Encrypted Messaging - A Curse or Blessing?

The first thing we need to recognise is that over the last two decades our means and ability to communicate has drastically changed. Where once, to have a confidential conversation meant we used to have to physically meet with the person. Nowadays, we can simply pick-up our phone and tap out a quick message. Apps that advertise this level of security, like WhatsApp, Telegram, KiK, Signal, Facebook Messenger or even Snapchat, have been so well designed and created to be user friendly, that we are also more likely to revert to them than perhaps our standard (native) SMS.  How many of you actually use these as your default means of quick messaging for business, with friends and even your families? I’d guess probably quite a few of you.

But as our means of communication has evolved, so has our consciousness to the cyber risks that also increasingly prevail. Hardly a day goes by without receiving some spurious phishing email or even hearing of some poor soul having their bank account emptied or identity cloned. Everyone’s becoming far more savvy to the risks online which is why we simply must ensure that we password protect and encrypt all of our messages as a standard and, as I would always strongly recommend, install 2 factor authentication on every email and social media account we own.

Encryption is a good thing - it’s there to fundamentally protect us. Naturally, there are always going to be those who will seek to exploit it to conceal their criminal or even terrorist intentions. 

However, let’s address Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary’s, comments today. She wants the Security Services to be able to access and decrypt these secure communications. On the face of it, we might think this is a good idea. Who really wants an individual with terrorist intentions to be able to plot, plan and coordinate an attack through the benefits of a secure messaging environment that, if the Security Services were able to access and monitor, could be foiled and potentially stopped. Great in theory but actually more complicated in reality as to afford access or even create a ‘back-door’ to these encrypted apps, may not only benefit the Intelligence Agencies but also potentially others who may have more insidious intent. 

I’ve heard people today making comparisons to the San Benardino terrorist incident where the FBI requested Apple to provide a means to access the terrorist’s iPhones. Apple point-blankly refused. Not to be difficult, but because they knew if they did (or could, which I’ll come to in a bit), this would then create a ‘back-door’ that cyber criminals and other threats might also discover. On a very basic level, perhaps think about it like a secret door to a house and a huge volume of burglars looking for a way in. If there’s a door, albeit well-hidden, this can and likely will be discovered by one them. They then might (read as probably will) sell the knowledge of this door to other burglars. That house will then be robbed again and again until the owners brick it up. The more technical explanation would be to compare any unpublicised ‘decryption’ as a ‘Zero Day exploit’. A Zero Day is a hole in a well-designed and large scale software, unknown to the developers, that has been discovered by professional hackers which can then be used, traded and sold to other criminals, hackers, oppressive regimes to name a few, until it can be ‘patched’ (fixed/repaired) by the software owners.

There is also the question of whether the Secure App or Software can actually be ‘decrypted’ by the App owners. Many of these apps have been designed in such a way that even their owners can’t decrypt message conversations. FireChat being one such app, a secure messaging system often used by demonstrators and protestors in countries where oppressive regimes reside and state level intrusion is prolific.

Put simply, most Secure Messaging requires two secure encryption keys; one by the sender and one of the receiver. When the sender transmits their message, their key ‘handshakes’ with the receiver so ensuring that only they can read each other’s messages. The platform or app, by which they’re sending their message through, can’t even see content of the message. It simply provides a ‘platform’ through which it travels. So enabling a ‘back-door’ isn’t simply opening a hole for the Security Services to access, albeit with all the right permissions, etc. but would need to be built in to the app itself to allow the App Platform to access/intercept it.  Once built, that hole is then open for potentially anyone else to discover.

In summary, Amber Rudd’s intentions may be great in theory but is actually massively flawed and problematic in practice. It does baffle me that the government supposedly has Cyber Crime as a key initiative and they have the best advisors at hand, yet no one talked her through what I've mentioned above before she made that statement.

So maybe rather than place the majority of us at greater risk to the ever-increasing cyber risks out there by creating weakness in a means that keeps us protected, perhaps these hard efforts might be better first placed and channeled towards lobbying the Search Engines and Social Media platforms to remove and intercept the material that radicalises the minority who mean us harm in the first place?

 

To Sext or not Sext?

