Security

11) Muslim Convert Reportedly Sues Tulsa Church

muslim syriaThe story was reported by KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City. It sounds legitimate enough. See the whole story at…

http://www.okcfox.com/story/25771509/muslim-convert-sues-tulsa-church-after-being-tortured-for-beliefs#.U5uU2vKYSeY.twitter

I suppose this should give pause to anyone become lax about security and sensitivity to the Muslim world. Gulp. (Thanks for putting us in touch with the sobering story, Caleb. Travel safely.)

1) Critical Information for Travelers

morton secureThere is now a free app called Travel Secure by Morton Security Solutions, that gives travelers up to date information on areas of travel, travel alerts and security resources that can be very helpful in avoiding and responding to all types of crises while trekking and working around the world. The app is available on Google Play for Android users and will be available on the Apple Store for iPhones, within the next few weeks. The app pulls feeds from local and global news, government travel alerts and intelligence collected by Morton Security Solutions, providing you with multiple sources of information, critical to operating effectively in a foreign country. Download it here

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appmachine.p5421JJ

It’s Free!!

5) Travel Secure App by Morton

morton secure8Now you can download a travel secure app by Morton Security Solutions. Use this app to receive security alerts, research an area and reach out for help from a security professional at MSS. Morton Security Solutions provides crisis management program development, secure travel services, international communications capabilities and training programs. Their services are tailored to your specific organization or church, as well as your strategic goals. They want to enable you to continue to be effective and safe, regardless of where you operate. Find it in the Google Store at…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appmachine.p5421JJ

And look for it on iPhones by searching for “Travel Secure” and the Morton logo.

6) What Are You Really Made Of? (Security Training) —

securityWe all know that there are dangers associated with Missions, one of the greatest being the inability to make the right decisions under extreme pressure. Morton Security Solutions is offering Field Training for Faith Based Organizations through their Leadership Development Course in Tucson, AZ, on June 27th and 28th. This is a two-day training consisting of classroom instruction, tabletop exercises and hands on scenario based training. All of the scenarios are relevant and aimed at making prepared leaders and good stewards. All of their instructors are prior or current Special Forces Operators, Military Intelligence Officers, Customs and Border Agents and other Federal Law Enforcement Officers. They are all very professional, well-educated and dedicated to His word. They are taking 25 students for the June course. Sign up before June 1, 2014,

http://www.mortonsecure.com/#!field-training/cbwp

11) How to Protect your SmartPhone from Prying Eyes —

pryingeyesSo you work in a sensitive land and you’ve secured your laptop with encryption, a VPN, and secure email. But what about your phone? Because now you’ve got apps, pictures, and lots of SMS messages. Well here’s an option:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nq-vault-hide-private-pictures/id513852898?mt=8

NQ Vault comes highly recommended by the folks at MobileAdvance.org (part of the Christian computing group that assists cross-cultural workers). Using this app, you should be able to keep most anything from prying eyes. Give us your feedback here after installing please. Android users can try the same app at…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netqin.ps&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5uZXRxaW4ucHMiXQ..

(Thanks for pointing me to the mobileadvance.org resources, Greg!)

4) Track and Communicate with Your Staff in Sensitive Fields

Morton SecurityIf you’re looking for secure, affordable emergency communications devices/applications, some have found them at Morton Security Solutions. MSS offers a multilayer redundant approach to emergency communications and people tracking, using satellite and cellular networks. MSS has two apps that you can download on your iPhone, Blackberry or Android, consisting of an SOS app and a Check In app that allows MSS to securely track its customers. Both apps are highly encrypted and MSS does not broadcast any personal information, using ID numbers instead. They also offer Satellite GPS rentals of SPOT and Delorme as well as Iridium Extreme Sat phones. Go to

http://www.mortonsecure.com

to find out more or call them at 1-855-572-3156. Their site looks like it’s geared for commercial organizations, but there is a reason for that and we all know what it is. According to its founders, this organization is dedicated to serving you.

10) Cool Tools: Secure Your Email —

If you’re using Gmail or the equivalent (seems like almost everyone has switched), you’re probably good to go. Many vendors (like Gmail) are fairly secure now, if you’re logging on to their server (and you trust their staff). Look for the “padlock” or “https” address in your browser’s URL web address box. We previously recommended Hushmail — and while it’s still a great option, in spite of a few recent interface polishes, Hushmail is looking a bit old-fashioned compared to Gmail. And Gmail seems always to stay ahead on the secure online storage offered for free — remind me again why we’re paying for Hushmail? :-)

For my own purposes, I refuse to switch to a web-based email solution like Gmail as my primary email client because I want to be able to even when I can’t find a source for Internet. I realize I’m probably in the minority these days, but for my life, it still makes sense. If yours is similar, make sure you’re logging on to a secure email server. Check yours and take the necessary action. Or surround your entire computer with a secure “wall” by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). StrongVPN

http://www.strongvpn.com

and

https://www.witopia.net/

are both great solutions. StrongVPN seems to have better customer service. Not only will a VPN keep prying eyes from seeing your internet (as it leaves your computer all the way to your VPN-provider’s server), but it will also likewise secure your web-browsing as well. Find out where your VPN is based (for example, Sweden or Vancouver). If a secure route out of your sensitive field is all you need to “get into the clear,” then you’re golden. If you need end-to-end encryption with your home or office, look for a tech that can hook you up with a home-brewed VPN. Be prepared to manage the extra technical needs. As with everything else, sort all this out before you board the plane.

