally, and easily stored elsewhere will help to discourage the pressing of charges. Stolen information could be transmitted to third parties or designated computers worldwide, in encrypted form, for safekeeping. The chances of fully recovering all copies of stolen data are disappointing.
Since the effectiveness of computer related legislation is doubtful, it may be very easy for more organized information criminals to recruit insiders. There are an uncertain number of institutions where management-employee relations are strained. In one case, consultant Charles Morrell was legally charged with erasing all of his employer's data upon termination. Black Dagger brokers could exploit legal loopholes and can be technically proficient in avoiding super agencies with wider, more dangerous, powers and jurisdictions like the DoD. The nature of laws introduces the grandest of temptations: Humankind's general inability to go beyond the literal interpretation of the law. That's how nefarious hacking started isn't it?The hellbound knows this secret in their heart of hearts. Because of fast changing technology and criminal ingenuity, the literal word of the law can never carry the spiritual burdens of lawlessness.
In the future, Black Dagger could acquire effective methods for garnering thousands of willing and cooperative recruits. Government and private sector recruits need only sell what they can readily access and that could be plenty. Further, they may even be discouraged from procuring information they are not granted specific permissions, by their own organizations, to retrieve. Unwise attempts could send off resounding audit triggers. Black Dagger would take advantage of the fact that employees already possess sufficient knowledge for guiding social engineering attacks. For example, the names of other sympathetic or disgruntled employees can be of enormous value.
Black Dagger's growth will be based on the emerging properties of our brave new world. For Black Dagger to gain formidable power, it must foster public trust and discipline in enforcing its policies in the field. It will be involved with mediating information transaction. After all, it is motivated by the tremendous power and profit potential of the GIM. Therefore, Black Dagger offers fair prices for its information. It adequately instructs recruits on how to procure data -lowering risk of detection. Complete anonymity and confidentiality is assured. Protection is offered in various forms. It could even offer representation if the recruit is caught. Here is a summary of those qualities of public trust:
The role of the information mediator is quite possible. Consider that people surrender money for illegal services like numbers and legitimate, as well as illicit, gambling. Organized crime is adept at establishing such institutions, and work hard to assure public trust. No one questions whether a number was really random or if the house is cheating. The institution is responsible for policing the premises and enforcing its policies. This ensures a peaceful and profitable, atmosphere.
During the research phase of this paper, it was discovered that information warfare tools could be used to market the attractive qualities, involving public trust, for domestic consumption. Most likely in their social contract, the black market will offer public trust with enhancements. Black Dagger can market itself, offering a polished public image of exacting social justice of leveling the playing field between management and workers. It could market these ideas, even if it can only partially fulfill them. Effective IW tools includes psychological operations, or PSYOPs. This falls within the definitions of netwar. PSYOPs has been described by Col. Dunlap and in the SAIC White Paper:
… I am convinced that the employment of new and increasingly inexpensive means of communications can tremendously influence and mobilize significant populations against U.S. and Western interests. The leadership of the warrior "cybertribes" can use cheap communications to not only unite their followers, but also to exercise effective command and control over groups that might be widely separated yet whose aggregate capabilities create genuine military concerns.
… PSYOP have also been used to demoralize an enemy or to sway public opinion against military actions or government decisions. In many cases, effective use of C&D and PSYOP has proved to be a more powerful weapon than military actions. Defense against such an attack is difficult.
Whether it is a recruit or a Back Team member, the risk of being caught with the proof is relatively low. Information theft detection will be very difficult, even if videotaped, and the evidence may not hold up in court. There is also risk of a lawsuit by the employee, if the employee is punished and the charges are not backed by hard evidence.
Indeed, certain forms of legal evidence may not hold up in a court of law in other ways. This can be ascribed to a legal property that electronically encrypted information possesses. The evidence could vanish and still be useful until needed. Pilfered information could be copied onto transportable medium, RSA encrypted with a public key , and the remaining unencrypted bytes purged (fully erased) from the hard drive. Cracking a military strength bit encryption sequence, along with a strong password, could take the authorities eons to crack. The required time to thaw RSA, frozen evidence (opposed tohot evidence) could far exceed the statue of limitations for such crimes. At this point, perpetrators can only incriminate themselves, by confession, and yes, supplying the password and the secret key.
