Who’s Behind the Screen?

The Digital One Percent.

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I’m tucked away in the backroom of a grungy London cafe, sipping on an iced beverage as summer finally arrives. As I survey my fellow coffee aficionados, each absorbed in their devices, I’m intrigued by the thought that one of them might be part of a larger digital narrative.


Having just re-read Jeffery Mayger’s piece, ‘The One Percent,’ I realise I’m either getting more paranoid or the potential that one of my fellow patrons is engaged in some form of nefarious activity is more likely than it previously seemed.


The cyber ecosystem, I learn from Maygers article, faces relentless attacks from a few key players. In fact, five countries alone account for 50% of global cybercrime. This concentration turns our cybersecurity efforts into a strategic dance of diplomacy and defence.


These nations, often shrouded in mystery, launch waves of cyberattacks that ripple across the globe. Understanding their origins is crucial, not just for defence but for shaping international policies. “Corporations have sophisticated firewalls and other countermeasures; individuals are largely helpless,” highlighting the broader implications of these concentrated threats.


As I scan the coffee shop, I’ve now developed a picture in my mind of a giant digital game of Cluedo (Clue to my American friends), but instead of Professor Plum in the library, we have Javier in a Seattle-based coffee shop chain.

Apparently, this cyber landscape is also marked by the youthfulness of its perpetrators. With an average age of 17, these hackers add an ironic twist to the narrative, blending naivety with sophisticated exploits. As the article notes

Britain’s National Crime Agency states that the average hacker age is now 17. This age falls in the 15-24 age group, which represents 26.5 percent of internet users. By extrapolation, malicious hackers may account for up to 0.9 percent of internet users.”


This insight underscores the need for targeted interventions and education. By understanding the demographics and motivations of these young hackers, we can develop strategies to mitigate risks, foster cybersecurity awareness among youth, and steer them towards constructive paths in technology rather than illicit activities.


Their motivations often intertwine with traits linked to antisocial behaviour, adding a psychological layer to this digital drama. This connection suggests that deeper societal issues are intertwined. But recognising these patterns isn’t just an academic exercise—it’s a practical necessity. We can better defend our digital spaces and anticipate future threats by identifying and understanding these cyber hotspots.

As noted in “The One Percent,” the origins of these attacks aren’t just geographical but psychological, intertwining with global socioeconomic factors. It’s a reminder that more than ever, knowledge is power!


As I sip on my iced Americano and sit back from the glow of my laptop screen, I take another look around me. Now I’m seriously considering how many of my fellow patrons fall into that one percent!


For a deeper dive into this fascinating topic, check out the full article The One Percent >

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The Significance of Russia and North Korea's New Defense Pact

On June 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a comprehensive bilateral strategic cooperation agreement that notably requires Moscow and Pyongyang to come to each other's aid in the event of ''aggression'' against either country. Both leaders described the agreement as a major upgrade to their relations, particularly their security ties, while also mentioning deepened trade, economic and humanitarian and cultural ties, as well as cooperation on nuclear energy, space exploration, and other topics. 

Putin's visit to Pyongyang and his signing of the new defense pact are aimed at fueling fears about a new conflict in the Korean Peninsula, which could push the United States and its regional allies to reduce their support for Ukraine.

Since Russia launched its Ukraine invasion in February 2022, North Korea has become a key supplier of munitions to Russia, which are essential to Moscow's war efforts in Ukraine. And in exchange, North Korea has received access to Russian food, refined fuel products and contracting for North Korean labor, as well as Russian support in upgrading its defense industrial capacity. But this deepening arms cooperation began in the fall of 2023 without requiring a visit by Putin and a new security pact. Therefore, what is of greater importance in Putin's visit and the new agreement comes by adding teeth to North Korea's move to abandon normalization efforts with South Korea in January amid enhancements in Pyongyang's military capabilities.

Pre-Incident Indicators Helping us with Prevention

How can protectors get 'left of boom'? Is it even their job to collect pre-incident indicators?

This week, we are delighted to welcome Rick Shaw, CEO of Awareity to the Circuit Magazine Podcast to ask:

  • Is every Protector a 'Sensor' which should gather pre-event indicator data?

  • Should an EP team incorporate an analyst or should the team leader be that analyst?

  • What does being a 'first preventer' actually mean for an EP operator?

  • How can we interpret and evaluate technology solutions that are designed to aggregate and disseminate mission data?

  • Which parallel case studies in neighbouring security sectors offer valuable insights into executive protection?


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Stay safe, and keep looking out for one another.

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