Wednesday, July 27, 2016

U.S. Special Ops orders new batch of low-profile pickups from Battelle

 U.S. Special Ops orders new batch of low-profile pickups from Battelle
By Gary GasteluPublished July 27,

And you thought your pickup was special.

Battelle has landed a second contract to supply U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with stealthy, armored trucks built to blend into the background in potentially hostile environments.

Similar to the commercial security vehicles that Battelle builds, the trucks were designed to maintain their stock appearance while providing military-grade levels of protection.

The non-profit R&D outfit has been modifying Toyota Hilux pickups for SOCOM under a contract for “Non Standard Commercial Vehicles” that began in 2013. It will add foreign market Toyota Land Cruisers and Ford Rangers as the partnership is extended over the next five years through a $170 million deal for several hundred trucks.

The models were chosen for both their baseline capabilities and popularity in the theaters where they will be used. Program Manager Jim Labine says Battelle uses a combination of consumer aftermarket and custom-made parts to fully convert the trucks’ suspensions and beef up their drivetrains to improve their off-road chops and better handle the thousands of pounds of armor added.

That armor is a mix of Dyneema plates hidden under the bodywork and sapphire-reinforced glass. Several levels of protection will be offered -- all classified, of course -- but the most potent models can provide protection on all sides, top and bottom included, from large-caliber firearms and IED shrapnel. Self-sealing fuel tanks and run flat tires are also employed.

Labine says a major engineering challenge is fitting the inflexible materials inside the existing bodywork without encroaching too much on the interior space, or leaving any gaps in coverage. From the outside, the trucks are nearly indistinguishable from the showroom versions. The only noticeable difference on the Ranger prototype is its very slightly thicker window trim.

The new trucks will be evaluated over the course of the next year before production begins, overlapping with fulfilment of the original contract.

Paranoid, off-roading fanatics shouldn’t waste their time looking for the trucks at their local military surplus auction anytime soon, however. Labine says that the upgrades have the secondary benefit of extending their lifecycles, and, even if SOCOM doesn’t destroy the evidence when it finishes with them, you’d probably walk right by them on the lot, anyway.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

11 Police Robots Patrolling Around the World

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACROSS the globe use semi-autonomous technology to do what humans find too dangerous, boring, or just can’t. This week, the Cleveland Police had a few nonlethal ones on hand at the Republican National Convention. But even those can be outfitted to kill, as we saw in Dallas earlier this month when police strapped a bomb to an explosive-detonation robot, and boom: a non-lethal robot became a killer. If that thought scares you, you’re not alone. Human rights activists worry these robots lack social awareness crucial to decision-making. “For example, during mass protests in Egypt in January 2011 the army refused to fire on protesters, an action that required innate human compassion and respect for the rule of law,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim of Amnesty International in a statement last year arguing that the UN should ban killer robots. More than a thousand robotics experts, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, signed a letter last summer warning against machines that can select targets without human control. We wanted to find out just how many of these things are in use around the world. But law enforcement isn’t exactly forthcoming about the topic, so this list is not exhaustive. Here’s what we found.

With the Republican National Convention underway, Cleveland police have enlisted the help of a new robot named Griffin, built by students from the local community college. Standing only 12 inches tall, the six-wheeled rover is designed to go places police can’t fit, like under a car or behind dumpsters to look for explosives. Griffin is equipped with a camera and light, which allows police to scope out the situation from a monitor at a safe distance. Unlike the larger bomb squad and military grade robots, like the one police strapped an explosive to in Dallas, Griffin is light enough to be deployed quickly without needing to be hauled out in a big truck. And it’s one of many robots Ohio police have on hand. Public records requests show Ohio law enforcement have received 40 robots from the federal 1033 program that transfers military equipment to local law enforcement.