If these possibilities are true, business is in the precarious position of trying to stem more than a tidal flood of information crimes. Auditing procedures will have to be improved to detect information theft. Unfortunately, if employees sell only what they know (role knowledge), these varieties of defensive measures are practically useless. There are better tactics, administrators would have to assign permissions with higher levels of discernment, particularly copy permissions. Administrators will probably be spending more and more time scrutinizing audit trails as well as other security chores. Nevertheless, data thefts will reach epidemic proportions with many employers not even aware that they were prey. They are more inclined to know if a material object like a $2,000 computer is stolen rather than $2,000,000,000 in information.
In the future, businesses may be given sufficient provocation to spy on their employees more. They will act on the knowledge that many industrial peers have become victims. This could lead to a Stalinist workplace environment ruled by tyranny, fear, and betrayal. Unions and concerned managers everywhere, will be working hard to preserve the rights of workers, from the emerging twin of Big Brother.
Due to the theoretical questioneering concerning black market methods, interesting questions arose from the possible roles black market organizations could assume in performing information transactions. Now, if Mr. Winkler sold his client's data, [HE DOES NOT DO SUCH THINGS] he would have to risk anonymity to sell the data. If the dark village gains its theoretical momentum, in several decades, he could contact Black Dagger to sell the information. In these scenarios, the same privileges offered to the seller could be offered to middlemen because they could become sellers too. These middlemen could be free agents. They could be intermediaries from one of Black Dagger's criminal oligarchies. To sell information the transaction could be contracted in many ways, see Figure 1 for example:
With many potential buyers and sellers, the black market must transform itself to take advantage of the astoundingly lucrative opportunities of information trafficking. Thanks to new information technology projects, such as Iridium (components shown in two pictures) small cell-phones can directly link to satellites -virtually anywhere in the world! Iridium even allows for telecommunications, in remote locations, via their new Solar Powered Booth.
Advanced communications will serve to tear down geographical borders. Third world countries possessing lax computer crime laws comparable to lax banking laws, like the Cayman Islands, can become international havens for information trafficking. These countries or dark villages (from the word global village) will enjoy significant activity from information tourists. Information tourists are people entangled in illegal information trade, a buyer, front man, mediator, auctioneer, or seller. Dark villages will become home sites for escrow computers, and black market network/databases. These villages can be expected to freely trade information in stock market fashion. Internationally sponsored national corruption will ensure that lax laws stay lax.
When this black market reaches sufficient sizability, everyone will know of its existence. Everyone will know how to contact it and what it expects. It will be composed of giant criminal oligarchies, trading information for money. It will have many layers and many faces, yet be one. It will have many modes of operation. Though there are many free agents, many will still depend on Black Dagger's powers and services for continued survival and existence. As stock market brokers depend on corresponding stock exchanges and SEC enforcement. In the underground's future-state, any employee or infiltrator, in any country, will be able to sell the information they know or obtained about their employment. They could even be compensated for that information in the same day.
The growing number of information sellers will be attributed to the lawless behavior of the Internet, the lack of effective IW-D (Information Warfare Defense), the complex jurisdictions of government IW-D agencies and weak computer crime laws. Until information crimes become ridiculously excessive, the laissez faire attitude of industry will discourage unpopular government regulations. This partly reflects the age-old battle between freedom and security. During the post cold-war period, important national security regulations will be seen as infringing upon business freedoms.
The unified information black market will be of global proportions, with buyers and sellers communicating over all available means of transmission. The more channels used the harder it is for law enforcement to eavesdrop. Buyers can consist of organized crime groups, federal agencies, special interest groups, businesses, and public information agencies such as television news. Those engaged in netwar, wetwar, and PSYOPs would be shrewd buyers, comprising a unique and lucrative target market segment of the information market, like automotive engineering. Buyers could also be the previous information owners, who are being blackmailed. Sellers could be government or private Red Teams, Black Teams, recruited employees, or information middlemen.
