Saturday, August 12, 2017

RUSSIA | Hackers and MICE

Malcolm Nance
Malcolm Wrightson Nance (born September 20, 1961) is an expert on protecting the United States from terrorism. He is an author and media commentator on terrorism, intelligence, insurgency and torture. He is a former United States Navy senior chief petty officer, specializing in naval cryptology.

Nance is much in demand as a speaker on the history, personalities, and organization of jihadi radicalization and al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL); Southwest Asian and African terror groups, and counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare.

Fluent in Arabic, he is active in the field of national security policy.
In 2014, he became the executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies (TAPSTRI), a think tank based in  Hudson, New York.

I think he is a true American hero in his dedication to protecting his country. In 2017, he had two books published Hacking ISIS and The Plot to Hack America (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017).

I first heard about the second book via friends in Geneva and Florida. I have a copy of it and I was drawn to a part of his book where he discusses what the KGB and today's Russian equivalent look for in potential recruits to the Russian team – i.e., people who can be used as spies, apologists, sympathizers or "even opponents" (p. 43).

Nance talks about what the U.S. Government looks for in recruiting an "asset". He says the CIA uses an acronym, MICE, to help identify a good prospect. MICE "stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion (or Compromise), and Ego or Excitement." The idea is that the asset owner is the CAT (Country Asset Trainer?) and the assets are owned or played with.

The acronym could be shortened to ME and the message about what they want is clear – they cater to people obsessed by Money and Ego. Assets are recruited by a promise of Money or something else the individual might want like available women, and by an appeal to the person's Ego or wish for Excitement.

Retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin was open about using women as lures for getting information. This was the heart of Ian Fleming's novel From Russia with Love. But the most sought-after assets in the West, said KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, are "Egocentric narcissists,"... (p. 45). To which Nance adds, ..."like Trump".

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