Why is there such an increase in young people sending naked pictures of themselves to each other? Are they really so naïve as to imagine they won’t be potentially shared, shown to others, posted online by a bitter ex or used for blackmail? If they believe they can trust the discretion of the recipient, they are, all too often, proved very wrong.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) this week launched a campaign (http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/kidnap-and-extortion/sextortion) to warn of the dangers of sending sexual pictures through messaging apps, social media and chatrooms. The warning came after four men were reported to have killed themselves, after being targeted in a fast-growing blackmail scam being called “sextortion”.

Current statistics indicate that 1 in 7 young people have sent a nude or semi-nude picture to someone else, with older teens, especially girls, more likely to send a sext. The NCA said sextortion victim figures have more than doubled in the past year. My personal estimate is that the problem is likely to be far worse than this as so many cases are likely being unreported.

I was recently called late one weekend night by a well-known female celebrity. She was in a wild panic that her email had been hacked – along with several sext messages and ‘cheeky’ pictures she’d sent her boyfriend who was away overseas on business. When she described the contents to me, it was clear there were some very compromising images. Had these been distributed, her successful career might have crashed in flames. Fortunately, my team managed to recover them and save her from that public shame. Sitting down with her afterwards and seeing her relief, I said, ‘Well, you won’t be doing that again, then?” I was stunned when she replied, ‘No, not at all. I like sending them. I’ll just be more careful next time’. I believe I did what is commonly termed a ‘face-palm’ on hearing this. 

Another case involved a different famous female celebrity who acrimoniously broke off her relationship to some pretty dodgy fella (Why do these beautiful successful women tend to pick the strangest men to partner with?). He gallantly offered to share their “intimate” pictures with the cyber-world, if she didn’t pay him £50,000. A plain and straightforward blackmail. We gently pointed out to him that he was committing a criminal act (added to which there was a copyright infringement issue too - she’d take the pictures not him). He sheepishly handed back the phone and crawled back under the stone he evidently had come from. Far from this being a cautionary experience for her, she too didn’t seem that dissuaded from potentially doing it again in the future. 

The latest sexploitation reports are showing an escalation of this. Young people, often men, are being coerced by “hot” young ladies to undress or perform sexual acts on social media chatroom sites. To their cost, they are then discovering that 'FoxyRoxy' is actually a group of organised criminals who threaten to spread the videos around the victim’s Facebook and social media unless he pays them money.

One case I dealt with involved a boy’s mother who called me. Her son had become increasingly withdrawn and depressed and he eventually confessed the situation he’d got himself into. He’d paid the money but the demands kept coming.

In my experience, the threats don’t disappear when the money is paid, Blackmailers get greedy and want more and they know they have their claws into the victim. As tough as it might sound, the general rule is simply not to comply with the demands. Call their bluff. I have had many cases (like the boy I mentioned) where they simply go on to the the next target and don’t follow through with the threat. Yes, it’s a gamble, but what’s the alternative? Keep paying them until you have no money left?

One thing to always remember is: ‘Take the Risks - Accept the consequences’. My advice would always be, if you don’t send anything compromising, you won’t get caught out. Listening to respected Talk Radio Breakfast host, Paul Ross, yesterday morning he gave pretty good advice by saying ‘Unless you’d be comfortable to shout it in the street, don’t put it online’. The same could also be said to holding up a picture. Would you stand in the middle of a busy street and hold up a picture of yourself naked? The risks of sending something like this electronically are akin to this. In fact, there is more risk because when something is online, it will always be there. Imagine your future bosses finding those images.

However, I’m old school (I remember polaroids!) and I recognise that many young people are prepared to take the risks and send the pictures regardless. So what is the best advice I can give those who are still so determined to send sexy pictures or video chats to their loved ones?

Hide your face:

If you really want to send your ‘lover’ a cheeky picture- I could take a wild guess it’s not your beautiful/handsome smile they’ll be focusing on.

Angle the camera below your neck:

Hair colour, length, neck identifiers (adam’s apple, beard, jawlines, etc.), regularly worn jewellery (earrings, necklaces, etc.), piercings, etc. can all reveal who you are.

Don’t show your hands

Our hands can be very revealing, from our fingers, moles, scars, to also wedding and engagement rings and watches – all big giveaways..

Conceal Body markings

Visible moles, freckles, birthmarks and tattoos could easily identify you.

Have a natural backdrop

Your home, furniture, décor, pets, framed pictures of you, friends or family in the background could all identify you

Clothing

You might not be wearing any but what if there are any discarded clothes in the background? Be cautious of anything your friends or family might recognise.