Before we explore further, the nature of money must be questioned. The irony of information transactions is that money is really data. The data reflects the totality of resources a person (corporation or organization) owns or controls. Resource allocation in your own body is a vital issue, since society reflects the functionality and structure of a human being. In other societies, the same corresponding properties are vital issues too. We can't print more money than we should because the amount of money cannot exceed the resources. It too much money is printed the money loses value and inflation rises.
The totality of resources comes from all human beings. They can be apples, oranges, tanks, and tractors. Further, the totality of resources is debated upon and subdivided into units or monetary terms. That includes the resource of foreigners. In international exchange, money is traded for different money. Resource is traded for resource.
The second linchpin to a new information theory relies on the premise that information value chains, Third wave, subjugates the material value chain. Men learned via information to make steel. Without information, steel wouldn't exist. As in the body, human information controls organic resources. Isn't DNA responsible for how you look? The organic resource of society is money. Information technology was used to create a finite resource akin to gold. At first, it was physical but the controlling mechanism, at first mints, grew to include banks. In other words banks are trusted to keep the data confined, accurate, and finite, whether it is stored or in signal streams (checks). This permitted resource speedier resource allocations. Though these ideas came to the fore, they were always microscopic in form. As society grows its societal function become more differentiated and the functionalities become massive. It is like making a microscopic virus grow a hundred feet long. You may discern some of its properties but once its size increases it's easier to observe.
When data or information is sold for money, data is traded for data. Financial and numismatic analysis techniques are useful for supplying some of the conceptual tools for analyzing the cash value of data. Money in physical form has a great deal of information pertaining to valuation and authentication factors.
It is very possible that the tools used for analyzing paper money and financial transactions, are evolutionary precursors for establishing pure information trading. Information trading refers to information traded with an optimum of economic efficiency. It is true that money is data. Information is sold for money. Money grows based on information like interest rates, cash flows, and time values. This lends the question: Can information grow based on data rates, data flows, and data time values? If money = data then the same mathematical or symbolic substitutions are possible for the variable power. If information is power then power increases with data rates, data flows, and data time values. This is the premise of Black Dagger's dangerous power growth.
In order to analyze transactions further, we really need to get to the very soul of transactions. Accomplishing this entails, reducing humans to human cells. Are we not like cells comprising a larger body? Typically, in the body human, the cells would think but in a fashion unfamiliar to us. Naturally, their thought processes are more mechanical compared to humans because their function is more mechanical, than the super body. Let's say they think O.K.? Now if a cell manufacturing adrenaline needs two glucose molecules it communicates that need. Because the body is stressed, it would post a notice stating an exchange rate for glucose sugar. The rate is one half of an adrenaline molecule for every two sugars. The sugar refiners object to this rate, they want two adrenaline molecules for every sugar molecule. The bargaining continues until a reasonable balance is struck. Here is the fascinating part. Like excellent hagglers, each party is aware of absolute limits that they cannot exceed - the danger zones. In cells, these limits are readily attributed to physical laws. In market transactions, these relate to losses. In essence, each cell in the body is empirically aware of the formulaic balances needed to fulfill its function, as well as to survive. This process seems absurd, but the body human though it isn't a divine chemist, seems to know exactly what resources to send to every cell, collectively. Likewise, society disperses resources, though it is not perfect. The bargaining process is a biofeedback mechanism, when the body ages and the outputs change, the inputs adjust accordingly. As in society, organizations change in their adaptability and the outputs or products change.
In a similar, way humans barter but they use a common currency of data to communicate information relating to resource management. Each cell must accept this currency, if the money is genuine. Indeed, it is illegal and unethical not to accept legal tender to discharge debts. To this end, money states that: Thisnote is legal tender for all debts public and private.
