Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security


Want to be a cyber super spy, try the Shin Bet intelligence challenge

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Shin Bet (also known as Shabak) is the Israeli Security Agency, and they are looking for technologically savvy intelligence agents. To discover these rough diamonds, they have created a new online challenge website called the "Shabak Challenge."

You can access this challenge website here. Visitors are challenged to identify a group of terrorists known as “White September”. The introduction on the page says

White September (WS) is a group of arch-terrorists. They are connected to the global Jihadist movement, and are funded by Iran and Hezbollah. Several weeks ago, they used the darknet to declare their intentions of carrying out a mega terror attack in Israel. They nicknamed the operation “Israeli September 11th”. These people are highly sophisticated and utterly merciless.

According to Channel 2, 150,000 would be analysts (from Russia, France, USA, the UK, Turkey, Iraq, etc) have already visited the site but only 2 have successfully completed the challenge. The challenge requires familiarity with advanced hardware and software technologies.

Here is a Youtube ad for the Security Service

Rapportive adds social intelligence to GMAIL for free

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

Rapportive (link) is a free Firefox, Safari and Chrome add-on that brings social intelligence to GMAIL. For every email sender, it displays a picture, a brief bio,  location and links to that their social networks. 

Yes it does work with Google Apps accounts.

It replaces the (less useful) GMAIL advertisements with its own information. Another company called Xobni has a similar tool for Outlook. Installation took only a couple of minutes and then it automatically performs its magic anytime you use the GMAIL web interface. 

There is some debate about where the service get's it's information from. Some have claimed it comes from a service called Rapleaf, others claim it is an in-house culling service. All we know is that the company provides this blurb:

"We combine information from several sources; at the moment, these are, AngelList, Bitbucket, CrunchBase, Econsultancy, Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, Google Profiles, Gravatar, LinkedIn, Plancast, Posterous, Stack Overflow,, Twitter and Vimeo, as well as thousands of organisations' public websites. " (link)

In my testing, some contacts come jam packed with useful information and others get wrong or missing info. Overall I think this is a great way to gleam additional  information which can make the difference between winning or losing. 

Give it a try. It's free

Refresh app is a basic people intelligence tool

BusinessEdward KiledjianComment

Business people are constantly meeting new people. The more you know about the people you are meeting the less awkward it will be and the more successful your meeting will likely be. 

Best practice recommends you conduct a Google (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) search on everyone you will be meeting but what if you don't have the time? This is where a tool like Refresh shines. It will do all of the heavy lifting and give you a personalized person briefing within minutes.  

The tool is in private beta and I haven't received my invitation yet so everything in this article is based on articles, clips and info provided by the company. When I receive my invite, I will provide a more in-depth review.

What does Refresh do?

The app gpes through social media networks, search providers and the general net to provide a quick person briefing. It will give you info about the persons job history, interests, travels, etc.

How do I get Refresh?

As I mentioned, Refresh is in private beta so you should go to their website and sign-up using your Linkedin account. You will be put on a waiting list and eventually you will receive a private invitation.

A social networking privacy experiment

SecurityEdward KiledjianComment

All too often, people forget to secure their facebook profile page and then post stupid self deprecating comments that site can easily scoop up and archive forever. This may be a good time for you to read my post on securing your Social Media information found here.

We Know What You’re Doing is the brainchild of an 18 year old web programmer who wanted to show the world just how stupid people can be. Using the publicly available Graph API, his site collects interesting updates and categorizes them into one of these categories:

  • Who wants to get fired?
  • Who's hungover?
  • Who's taking drugs?
  • Who's got a new phone number?


Click on the above image to maximize it.

Why should you worry?

Governments and companies datamine these sources of public information using techniques called Open Source Intelligence. Since it is based on publicly available information, they don't really need your permission and you would be surprised at how much information can be gleamed by a trained analyst.

My advise to you is simple, if you wouldnt want your husband/wife/mother to know about it, don't post it on the internet because the internet never forgets.