Location

Be careful you are not also giving away your location on the photograph. Check the location settings on your messenger, app (Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc.) and also in yourcamera settings and photos library. 

Be aware that there is every chance your photo will be shared and even if using something like SnapChat, the recipient could always screenshot or use another App to recover the image.

Lastly, to those of you still wanting to send a picture, consider that it could end up not only on the internet for all to see but perhaps more importantly by your parents, siblings, friends, future lovers, relationships and employers (now and in the future) for the rest of your life.  

Seriously, is it really worth it?

Ground-breaking iPhone hack discovered

Last week, you may have seen a nasty new hack/exploit had been discovered that specifically targets iPhones.

What was particularly worrying about this one was that it would allow a hacker to remotely crack (Jailbreak) an iPhone operating system and install spyware that could then capture emails, copy contact lists, determine the user's location, see text messages and even turn the microphone on. 

This kind of spyware is not new and is already available. However to install it, the 'threat' would need to have their actual hands on the device to first 'jailbreak' the device before they can load it. 

For those of you who may be less ‘Techie’, I’ll explain why and what jailbreaking is.

The vast majority of mobile phones operate on iOS (Apple) and Android (Samsung, Motorola, etc.). There are other platforms like Blackberry but, for the sake of this article, I’ll keep to the ones most predominantly  used.

There are plenty of differences between Android phones and iPhones. One reason some prefer Android is the access it affords them to being able to download a wider range of apps, games and other software from many different sources and not from just one location (The App Store). This benefit can come with it’s own risks as you can't always vouch for the integrity of the download or the place you may be getting it from. Apple, on the other hand, keeps a very tight control of it’s environment and most especially any Apps you want to install on their devices. Very little can be downloaded from outside their own App Store. Having my own app, TacticsON, I know how stringently they check every new release we submit. For example, it can take up to 2 weeks for Apple to test and approve before it is uploaded and available on the App Store. Whereas with the GooglePlay store, you can upload and see it in the store in seconds. 

Jailbreaking is, fundamentally, 'unofficially' unlocking your iPhone’s operating system (including many of the security settings) so you can download software, apps, etc. outside of the App Store. 

However, if you jailbreak your phone you will remove the important measures of protection that keeps your content (emails, calls, SMS, contacts, location, etc.) safe. I strongly advise against jailbreaking as it not only leaves yourself extremely vulnerable and more exposed to malware, viruses, etc. but will also void the warranty on your device.

So why is this new threat so worrying? Well, as I’ve mentioned, to conventionally install spyware on a phone, the user/owner/someone else needs to have their hands on the device, know the phone's passcode, have a Wifi connection, to then jailbreak it to be able to install the spyware. This worrying new exploit means it could now all be done remotely and bypass this by simply sending an email or text with a link in the message (like a typical Spear Phishing attack) which if the user clicks on, enables the spyware to jailbreak the phone and also load all the scary stuff.

This new exploit has been - allegedly - developed by an Israeli Cyber company who specifically develop ‘tools’ for governments. So this was not some basic hacker.

Apple go to great lengths to protect their operating systems/devices and strongly defend against any attempts to exploit or hack them. Remember the FBI trying to gain access to an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorists? Apple wasn't going to give them any help which, as a result, meant the FBI had to outsource to external 'specialists' to help them crack it (which I believe cost them at least a million bucks).

So what can you do to protect yourself right now? 

Well, if you are an iPhone user and haven't already updated your software in the last few days, firstly back up your phone to iTunes or iCloud (to be on the safe side). Then go to ‘Settings’ on your phone, then ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update’ and you will see a latest fix ‘9.3.5’. If it hasn't already updated to this, follow the prompts and do so.

If you think you’ve been hacked already? I would generally recommend again backing-up your phone first and then doing a ‘full restore’. This will take the iPhone back to it's original factory settings and reinstall the most current and latest software. If it had been jailbroken and/or have any spyware on it, this will usually erase anything malicious and set your iPhone back to normal.

 

Travel Safety & Terrorism

In light of recent terrorist attacks in France, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, many people’s perceptions have now been skewered from what they believed were generally ‘safe’ countries into places we can’t necessarily presume are any more. Increasingly it feels that virtually nowhere appears safe or exempt from some incident or attack by some radical extremist.  And the recent coup attempt in Turkey only serves to add to this newfound uncertainty. 

The reality is, in fact, very different. 