Typically, information transactions require more qualitative analysis than monetary exchanges. Nevertheless, methods can be found to convert more of the qualitative aspects of data into roughly quantitative terms. The basic idea is to turn qualities into numbers. A famous example involved the valuation of commodities contracts. No one knew how to accurately value commodities and all attempts were clumsy at best. Black & Scholes inevitably derived a philosophy that these transactions were, partially, kin to interest free loans. A generally accepted formula was subsequently developed. When information valuation techniques are readily acknowledged, data will be more liquid than ever.
Stolen information can have multiple target audiences. As in Mr. Winkler's case, the bulk of data stolen can have multiple target audiences. Some data could be financial, some technical, and some legal. The content of the data must be separated for the particular target market. The beholder of such an information package may not have sufficient resources to act on all the data, therefore a buyer must be found.
Valuation of data will depend on many factors, such as payoff, expenses, and the probable losses incurred by the buyer. It is expected that Black Dagger will play a huge role as a mediator, in the first phases of its evolution. It will efficiently employ teams of experts and actuaries capable of accurately pinning the value and risk factors attributed to data quality factors.
Data quality factors are consequential, since they implore burdens on buyers to determine the data quality of information. The larger the burdens the more significant the risk. Therefore, larger risk premiums will be inferred in lower bargaining prices.
Financial analysis of information would be consistent in many respects to components of the Capital Asset Pricing Model, CAPM. The CAPM is used to gain quantitative perspectives in evaluating the present value of future, expected cash flows. Even the same class of information can have varying expectations of cash inflows. A stolen car design has a different payoff than a jet design. To the seller, CAPM attempts to answer the question, what is all that future money worth now? Is this transaction going to put us in debt or make us richer? If bribery attacks are involved, future cash flows, even perpetuities, could be expected. The seller may need to calculate the financial benefits that the data will give to targeted buyers. What are the buyer's future windfalls, improved market position, and future cash flows, based on the information purchase? To determine their bids, buyers utilize similar CAPM formulas, but with more biased numbers.
Naturally, riskless interest rates, used in CAPM, would be pegged to the Treasury bill rate. As in bonds, profit comes from discounting bonds and selling them at higher prices. The higher the risk that a venture doesn't "pan out", the greater the discount. In essence, market values are discounted because the positive difference comprises the profit. In profit, buyers want to be rewarded for the risks, as well as the time value for their money. In the case of information sellers, sellers want to be compensated for their risks, especially when granting flexible payment options to a victim who cannot pay.
In many ways, information trading can resemble commodities contracts too. This is due in part to authentication factors. Not all the valuation details of the data are known. The buyer might be forced to buy an option from the mediator, in order to purchase the information. In commodities contracts, the buyer purchases a contract to buy or sell a specific property within a specific time. The option can allow a holder to buy pork bellies cheaply when belly prices are soaring. If pork belly prices remain lower than option, the option holder loses. The most the buyer loses is his investment in the options contract. In certain types of information buying agreements, the mathematics could resemble commodities contracts, relying on a variation of the Black and Scholes equation for valuation purposes.
In this world of blind numeracy, the word quality: the attributes and properties of things and beings, is not appreciated for the beautiful complexities it describes best. Black market trading will depend on data qualities and the risk premiums consequently demanded. For data quality, there are many qualitative factors to consider:
Data Quality Factors:
Supply And Demand Factors
Data Integrity Factors
Supply and demand factors determine if the data has value, at a certain time. Both the seller, middlemen, and buyer might have different interpretations of these factors - each according to his own needs and best interests. These factors will depend on the classification of data: technical, business, financial, personal, etc. The potential venture profitability that such information offers is a great intrinsic factor. The venture could entail other attack modes against the victim because the may garner more profit:
Greenmail Attack: Using the stolen information to buy stock, then gaining sufficient company control to force management to buy back the stock, to regain control. The information is essential for eliminating the downside of implementing Greenmail attacks. A loss could occur if the greenmailers pay too much for the stock and the target refuses to pay. Knowing how much the company is really worth is very tricky since it relies on future secret projects. It could work the other way around. Profit could be made via commodities contracts. Information useful for determining the true stock value could leak out. When there is a "correction", the stock price plummets below the agreed limit. The contract holder then exercises his option and forces the contracted parties, who agree to buy the shares and are betting otherwise, to buy those shares at the higher price. In any event, the true value of the company must be known for either of these variations to work.
