Cybersecurity

Targeting U.S. Technologies – The Risks of Foreign Collection Efforts

The Defense Security Service (DSS) has released its annual unclassified report titled Targeting U.S. Technologies, A Trend Analysis of Reporting from Defense Industry, for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11).Β  The 75-page document is an analysis of foreign collection efforts and espionage that targets U.S. technology, intellectual property, trade secrets and proprietary information.Β  It is an important report that should be reviewed by all members of industry to understand the importance of counter-espionage in your security efforts and for reporting suspicious contact efforts to appropriate agencies.

Read more about the report here.

 

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    In the state of Maryland, all residents are required to report and pay “use tax” on internet purchases http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Individual_Taxes/Individual_Tax_Types/Sales_and_Use_Tax/). The state does not collect this tax on residents’ yearly income tax returns — instead, incredibly, all residents who make online purchases are required to file a special use tax return *four times per year*.

    Even the Maryland state comptroller has stated that the current setup is ridiculous and that he has no intent to enforce this law. https://patch.com/maryland/havredegrace/cyber-monday-costs-maryland-200-million Nearly 100% of Marylanders ignore this tax (including, I would guess, most of the DISCO folks who adjudicate our clearances.)

    Nevertheless, the law is the law. As cleared personnel, would you start paying this tax to ensure a clean background down the road?

  2. Avatar

    Other’s may have a different opinion, but I guess if I knew I hadn’t been paying it I would disclose it and give the investigator the same explanation you just gave. First I would assume that most cleared folks in MD probably have no idea that this tax exists. Second, if the comptroller admits it’s an absurd tax I don’t really see it being an issue. The state clearly doesn’t expect folks to actually pay the tax. That’s just my take. But then, I’m a lowly investigator, not an adjudicator.

  3. Avatar

    I’ve been a Contract Background Investigator, and Federal Case Reviewer. I’m looking to make a move, but don’t know where to turn to with my experience. I know becoming an Adjudicator is a possible next step, but I don’t know where to look for those jobs. Can anyone send me some websites as well as suggestions of other career paths based on my experience? Thanks.

    I don’t think this tax matters. I live in MD and have never dealt with it.

  4. Avatar

    Joe,

    Dept of Labor Investigator.
    Consumer Protection Agency Investigator
    USDA Investigator/inspector
    USCIS–Fraud Detection
    Most large banks/insurance firms SIU
    TSA Behavior Detection

    just a few…..

  5. Avatar

    Thanks. Do you have anymore or does anyone else have any to add?

  6. Avatar

    Joe,

    Just go to Ft Meade to the adjudications center and start asking.

  7. Avatar

    Don’t forget,

    Secretary
    Delivery Driver
    Customer Service Representative
    Pastor
    Life Coach
    Executive Assistant
    Box checker off-er
    Form filler out-er
    Spell checker
    Google missing information finder

    :p

  8. Avatar

    Fed,

    Now that was a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Avatar

    Not sure where to go with this question but figured this place would be a good start. I was recently on a project where I was required to fill out an SF-86 in order to obtain a CAC. The contract ended a week before the clearance was adjudicated, however I recently learned that I was determined eligible for both a clearance and public trust (using the FSO’s wording). Since I’m no longer affiliated with the agency that sponsored my clearance, what can I do with it? Does having both put me in a special category in relation to job searches? Can I put down that I have x clearance and a public trust on my resume?

    Thanks

  10. Avatar

    Elementary school teacher (“okay, children, you have to read the question that is being asked”)
    Technical writer (how else can you take a self explanatory document and break it down into even more basic form)
    Printer technician (I’ve become very adept)
    Appointment scheduler

  11. Avatar

    Well USIS has lost another investigations contract. No more Sherlock or what ever they are calling it now. That is two with in the last year to 18 months.

  12. Avatar

    Investigator,

    Which contract was that? And whatever became of their protest to their loss of the OS contract?

  13. Avatar

    T.W.
    The OS contract is what we lost. We lost it last summer but then whined about it so the client said we could have it back and they would re-evaluated it. They re-evaluated it and still were not happy with us. Effective 05/01/13 we will no longer have the OS contract. So we have lost the ICE and OS contracts with in the last year or so.

  14. Avatar

    I think the OS contract is going to Omni…

  15. Avatar

    I’m going out on a limb here. I’m betting this administration allows OPM a power grab to federalize all OPM work in the next year. I do not have any inside, I’m merely guessing.

    What do you folks think?