India’s Riot-Control Drones
Police in the Uttar Pradesh region of India last year purchased a set of Skunk drones built to shower crowds with pepper spray and paintballs. The drone, manufactured by South African firm Desert Wolf, can hover mid-air over a protest and fire up to 20 paintballs (or other “non-lethal” ammunition) per second while simultaneously dispersing tear gas pellets onto people. Police control the drone from the ground, which levitates via eight motors that each power a 16-inch propeller. It’s outfitted with onboard speakers so authorities can communicate with crowds, as well as bright strobe lights and “eye safe” lasers to disorient and disperse a gathering. And of course, no drone is complete without surveillance capability. The Skunk comes packed with a thermal camera, an HD camera, and an onboard microphone, you know, to give the cops something to watch later.

South Korea's Prison Robo-Guards
Correctional officers at Pohang prison in South Korea had robot to help keep watch for them, during a trial in 2012.  Standing 5-feet tall, the Robo-Guard is equipped with 3D cameras and software to recognize inmate behavior. The robot’s makers say it’s able to report when something seems abnormal, like if there’s a fight or an inmate on the floor. The human in the control center can communicate with prisoners via the robot’s two-way radios. It’s unclear whether the robots were put into full-time use in South Korea after the tests, though recent reports indicate South Korea is now building robo-guards to keep patrol during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Isreal's Deadly Rover
This 26-pound, eleven 11-inch-tall robot is packing a 9mm Glock pistol. Designed by Israeli firm General Robotics Ltd with help from the Israeli Police Counter Terrorism Unit, the Dogo can fire up to five rounds in two seconds. This small land rover can enter a house quietly, climb stairs, and even maneuver over obstacles. Ready with eight cameras and two-way audio, the Dogo allows police to communicate with  and fire upon suspects without risking their lives, according to the company’s website.  If law enforcement aren’t looking to kill, the Dogo can also carry pepper spray or a dazzling light module to cause temporary blindness.

LAPD’s Huge Smasher
The Bat Cat—shorthand for Bomb Assault Tactical Control Assessment Tool—is the Los Angeles Police Department’s radio-controlled monster. Designed to pick up a car bomb with its massive, 50-foot telescoping arm, this unmanned ground vehicle reaches top speed at six miles per hour. While it might have been designed to remove massive explosives, the Bat Cat can also rip through a house in minutes, according to The Los Angeles Times,which reported that the LAPD used it to tear down the walls of a home during a standoff in 2011. Cops can switch out the end of the telescoping arm with a claw, a bucket, a forklift, or battering rams, and it can handle a payload of around 12,000 pounds, more than enough to haul your typical car bomb far from harm’s way. The Bat Cat was constructed on the chassis of a Caterpillar Telehandler, so it’s basically just pimped out remote-controlled forklift. Still, best to keep your distance.

Japan's Drone-Catching Drone
This is meta. Japanese police are using drones to take down drones, but they’re not shooting them. That would cause debris. Instead police are using a net. Japanese police introduced a net-wielding drone fleet earlier this year to catch suspicious looking small unmanned aircrafts that fly over sensitive government locations like butterflies. It takes a giant net to catch a drone, and the police fleet is equipped with a 6.5-foot-by-10-foot lattice. Last, year, the BBC reported that police deployed the net drones  in response to a drone carrying a non-harmful amount of radioactive sand that landed on the roof of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s house—a stunt that turned out to be a protest by an anti-nuclear activist. Japan’s drone-catching drone certainly seems a lot safer than the Dutch National Police Force’s solution—they trained eagles to take down unauthorized drones.

