The Difficulty of Saying Nothing

Like everyone else I’ve been following the tragic war in Ukraine and mourning the loss of life and humanitarian crisis. Professionally as an analyst in the threat intelligence and computer network defense world I’ve been considering what this war and spillover means for defending networks, especially as organizations like CISA keep putting out bulletins regarding threats of Russian nexus adversaries. In situations with this level of uncertainty it’s entirely natural that our intelligence customers, whether that’s the most junior SOC analyst or executive like the CISO, keep asking what it means, what we can do, where the threats are, etc....

March 21, 2022 · 5 min · Scott J Roberts

Getting Started with Synapse

If you care about intelligence analysis and management tools (and I presume you do) you’ve hopefully heard about the Vertex Project’s Synapse intelligence… thing. Synapse starts as a little abstract, but once you understand you’ll see it’s a powerful intelligence workbench and data fusion system. I’m here to say it’s actually far easier than you think, worth the time you’ll put in, and ultimately you’ll find yourself doing far more accurate, fast, and comprehensive analysis....

November 2, 2021 · 13 min · Scott J Roberts

Burnt TIPs

Special Thanks to Ryan Kovar for the photo & delicious dinner. This is going to be one of those highly metaphor-driven posts I’ve done before (like using Hamilton in Waiting vs Passivity in DFIR). Bail out now or prepare to discuss where threat intel and American BBQ run into each other! What you call something matters in sharing it with others and framing intelligence programs. And lunch orders…...

July 31, 2021 · 7 min · Scott J Roberts

Familiarity Breeds Contempt: APT Edition

Here’s a familiar scenario: A new threat is being whispered about. Maybe your office has someone with special access of some kind and they’re being a bit more secret squirrely than usual. The mailing lists you’re on are a buzz about a new piece of malware or vendor code name. You keep hearing about a paid only report that tells all. APT 46: EMPEROR PENGUIN is coming! When your boss asks about EMPEROR PENGUIN you have to say you don’t know much… but you’ve heard they’re very good, very advanced, well funded, with great opsec… obviously a serious threat aimed at hard targets (which your organization obviously is)....

August 4, 2017 · 7 min · Scott J Roberts

CTI Reading List

A few weeks ago while teaching SANS FOR578 one of my students asked a great question by a student: What books or papers should a new cyber threat intelligence analyst read first? It’s a question I’d meant to answer before so instead of just sending back an email (I mean, I emailed back, HI MATT, but along with that) I figured I’d write up my list and have something to reference next time I get asked....

July 18, 2017 · 7 min · Scott J Roberts