Statistically, the actual likelihood of personally experiencing a terrorist incident is still (thankfully) extremely low, and we are more likely to be a victim of low-level criminality, such as bag snatching or other street crime, on our holidays or travels. However, with the increased focus by the media towards reporting and highlighting the more terrorist-related matters, only adds to heighten the collective anxiety and uncertainty most people are understandably feeling these days. 

Almost daily I’m asked where is safe to travel to, which has more traditionally been with regards politically fragile, emerging and high-risk countries, but now extends to even typically tourist and leisure destinations. 

The general question of ‘Where is absolutely safe?’  is a difficult question to answer. There are a few countries that do not have a 'history' of terrorism (a pretty accurate recent list can be found at (http://www.theweek.co.uk/64495/the-ten-safest-and-ten-most-dangerous-countries-in-the-world) but most conventionally 'civilised' locations are now deemed vulnerable especially due to the spontaneity of the current trend of attacks and varying ‘delivery’ methods (trains, shopping centre, trucks, nightclubs and now even churches) these extremists are using. But do remember; these incidents are still relatively few when compared to ‘general’ crime. For example, we have approximately forty-five knife related crimes everyday in the UK, alone, which brings some recent incidents perhaps into some degree of perspective (In another post I will discuss how the 'association' behind even low-level attacks needs to be viewed and perhaps considered from alternate perspectives).

Therefore, I’ve endeavoured within this article to counter this anxiety by providing some means of 're-empowering' you with what you and your family can do to keep safe, avoid or if unlucky enough to get caught up in a situation, the best steps you can potentially take.  

I’ve presented this advice within three sections; The Basics, Planning and Reaction.

Basics covers the foundation advice to maintaining basic and general personal safety

Planning will address some of the things to consider when selecting your destination and preparations you should think about before you travel.

Reaction is what to do if you find yourself in an incident. As each situation could be different and potentially in a diversity of situations, this should be considered as ‘general’ advice to apply regardless of whether you are on a beach, a train, a shopping centre or in the middle of a street should it happen. 

THE BASICS

The following two tips are things you should and probably need to start applying every day. These will keep you generally safe and significantly improve your chances of even avoiding criminal, let alone terrorist, threats.

TIP # 1         Trust Your Instinct

This, if nothing else, is probably the best overall piece of advice I can give you with regard your general personal safety. 

This should apply not only on your travels but every-day. Sixth sense, gut-reaction, call it what you like, instincts are our inherent and fundamental self-protective tool and means of often detecting a threat, especially when it isn’t necessarily obvious. 

In many situations leading up to any kind of attack, especially personal ones like a robbery or assault, you may have little else to alert you that you could be at risk. It might be also be all you have and can rely on.

Therefore, if you see someone or a group of people acting ‘suspiciously’ – don’t ignore it, DO SOMETHING. If your ‘gut’ is telling you something’s or someone is wrong, then it probably is. Take action and move as far away as you can from the place or people that are making you feel uncomfortable.

I could probably safely say that if you asked any security professional, anywhere in the world, how much they listen to their instinct I guarantee they will tell you it often takes precedence above all their other training. Paying attention to my instinct has certainly paid-off on more than a few occasions.

TIP # 2        Situational Awareness

We all lead busy lives and these have been made even busier by the technology we have introduced into it. Constant news-feeds, social media postings, emails, texting. We’re bombarded continually and feel obliged or its' necessary to engage immediately through our phones and devices. Walking down any street in any city in the world has become a challenge to avoid colliding with some other person, head down, absorbed by their phone and their various social media, messages, emails and news feeds. And that's not even including those playing Pokemon GO!

As a result, being so pre-occupied by our ‘technical’ worlds, can often make us oblivious to what is actually going on around us.  How can you anticipate or identify a threat if we don’t even see it till perhaps the very last minute? Our distraction can often be the enemy’s advantage. 

To be safe and see the problem before it becomes a problem – Look Up. Take in what and who is around you. Has someone got on your train carriage or bus that makes you feel ‘uncomfortable’? Is there someone or a group or people walking towards you down the street that could be a threat? See an unattended bag? The earlier we see it, the better chance we have to avoid it? 

Perhaps consider answering or posting those ‘important’ messages or reading the latest social media post when you are static; sat on a train, in your office or at home, rather than when you’re on the move. If it’s really that essential and critical, maybe walk into a shop, café or similar, momentarily, and deal with it there? 