  16. Avatar

    I don’t think this administration even knows what OPM stands for (or anyone else for that matter). There are a lot of Sr Investigators that are gonna need to dust off their OPM handbooks now…..Confused- was it a public trust position or a national security position? You would fill out a SF-85 for a public trust. An 86 for national security clearance. Not both. What was the position you were investigated for? If you were adjudicated for a clearance you can put that in the dropdown box corresponding to the clearance you were granted from the investigation. It will tell your potential employer they don’t need to sink money into you. Keep in mind if you indicate that you have a clearance or favorable adjudication on a pre-employment screening you need to put in the date of your investigation.

    And Herbalife success partner

  17. Avatar

    So who’s got the ICE contract since USIS lost it?

    Also, is it worth trying to get on with Omni or whoever has OS? I assume they’ll need to hire at least some folks who don’t already have OS credentials.

  18. Avatar

    I think CSC got ICE. Not sure about OS but I know back in Aug Omni was trying to recruit me for OS.

  19. Avatar

    OS is Omni and I believe CBP/ICE split between companies.

  20. Avatar

    I think CSC got the ENTIRE ICE contract. Underbid all the other contractors.

  21. Avatar

    BW, what makes you think that? I haven’t heard any rumors to that end.

  22. Avatar

    Fed,

    Not one thing, but seems as if the contract companies may have some struggling issues. With this admin in office, now would be their chance to grab control in-full. I think the thought process in the beltway these days is to take all “Inherently” gov jobs back.

    Again, my disclaimer stands, but I still think it may happen.

  23. Avatar

    Does that mean we’re all gonna be feds? I mean, it would make sense to hire current investigators (especially with a pending case load) right?

  24. Avatar

    I dont see OPM could handle all the work. Ive been on overtime since September and TDY out of state the last two weeks.

    The Fed side can barelyy keep up and hiring is almost non-existant due to Congress.

  25. Avatar

    I could never get hired as a fed- no prior federal service and not a veteran. It does seem like all the contracting companies are struggling. My theory is that it may have something to do with OPM continually changing the metrics (HOW many sources do we need when an office move occurs?). Since OPM pays the contracting companies by case, not item completed, these companies are losing a lot of money.

    On a side note, I got my 1099 the other day and am shocked. I’m making almost half what I used to…

  26. Avatar

    This system is easy to fix. Quit wasting time interviewing people at work and close friends. Both a huge waste of time, especially in the military. They have their own way of weeding folks out if they are not worthy.

  27. Avatar

    BW,

    While many of us private contractors are better than any Fed could be (and I used to be in the Fed Govt) the process of having private, profit-driven companies handle background investigations for the federal government is fundamentally a bad idea as it is set up now (i.e., higher production = higher profits). We are talking about national security. I think if Congress had a look at how security clearance investigations are done, how the sausage is made, …would hit the fan. It would be as palatable as hospitals and healthcare allotting x amount of days for each patient and prescribing set criterion for each case, shortening the days each patient is allowed care, and giving higher profits to those hospitals moving through as many patients as quickly as possible. I believe there is a role for private contractors but the way it is set up is fundamentally flawed.

    I agree with you. What is the point of interviewing friends, co-workers, schoolmates? Or for that matter, what’s the point of interviewing anyone after the Privacy Act and telling them what they say can be seen by the Subj? OPM needs to contract with Google to design a more effective and efficient BI process for this day and age.

  28. Avatar

    Damn you BW, are you trying to put us all out of jobs?

    :p

  29. Avatar

    Fed–yes πŸ™‚

    Gerard–I agree. Anything production driven, will in time become flawed. OPM does not set production metrics as everyone might think–it’s the for profit companies. Better to burn-out employees and simply replace with a fresh batch on a continuous basis. I’m not sure I’d get into bed with Google or any other companies who have so much snooping abilities. I think cyber vetting would be a very bad idea and, I for one will draw the line at giving-up my privacy anymore than I have the past 29 years.

    Also, let’s quit doing MBI’s and other cases the same as we do national security. I’m tiring of all of the nonsensical typing. I just did a slew of MBI’s and each one took me 60 or more minutes to type–use to be a 10 minute process. SPINS need to return to the issue only or just do a SSBI or PR on the subject.