11) Cool Tools: SatPhones – Love ’em or Leave ’em?

If you’re working in a sensitive location and/or you’re unsure about relying on cell coverage for any reason, talk to vendors like…

http://www.telestial.com

http://www.outfittersatellite.com

http://www.satellitephonestore.com

The cost will likely be prohibitive for many of us… unless you’re about to be kidnapped and you need to get a call out. Then the cost will be minimal. :-)
Why? With a satphone, you have the ultimate “high ground.” If the bottom drops out of the government and cellphones become useless, satphones still deliver.

Why might you not want to rent a satphone?
*** Some have ventured a guess that it raises one’s profile with immigration and customs officials (to my knowledge, this is totally undocumented, by the way). They might think of you as “C.I.A.” or, just as bad, a drug runner.
*** Satphones are expensive. Phone rental might be $8-15/day. Airtime will likely run another $1/minute, even with the newest plans (such as those from “Spot”). Incoming calls are free, along with text messages. But it’s usually the outgoing text or call that means the most (e.g., “We landed and we’re fine.”) (Note: there are now other, less expensive solutions for this purpose. See SpotMessenger, for example.)
*** Satphones have to “see sky” to function well. This can be unhandy in winter climates or in sensitive situations.

Remember, “Half a sky” won’t do. (You can’t call from indoors or in a car unless you install an external antenna.) Costs will run somewhere in the $6-12/day, depending on the unit you choose… and throughput charges are extra. Plan on $6/megbyte. For perspective, your 10 mega-pixel camera probably captures a 5-megabyte image. Ouch. Expensive. Use a SpotMessenger-type beacon if it will get you by.

9) How to End Terrorism

I’m so tired of terrorism. I remember early on, hearing George Bush say, “We won’t quit until we defeat terrorism.” I would hear him say that and I wanted to believe him, but I remember thinking, “How does that work? Because — these guys are basically stateless. If you destroy one cell, won’t there just be 5 more rise up to take its place?” Here we are, more than 10 years later, asking the same questions. Does anyone out there know how we can truly stop terrorism? I mean end it for all time?

11) Calling All Security Advisors: Where Do You Get Your Updates?

Suppose you advise your church or agency on global terrorism, security, emergency response procedures and more. What websites do you frequent? Where do you get the lowdown on events like… demonstrations in Bulgaria, or the impact in France on French intervention in Mali? We’re not looking for the ones that are so secret that, if you told us, you’d have to kill us. :-) We’re just hoping you’ll share the ones that are already public on the web anyway. :-) Please make a comment on the web version of this post, using the link below.

14) TheBackPage: Assessing Your Threat Level Awareness Color

Last week, I traveled through Haiti with a new friend who happens to be a law enforcement officer. It had been a while since I traveled with anyone quite so aware and in touch. When I commented to him about it, he explained a “threat level awareness color” system that they had taught him at his police academy. You can see a very similar presentation at…

http://www.seawired.com/Docts/SitAware.htm

As you can see, the principle behind the color metaphor is that we don’t want to walk around at condition “black” unnecessarily. We’d eventually burn out. But the implication is that we probably SHOULD consider perking up to condition “yellow” a lot more often than we do.

As I watched my friend at work, I realized that I had probably been very lucky in my life (maybe guarded by angels? … and, certainly, the recipient of a lot of prayer). I determined to learn from his example and open my eyes and scan my horizon a lot more often than I ever had before.

As you’ve traveled cross-culturally, have you experienced “condition orange” circumstances? If so, without revealing any sensitive information (feel free to speak anonymously), can you tell us how you reacted, what came down, and what you learned? Just use the comment box following the web version of this item at Brigada.org. Thanks for sharing

Doug

7) Four Common Attack Vectors For Stealing Email Accounts

Greg, our I.T. guy, shared these with me yesterday, after two more of our staff people were each hacked in their email accounts. I was trying to imagine — how do people most easily make off the keys to someone’s email accounts? Greg filled me on the most common 4 Attack Vectors:

1.  Weak password storage on the server that got hacked.

2.  Re-usage of the same username/password across accounts, typically linked grabbed from one of those servers that got hacked.

3.  Spyware/viruses stealing info

4.  Weak implementation of the “Security Question” model.

I thought each of these represented a different, yet related sphere.

3) Survive Active Shooter Incidences —

The City of Houston, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, has developed a short training video regarding “active shooter” events. Although this video was designed for domestic audiences, the principles apply anywhere, and even more so in countries and settings where law enforcement help may not be available.
See the video at…

5) Six-Session DVD Series to Prep for Int’l Travel Security —

Are you traveling to a dangerous location? Or … maybe you’re just traveling to a location that can BECOME dangerous by a person that is emotionally haywire. Here’s a group that offers a six-session DVD course featuring David Dose, a well-known trainer on questions of security and travel risk. Check out mini-video-introductions the 6 sessions at the bottom of the home page.

 

http://safetravelsolutions.org/home/

6) Department of State Updates Worldwide Caution

The Department of State recently updated its warning against the continued terrorist threat against USA citizens and others. They reminded travelers and citizens to be vigilant throughout the world. They highlighted al-Qaida and its affiliates. They mentioned suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings. Although the warning is somewhat generic, it’s a chilling reminder that bad guys can use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. It appears that practically no environment is exempt. The warning asks us to be very aware at “high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays.” The translation is — just about everywhere, at any time, you could become a target. Yikes.  There were regional warnings too. See the entire warning at…

 

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html

 

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