Blackmail Attack: Threat to sell information to hostile parties: If the target party has a strong competitor a good profit could be extorted. If the target party has an enemy competitor then the target organization will pay more. As in Mr. Winkler's paper, if the information pertains to a lawsuit the value of the information could be substantial, for both the plaintiff and defendant.
Infiltration Attack: The information cannot be used by the seller. It can entail important information needed to get more information from an organization, such as plans for alarm systems.
The demand portion of information is largely determined by the presence of one or more buyers. The more buyers the higher the demand, thus the asking price soars. The black market itself could be the end buyer. For the data to have value there must be someone willing to pay for the information, in a timely fashion.
There are also authentication factors to consider. There is the question of who, what, why, and where … concerning the information's theft. Is the seller reputable? (Even amongst thieves). Interestingly, these types of questions are posed by the Treasury, concerning the reporting of counterfeit money.
There are other questions too. The data must be authenticated in some way by someone. In the future digital watermarks, used for compliance of intellectual property laws, could be encoded into files of all types aiding in authentication. If the data is financial then a financial analyst must be employed, if it is technical then the right expert must be sought, if it is legal then the right legal eagle must be found. Telepresence technology could be used to bring experts to remote locations. Iridium technology could be used to foster their telecommunications links bringing experts virtually anywhere in the world, to the authentication proceedings, quickly and at low cost. The black market could solidify these ties, links, and procedures making them part of the market's invaluable resources.
Data integrity is an important part of the quality question. Is the data reliable? Is it consistent? Is it genuine and complete? It is possible that the infoperp or information perpetrator didn't obtain the complete work or stole decoys. It is possible that the data was modified or altered somehow, at any time before the transaction to discredit the seller. CRC like techniques, such as MD5, generate codes based on the original data. If the material is valid then running an MD5 check should generate the same numbers. False information cannot generate the same MD5 sequence.
Evidence factors consider data states when data is examined or delivered. Data states indirectly reflect the level of control, at all times, the seller has on information. These are serious questions for 2005: Is the data stored in a TEMPEST computer? Is the computer EMP resistant? Was the infoperp foolish enough to have the data stored in unencrypted form? (These would be examples of hot (opposed to frozen) evidence.) If the evidence is hot then the risk of prosecution is higher and the buyer, or the information middlemen, may demand an immediate risk premium for dealing with such incompetence or urgency.
Digital Watermarking: Sealis mathematically synthesized into the larger picture as noise with plenty of room to spare: Triple DES: Password: "CIA"
PGP Encrypted Paragraph (above).Evidence factors consider data states when data is examined or delivered … [Commercial strength]
Electronic data can have other intrinsic values beyond the print and that is the actual copy itself. This could be termed electro-material value. The complete digitized document has authentication value, especially submissible as legal evidence. It can contain hidden authentication factors such as digital watermarks or PGP headers. As far as value, these factors cut both ways. They can enrich value by proving the article is genuine but they can also contribute to prosecution risk, since the origin can't be easily refuted. As mentioned before, information could be RSA encrypted. Products like PGP Phone can encrypt voice too. In addition, information could be steganographically encoded. Steganographically encoded information can be a counterpart of many innocent communications like webpage pictures, .WAV files, document pictures, and voice. A Byte Magazine article further illuminates the security importance of watermarks.
Not only can computer-based steganography be used to embed a watermark in a file to protect intellectual property, new steganographic tools can be used to hide messages in digital images and sounds. This has profound implications for government-certified encryption schemes (e.g., the U.S. Clipper chip initiative and other key-escrow techniques) because with messages hidden in a digital image, anyone can inconspicuously exchange secrets and thus overcome restrictions on cryptography (see "Europe: Who Holds the Keys?," BYTE international edition, April 1996). …Computer-based steganography not only works with pictures or texts but also with digitized speech. A group of information security experts at the Universities of Dresden and Hildesheim in Germany demonstrated last year that it is possible to transmit undetectable data along with speech during an ISDN phone call. Although the demonstration, at the Information Hiding Workshop in Cambridge, U.K., didn't work in real time, the German experts claim that a real-time application can easily be derived.