  30. Avatar

    Gerard,

    Just to add–Congress couldn’t find their asses with both hands πŸ™‚

  31. Avatar

    BW,

    I’m not suggesting strictly cyber vetting, just have companies like Google or another cutting edge, innovative company come up with a much more updated, realistic, and workable BI process. Streamline the process, make it electronic, and make the necessity of report writing largely about real issues and facts of the issues (rather than what is not the case, i.e., disclaimers). We all know what is a real issue is that needs to be discussed. E.g., omitting a previous investigation from 1982 for a DOD Secret is not an issue. Omitting a DUI in 1982 or an arrest for drugs in 1982 or even a dismissed misdemeanor A&B in 1982 is an issue. There is no point in asking some middle-aged senior executive at Lockheed if the $18 Verizon bill that was in collection and was paid is in anyway related to substance abuse or if he’s had credit counseling as a result. Financial issue resolution should be presenting to the Subj a condensed credit report on one sheet and then simply asking one question such as, “Why the debt?” Anyway, I could go on and on but what good will it do. I need to go out and interview references this morning who will tell me what a wonderful person the Subj is and I will follow that up with questions asking if the Subj does drugs, has been involved in criminal activity, and has tried to overthrow the U.S. Govt by force. But alas, it’s all about numbers.

  32. Avatar

    Hey Gerard, glad you think so highly of the contractors.

    I didn’t realize us Feds were such poor performers.

    I hope your investigations don’t paint with such a broad brush.

  33. Avatar

    Fed Inv.,

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to disparage any Fed but after re-reading what I wrote I see that I misspoke. I meant to point out that many of the private contractor ranks are excellent and as good as the best fed. And many doesn’t mean most. Having met both Fed and private contract inv. it is no question the Fed inv. are higher caliber for sure. But one who expect that to be the case.

  34. Avatar

    Gerrard, thanks. I believe there are excellent people and poor performers at the Fed and with the Contractors. Most of my favorite Agents and friends I work with came from the contract side and they are awesome performers.

  35. Avatar

    I don’t know, I thought you were sub-consciously telling your true thought.
    .

    You can’t insult both sides and then apologize πŸ™‚

    Let me help Gerrard, all investigators, both sides, are dirt-bags πŸ™‚

  36. Avatar

    Fed,

    The Fed side definitely has a better work environment if you can develop friendships with fellow agents. Too bad we on the contractor side don’t really have colleagues. I have contact on average with co-workers (reviewers and managers) once per my month by phone and contact with fellow investigators on average once per month by telephone (asking for leads, clarification). While it is nice to have the freedom and efficiency of working alone it would also be nice to have comradery.

  37. Avatar

    Bad BW, no donut.

  38. Avatar

    Fed–no donut, then I’m not dropping anymore knowledge in this place πŸ™

  39. Avatar

    Gerard,

    My use of friend might have been too liberal. We’re in the same boat as far as contact. I see my coworkers about five times in the last two years I’ve been in my current position. The ones I like the best at the meetings are former contractors. We definietely don’t get any hang out time. Of course, I don’t mind that, I came from a previous life where I was in an office all day and couldn’t stand most of my coworkers.

  40. Avatar

    I only really keep in semi-regular touch with two other contractors. I had my PR a few years ago (poor fed who got my case). Tough giving leads for contracts when you’ve never actually met any of the people you have been working with for the past four years… On the flip side, I really dislike getting investigator cases- they can be challenging.

  41. Avatar

    Fine BW, you can have a dozen donuts, with sprinkles.

  42. Avatar

    Fed, How’d you know? My disguise didn’t seem to work!!!!

  43. Avatar

    BW, I’m an Investigator, of course!

    As a side note, had a funny case today. My subject shows up to his ESI with his supervisor and the supervisor wants to know what’s going on.

    I explain the background process, blah, blah, blah. The supervisor goes, my company doesn’t even contract with government, why does he need a background?

    I look at subject and ask him what he knows. He applied for a position with DHS like six months ago. He told them three months he was no longer interested in the job as he is currently employed (where I was meeting him at).

    Made me laugh that it never trickled down to us but I had to apologize to the supervisor and I looked like a total moron.

    I love this job.

  44. Avatar

    Fed,

    The subject probably never told DHS he was no longer interested in the job, he just didn’t want to get in trouble with his current employer. Wouldn’t surprise me if you hear from him again to reschedule. Or maybe he actually WAS telling you the truth…

    I love it when you call to set up an interview with a subject (normally for an MBI or SPIN) and they start arguing with you, saying they don’t know who you are or why you’re calling or that they tell you that there clearance had already gone through so they shouldn’t have to meet with you…

  45. Avatar

    I was sitting down to start an ESI recently when the subject mentioned off hand that it was a good thing we scheduled the interview for today because it was his last day. I said isn’t your clearance for this job? Yes. So you don’t actually need this investigation anymore? No.

    I just told him I needed to double check and see if we still needed the interview, called the powers that be, and sure enough the case was discontinued. Good thing too, because it was going to be a LOOONG ESI.