Don’t allow yourself to appear vulnerable, for example like a tourist stood-still, lost, concentrating on their map and standing-out like a perfect target for any would-be pickpocket or mugger.

Equally, when on holiday. I appreciate the whole point is to relax but we still need to keep aware of who is around us -  if only to prevent becoming a victim of crime. When you go for a swim in the pool or the sea, you'll still be conscious of protecting your valuables you left by your lounger?  

PLANNING

So you’re planning a trip for holiday or business, here are a few things to consider;

TIP # 3        Your Destination – taking your pick

As the threat from terrorism is potentially everywhere, the question will continue to be ‘where can I go that’s safe?’. The simple and realistic answer is that there is no absolute safety anywhere. 

Therefore, we have to rely on the best and most reliable sources; our own Government advice is a good start. Dozens of analysts are working round the clock, linking in to our domestic and overseas intelligence agencies and their counterparts in every other country in the world. They are continually and tirelessly monitoring and assessing the threats to ensure they can safeguard not only our nationals living overseas but also those intending to travel on holidays and business.

The government has the responsibility for ensuring, where possible, the optimum safety for its citizens or at least highlight what degree of risk could be presented and where. 

When selecting where you might wish to travel to, refer to the FCO (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) and even the US State Department Travel Advisory (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go.html) websites. They will outline which countries are currently facing higher risks, any travel alerts you should be aware of as well as useful visa, health and general safety. 

TIP # 4        Prepare & Plan Ahead

Hopefully, and in the vast majority of occasions, your trip will be ‘incident-free’. However, it’s not a bad idea to prepare some ‘contingencies’ in the event something does go wrong. 

So maybe photograph your passports, credit cards and other important documents and email them to yourself (in case you lose your phone), so if you lose these documents while you’re away you can retrieve the details easily if needing a replacement. 

Have a quick search on the internet and find out useful numbers that you may need while you’re out there and keep a record (on your phone) or again email them to yourself so you can retrieve them easily. These could include local Embassy or Consulate numbers and operating hours, your travel insurance number and telephone number, local hospitals, etc.

When you book your hotel, request a room away from the lifts and fire exits. Rooms nearest to these are commonly more often likely to be robbed, so being in the centre of the floor is usually a safer option. If you are more of an ‘adventure’ traveler and going somewhere in the more ‘off-beaten path’ locations, advance request a room between the 1st and 7th floors. In the more emerging and developing parts of the world the Fire Response ladders might not extend higher. 

On arriving at your hotel or resort, take a few moments to ‘familiarise’ yourself with the venue and find out where the fire escapes are, what security there is on the beach, in the hotel or at the entrance. Could be useful to know where to get help should you need it.

It’s not just an old cliché that CIA/Special Ops ‘types’ always first check where their exits are when they enter any room or environment. It’s actually very good practice. So if you’re in a shopping mall, hotel, restaurant or even a café, consider where you might go if your original entry point might be denied. This is also good practice for situations beyond terrorism like even being caught in a fire.

It is also worth agreeing a plan with your partner or family members for where you will all meet if separated or if there’s an emergency either when you’re in the hotel (for example, to meet in one of your rooms, at the reception, etc.) but also when outside and sightseeing away from the hotel (could be at the entrance to a market, a particular shop, café, restaurant or even back at the hotel). Many of you with small children probably do this already in the event they get separated or lost from you on day’s out.

Hopefully you won’t need to action any of these plans, but you may regret it if you haven’t taken the few minutes to do a little research and preparation.

RESPONSE

Within this section, I cover what to do if you are caught-up in an actual situation.

TIP # 5        RUN

Sounds obvious but it actually isn’t. We will need to resist our inherent human nature to be curious and desire to investigate. If you can, move as quickly as you feasibly can in the opposite direction to any ‘suspicious’ noise until you feel sufficiently far enough away to be safe. Remember, the more distance you create between you and a potential threat, the safer you will be.

TIP # 6        HIDE

If you have little or no other option (i.e. the only direction you can run will or might take you directly into harms’ way), then hiding might be your best and only option. Equally, as in the terrorist situations like Tunisia, remaining indoors could be your much safer option till you can determine what’s going on. However, in situations like the Mumbai terrorist attack, leaving and escaping the hotel could be your best option. Each situation can be different, so prepare as much as you can for every eventuality.