As an example of digital watermarking, the picture above has been watermarked, using S-Tools.
Returning to the topic of money as data, money has many authentication factors. However the moment funds are entered into electronic accounts, the original information pertaining to the source, paper money, is lost. A fascinating aspect of monetary information is that the corresponding assignment of owner wealth remains the same. The lost authentication data of paper money is traded for other forms of authentication information. Although financial information undergoes a transition, from physical to electronic form, the data still occupies the same space, or brain cells, in society's memory. Structurally, societies are based on human models therefore possessing a social super memory.
This relates to another property of information of this class. Information that conveys any major function or any subcomponent of a society's command, control and intelligence [C3I] system becomes part of the super memory. Conceptually, counterfeiting really entails trying to circumvent the records contained within the society's "brain cells". Though money is printed, it doesn't exist in the social memory because the institutions, behaving as "brain cells" don't have a record of that money or data. The allusion works well when society is viewed on a global scale or the global human (scale). The amount of money in the world, though constant, can be figured at a particular instant. The global human remembers how much money is out there because it is composed of national humans. In the global human, foreign exchange rates are pegged by experts, from the global human, who apportion the appropriate money supply for each country, or national human. This based on a perception of that country's economic power. If the country is fiscally weak, exchange rates reflect a corresponding devaluation. On a national human scale, the money supply is assigned by people. If too much money is generated, inflation rises to devalue the currency, whereas people ask more money to offset increases.
Treasury bills are akin to money too with a broader set of data properties such as expiration date and interest rate. In paper money, there are fewer data elements. Many of the data elements, in physical form, are implanted into the paper (medium) to thwart counterfeiting. The various measures taken to thwart counterfeiting are exhibited below courtesy of the treasury department (Source: WOODROW: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (http://woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us):
Whether altering the design of ancient coins or making photocopies of bills with high-tech machines, counterfeiters have made illegal money throughout history. The Secret Service, an agency of the U.S. Treasury, has investigated suspected counterfeit operations since 1865. Over the past decade, the Secret Service has seized approximately 90 percent of all known counterfeit currency printed before it reached circulation.
In the printing process, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses complicated techniques to stifle counterfeiters. Beginning with the $100 bill in 1996, currency will be redesigned to include more security features. The following pictures explain how the Bureau protects your money.
Portrait: The portrait on the bill is a lifelike picture, distinctly different from the screenlike background. Each portrait is only on one denomination. For example, George Washington appears only on the $1 bill, not on the $100 bill. Portraits on counterfeit bills appear unclear or unnaturally white.
Feel of Paper: Money is printed on high-quality paper made of cotton and linen. It has a strong "feel" to it, different from regular paper.
Border: The artwork along the side of the bill has intricate, crisscrossing lines which are clear and unbroken. Lines in counterfeit bills are often smudged or broken.
<Threads: Bills have tiny red and blue fibers that are embedded inside the bill.
Ink: The special "never-dry" ink that is used can be rubbed off. However, this isn't a fool-proof test since ink on some counterfeit bills also rubs off.
<Security Thread: Beginningwith series 1990, a polyester thread, which can't be reproduced by photocopiers, is woven inside $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. USA TEN, USA TWENTY, etc. is printed on it to match the denomination.
>Microprinting: "The United States of America" is printed in miniature letters around the border of the portrait. To the naked eye the words appear as a black line, which is also how photocopiers print them.
What to do if you have counterfeit currency
Since the consequences for passing counterfeit currency include fines up to $5,000 or imprisonment up to 15 years, you need to be careful. If you have a suspicious bill:
Write your initials on the back so you can identify it later.
On a separate sheet of paper write in detail how you got it:
1.Who gave it to you.
2.Where you got it.
3.When you got it.
Handle it as little as possible to preserve any fingerprints.
Contact the nearest Secret Service office or local police.
You are not reimbursed for turning in counterfeit bills; however, you protect yourself from trouble by following proper procedures.
