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OSI Briefings: Insider threat awareness and precautions

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Air Force Office of Special Investigations will conduct an unclassified briefing on Insider Threat Awareness at the Peterson Base Auditorium, Bldg. 1440, March 10 at 7:30 a.m., March 15 at 11:00 a.m., March 24 at 9:30 a.m., and March 30 at 1:30 p.m. The briefings are open to everyone.

Briefing content was a joint effort between Schriever and Peterson AFB and will cover the definition and spectrum of an insider threat; 10 life stages of the insider spy; insider threat characteristics; countermeasures; indicators; social boundaries; and the role others play in counterintelligence.

The briefings came about as a follow up to the ISIL briefings, but from a law enforcement aspect, said Special Agent Keith Darlington, Air Force Office of Special Investigations 8th Field Investigations Squadron.

"An insider threat is someone with legitimate access and uses it later," said Darlington. This could include giving away access to others.

"The briefings should be a conversation and generate discussion," he said. "We want to make sure our customers and partners are on the same page."

Some have an idea of what constitutes an insider threat, but the intent behind the briefings is to describe who possibly fits the description, the intent behind their actions, and what people can do to mitigate a potential threat.

Currently, the most common threats are financial, rival company seeking an insider, and China, he said. Also, it's important to consider easily exploitable accounts, such as Facebook and Gmail, can be hacked and too often people use a similar variation of these passwords at work.

In addition, Darlington said the briefings cover workplace violence.

There are similar indicators between someone who may commit workplace violence and someone who becomes an inside threat, said Darlington.

Darlington talked about several incidents of insider threat, with the most recent example being Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan, former U.S. Army Major, killed 13 and injured 32 on Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas.

There are indicators and it is important to pay close attention and act on those indicators.

Darlington said he wants people to walk away knowing to engage the person early on, to be aware of surroundings, if you're a supervisor - engage with your people regularly, and don't be afraid to report [someone].

"We want people to know reporting someone doesn't make them guilty," he said. "Let the investigations team do their job. You reporting someone can help the process."
It is imperative to remember if the person you engage fights back, report them. "We have to overcome our fears and report the information," said Darlington.

Report suspicious activity through AFOSI 8FIS at 719-554-2822 or through the Eagle Eyes program at 719-556-4000.

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