Michael Glynn has written an interesting, long, article “Information Management In Next Generation Anti-Submarine Warfare” for Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC). Here I focus on a fragment below:
If I put my (ficticious) Chinese or Russian cyber-intelligence hat on I see rich pickings by tieing in my advanced software and big budget to fully exploit possibilities that Twitter, Google and Facebook use offers.
For both China and Russia the ability to use much locally developed internet software/hardware and adapt "Silicon Valley" commercial software can increase the chances of exploitation. Cyber defenders may be a little nervous to what extent the basically Moscow headquartered Kaspersky Lab anti-virus multinational safeguards Western secrets against Russian intelligence exploitation. If I were in Russia's NSA equivalent I wouldn't hesitate to lean on Russia companies with access.
- in another direction the federal Australian and US Governments are hyper-sensitive about the perceived security risks of integrating software and hardware of China's massive Huawei computer-telecommunications equipement provider.
- Chinese or Russian cyber-intelligence may utilise algorithms and databases alert them when known daughters or girlfriends of known US, UK, German or Australian submariners Tweet or update their Facebook account that "Dad or Fred is away at sea again".
- Young submariners who already have an internationally identified Twitter or (especially) Facebook social media profile may reveal that they have a compromising lifestyle (cheating on a spouse?) that could be exploited by the "right" approach of Chinese or Russian intelligence agencies one day, even if years later.
- current of former submariners (who might also be Chinese linguists) may need to steer clear of Confucius Institutes (fronts?)
- A more traditional signals intelligence approach to track SMS, mobile voice and landline voice would be to establish connections directly or indirectly through a phone company employee with the telephone exchange that it closest to a submarine base. Suitable targets may be an exchange closest to:
- Kings Bay Georgia, US, SSBN Base, (see photo and map above) or
- if a Russian, gain access to the exchange closest to Germany's major Eckernförde Naval Base where Germany's Type 212A 1st Submarine Squadron is based. Gaining a traffic analysis connection (no need to decrypt) to DHO38 might attract the odd Russian.
- in Australia the naval facilities at the Port of Darwin may be vulnerable because a Chinese company now owns the port (for 99 years).
Good Western human and technical security to guard against rapidly developing social media and exchange vulnerabilities is an increasing need.