The only monetary information transferred to a bank account is the value of the money. In that painful transition from the physical to the electronic world, the bank implants different data elements that authenticate and confirm the value, with transaction details and security codes. Deposit records like checks and receipts are used as secondary authentication measures, in the event that the bank cannot authenticate the transaction.
If the transaction cannot be authenticated it has no owner. Relative to society, the original money exists in treasury records but has no value. Destruction must be directly confirmed or it is statistically destroyed, along with millions of other perished dollars. Consequently, a new bill is reprinted. It is like burning a one hundred-dollar bill. The relationship of national resources to units is preserved.
Legitimacy plays a crucial role in analyzing market value too, in the sense of the data's origin and the pathways for stealing that information. Pathways are essentially the method used. It could be direct access to the computer, Internet, or via Intranet. Legally, it is far more dangerous to steal from the DoD than the private sectors. Moreover, if the data comes from the DoD, then the NSA may attempt to defrost the frozen evidence. The DoD should enjoy success in defrosting data, since they not only possess superior parallel computing systems but they may be able to take advantage of hush-hush back doors or back door constructions hidden in computer software and hardware.
The final four factors play an important role in the quality of data. Security factors entail whether the infoperp was detected, being pursued, has arrest warrants and by whom. This could lead to seizure of the data, with the government having more powers than normal. Ability to secure the data, in the future, is inferred. Why buy the data if it is too hot? If it is too hot then the buyers ability to control and secure the data comes into question -higher risk, higher discount. Security factors also consist of venues. If the transaction were taking place in black market held territory or dark villages, these factors would not be significant. Dark villages would be established to make information trading more secure. The market would police the dark villages. Secure information trading is in the best interest of the black market, which profits from each transaction.
Information functions play a significant role in the valuation of data too. Transport factors consist of the size and ability to use all available mediums. Size plays a role because this limits the number of available storage mediums that could be used. Computers using DVD and 100 MB, and higher bandwidth satellite, ATM/WAN/Internet connections will make transportability of larger data sizes significantly easier. Encrypted data could be chopped up into pieces and sent through different channels electronic or physical. However, transport mechanisms could be limited if data is highly perishable. Higher risk premiums could be inferred in negotiating prices due to the higher risks of transporting data through constricted channels, acting as natural police checkpoints. Finally, there are exclusivity factors: Is the seller suspected of selling or will sell the data to any one else? Are there copies? Naturally, lower exclusivity incurs higher risk premiums.
Now we can discuss the various roles that the market can play in information trafficking. In the Fence Scenario, the fence purchases the merchandise. He knows of a buyer or is confident that he will find one. The data-fence has the burden of analyzing the data quality factors and all the things it entails, such as procuring experts. In the Auctioneer Scenario an auctioneer either buys the product or contracts to find a buyer, for a fee. The data quality factors are determined by the auctioneer.
In the Mediator Scenario, a person or agent works as an arbitrator and holds the data in escrow, for a fee or percentage of the profits. They ensure the seller's anonymity. The mediator allows the buyer to analyze the data for data quality factors. Several methods could be used to protect the seller's property. In the Peek Method, the data is cut up into pieces, randomly arranged, each piece is encrypted then numbered. The buyer could ask for a numbered piece, experts examine the unencrypted portion and could ask for more sections -with each additional payment. The mediator could also be trusted to examine the data quality factors, in the role of the trusted mediator. In this role, the trusted mediator escrows both data and money. Money is given to the seller and the buyer gets his information. In any event, the mediator immediately takes their piece of the pie. Of course, there could be many modifications to the contractual arrangement as deal risks, risk of deal falling out, are assumed by one of the parties (most likely the mediator).
Inevitably, the power of the black market, backed by organized crime, is that it could assume many modes of operation. It can be and auctioneer, mediator, and fence. With global telecommunications, global connections, local banks, a common and secure business location, and a network of proprietary experts this market could be quite efficient -buyers and sellers could be quickly matched. Black Dagger would have the expert power to quickly analyze data quality factors and become authoritative in that aspect, akin to a Lloyds of London or Jane's Defense Weekly. They could be trusted mediators to the extent that betraying that entity would be unthinkable or unadvisable.