Your best hiding place should be ideally somewhere with more than one exit that can be secured (either lockable or you can barricade). This should also be behind ‘hard cover’ which means in, behind or even beneath a solid structure with concrete walls. This will improve your chances of not being harmed by any gunfire, blast or shrapnel created from an explosion.

TIP # 7        SILENCE IS GOLDEN

If you need to hide, then keeping quiet could very well save you and any others with you. This means turning your devices and friends/family/or others with you to ‘silent’ too. Don’t risk making any phone calls unless it’s really worth the risk. Consider that if there is a marauding threat (terrorist gunmen/Active Shooter), they could come looking for hostages or victims. Don’t make it easy for them. So keep as quiet as you can. Perhaps consider pre-inputting '999' (or 112 if overseas) into your phone and keep it to hand to simply press 'send' if you need to.

TIP # 8        SAFE HAVENS

A Safe Haven is anywhere you can potentially take refuge or even hide in till it’s safe. If there’s gunfire or an explosion, go immediately somewhere you can potentially stay within for an extended period of time. This could be a hotel, restaurant, café, shop. Keep away from the main entrance, windows and any large glass windows, walls or panels. Even hide under a table if nothing else is available. More people are often seriously injured or even die as a result of the shrapnel (broken glass, metal, masonry, etc.) than from the actual explosion of a bomb.

TIP # 9        REGROUP

If you are with friends or family and get separated, decide and agree in advance where you will all meet. This could be a Safe Haven or even at your home or office - if these are reasonable to get to. 

Also, agree a second location in the event that your first choice is either in the area of risk, you may have to cross an area of danger or the others can’t or may not be able to get to it. This second location should be further away but reasonable (based on your group’s physical abilities) to get to. 

For example, if you are in a shopping centre then your 1st location might be the main entrance and your 2nd location is in a nearby coffee shop outside the centre. On a train your 1st could be the guard or driver’s station/cabin and the 2nd the dining car. At a hotel, your 1st could be the reception and the 2nd is one of your bedrooms.

Remember you’re not restricted to only two locations. You may want to select and agree on a third too.

Lastly, agree a timeframe and cut-off within which you need to meet at the first location before you then move to the second location. I would generally advise no longer than waiting more than 1 hour. 

TIP # 10    REPORT IT

Lastly, reporting it. If you can use your mobile – only when it’s safe for you to do so. i.e. not in your hiding place or while you are still in the middle of the situation unless you feel the chances are you will be discovered or captured. Also, only do it when you are at a safe distance. 

If there are any security or police nearby, you can always tell them. Importantly, check-in with your friends, family and work colleagues by call or email (if no service connection but you can use Wi-Fi) to let them know you’re safe. The Media will likely be already publicising what is going on and they will be worried and want to know you’re safe. If the ability to communicate is limited, ask people to contact them and spread the message you’re safe. If you can achieve a wifi connection, check Twitter for the FCO  (Foreign Commonwealth Office) as they frequently post an emergency number the soonest they can for you to contact.

This article has tried to present a concise list of considerations but, in summary, the above should be considered as 'general' advice as every situation can be different. Remember, the chances of finding yourself in a terrorist situation or incident is still statistically small but there's no harm in doing what you can to avoid it, be prepared if it happens and generally keeping safe.

Why, What & When

Firstly, welcome and thanks for visiting my blog site. 

I'd been considering creating a blog for a longtime and a few people had asked why I hadn't already. Available time has been the main issue. Finding the time between the 'day job' and personal life always the challenge as it is for us all.

Why? Well, it's often very difficult to sometimes get to the 'nub' of a situation in a 3 minute interview or tweet. This will perhaps give me a chance to expand a little more, widen the perspective or take the subject even into a different direction.

What will I be writing about? Well, in most cases it will probably be my own personal assessment, analysis, advice and comment on terrorism, security, safety and threat incidents. I'll also try and provide a little bit of insight into what my 'day' job involves.

When? This will be the challenging part. I'll be posting things as and when time allows and when anything occurs or pops up that I think might be worth writing about. 

Lastly, and for any of my respected client's and contacts who may worry this blog could give them sleepless nights; Don't worry. I certianly won't be 'naming names' and any situations I refer to will be suitably changed to 'protect the innocent' and, on occasion, even the 'less innocent'.

Thanks for even getting this far. Here goes and let's see what happens.