The roles described above are more of the first and second generational phases of the black market. In the third generation, the market works somewhat differently. In time, Black Dagger has amassed enough power to demand tribute. Sellers will have to pay a black dividend: a percentage plus copies of stolen data. At this point, the market has attained terabytes of information, storing them in information warehouses. Naturally, Black Dagger would exploit the information they know. They can sell applicable target penetration information to Red Teams or thieves who break into sites. The Black Market assigns a target and gives any information needed to crack that site's defenses. Black dagger also subcontracts thefts. Alternatively, Black Dagger could have its own Red Teams, or Black teams, cutting out the middlemen. Other information specialties could evolve such as blackmail broker, specializing in blackmail operations and transactions, and green mailers, specializing in greenmail operations.
The above cases represent Black Dagger, in active-contractor mode. Black Teams could recruit insiders or steal the information they want more directly. In this scenario, Black Dagger assumes higher risks as well as enjoys higher profits. In the final stage, Black Dagger becomes a powerful information monopoly, mighty enough to expect that all information passes through its hands. Stolen information is parceled out to buyers who become contracted allies. In time, governments may not be able to maintain an adequate action-reaction tempo with Black Dagger. Governments would be impeded by corruption, democratic processes, lower funding, lower risk taking, restrictive bureaucracies, and jurisdictional debates.
In general, the black market will begin to transform itself from minor information procurement and peddling to full fledge information trafficking. This reflects a transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Because of faster, broader, and more expansive communications, the black market will quickly become a global security threat. In the beginning phases, it will experiment with information warfare then procure the organizational tools it needs. In the second phase of its evolution, it will formalize many information warfare aspects, data procurement methods, data analysis and valuation techniques as well as organizational organs. In transactions, it will assume several roles such as expert, fence, auctioneer, or mediator. It will create dark villages, retain experts and analysts. By using telepresence technology, Black Dagger, can bring them to even the most remote villages. Anyone can call them and sell them what they know about their workplace. In the final phase, Black Dagger will be strong enough to demand tribute plus copies of stolen data for each transaction. Governments may not be able to compete with the resource rich Black Dagger. Big Brother may have two faces the business face and the face of Black Dagger. Why is all this possible? The hellbound knows this secret in their heart of hearts. Because of fast changing technology and criminal ingenuity, the literal word of the law can never carry the spiritual burdens of lawlessness.
Comment: Footnotes relating to other documents and comments were not transcribed to this web page format. Please see the doc file for additional material.
Brealy, Richard & Meyers, Stewart. Principals of Corporate Finance, McGraw Hill Book Company, NY 1984
Dunlap, Charles J. Jr., Colonel USAF. SOMETIMES THE DRAGON WINS: A Perspective on Information-Age Warfare
REPORT OF THE DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD TASK FORCE ON INFORMATION WARFARE – DEFENSE (IW-D). OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR ACQUISITION & TECHNOLOGY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301-3140 November 1996
Fogleman, Ronald R., General USAF, Chief of Staff & Widnall, Sheila E., Secretary of the Air Force. CORNERSTONES OF INFORMATION WARFARE, @1996
Knecht, Ronald & Gove, Ronald A. Ph.D. The Information Warfare Challenges of a National Information Infrastructure
SAIC, White Paper 1996
Schwartau, Winn. Ethical Conundra of Information Warfare
Steele-Vivas, Robert David. CREATING A SMART NATION: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, & Information, OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS, Inc.
Stein, George J. INFORMATION WAR - CYBERWAR - NETWAR
Wilson, Michael. "Hardwar, Softwar, Wetwar: Operational Objectives of Information Warfare", The Nemesis Group. ã 1995
Winkler, Ira S. Assignment: Espionage, National Computer Security Association @1997
To WWW.INFOWAR.COM especially Winn Schwartau and Betty O'Hearn
Again to the great Esther Jimenez, for all sorts of guidance, patience, and understanding.
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