Brazil’s Olympic Peacekeepers
The Olympics are in less than a month, and Motherboard reports that Brazilian police forces are pulling out all the stops, including calling on a number of model 510 PackBots that were originally acquired in preparation for the World Cup, a military grade bomb detection and reconnaissance robot that was used after the Fukushima meltdown in Japan and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each PackBot 510 weighs around 65 pounds and carries with it four cameras, as well as its main feature, a 6-foot telescoping arm that can lift a 30-pound payload. PackBots are primarily deployed for bomb detection and disposal; it can even use mechanical wire cutters attached to the end of its arm. The PackBot climbs stairs, maneuvers in water, and can crawl around at about 6 miles per hour, faster than most adults jog. With millions of people coming to town for the Olympics, Brazilian police will use the technology to inspect suspicious packages.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Traffic Robocops
In Kinshasa, the sprawling capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo,  The Guardian reports that city officials installed a handful of giant solar-powered robot traffic cops in 2013 in an effort to reduce deaths and get more people to follow traffic rules. Decked out in cool sunglasses, the massive humanoid robots stand at busy intersections as kind of an all-in-one traffic light/crosswalk/traffic camera. The robots direct traffic with arms that signal red and green flags, and usher pedestrians safely across wide, busy roads. The humanoids were designed by Women’s Technology, an association of female and male engineers in the DRC, and, like every police robot on this list, are installed with surveillance cameras. Theirs send footage back to police in an effort to deter dangerous driving.

Poland’s Tactical Bot
Polish police recently got their hands on a new reconnaissance robot to toss around. The Tactical Throw Robot, directly translated from Taktyczny Robot Miotany or TRM, is  meant to be literally tossed into buildings or dropped from up high to scout the scene with its camera, microphone, and various illumination options. This ultradurable robot is also ultralight; weighing less than four pounds, police can throw it into second story windows without any mechanical propulsion. The device is similar to Recon Throwbot used frequently by American cops, and is designed to be outfitted with stun grenades or explosives if need, which can then be triggered by the control panel used to drive the TRM around.

Border patrol between South and North Korea
The “demilitarized” zone between South and North Korea is paradoxically one of the most militarized places in the world, including South Korea’s fleet of semi-autonomous killing machines that patrol the border day and night. Developed by Samsung, the SRG-A1 is armed with a 5.5mm machine gun and grenade launcher that can detect targets two miles away with its sensitive heat and motion sensors, as well as low-light cameras for patrolling at night. Multiple reports indicate that the SRG-1 has a fully autonomous function, too.

A Life-Saving Robot For Refugees in Greece
The coast guard in Lesvos, Greece recently started deploying a robotic life-preserver to rescue Syrian refugees making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Refugee’s boats are often underpowered, overloaded,  and don’t have enough life jackets. Everyday authorities scramble to  save people from boats that have capsized, run out of fuel, or wrecked in the rough waters. The robot helping them is named Emily, an acronym for  Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, and is a project by researchers at Texas A&M University. Emily is a floatation device that zooms across the water at 20 miles per hour tethered to a 2,000 ft. rope attached to a rescue ship. Emily makes fetching people who aren’t drowning faster, leaving the human rescue team free time to rescue victims who need more help.

By April Glaser  07.24.16  7:00am

Thursday, July 21, 2016

10 mistakes executive protection agents need to stop making

Published on July 20, 2016
Jared Van Driessche

Everybody slips up sometimes. We’re only human after all. And as Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden pointed out, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.”

The wisdom of this statement is of course not to encourage inaction to avoid mistakes, but to learn from them.

So in the spirit of helping everyone working in executive protection get a little smarter – and thereby making the whole industry a little sharper at our game – here’s a list of the 10 mistakes we have seen executive protection agents make too many times – and can learn from.

Thinking it’s about you

We’re sorry if we’re the ones that have to break this to you, but executive protection is a service industry. It’s never about you. It’s always about the client.

It’s about providing clients with know-how, activities and circumstances that keep them safe, happy and productive. That’s what the client needs, and that’s why they pay us. Everyone has personal stuff to deal with, so deal with it personally, and don’t bring it to your client.

They don’t need to hear about your day, your life or whatever else might be eating you. Even if some monumental, life-changing event just occurred on your way to work or while you’re on coverage. Actually, they shouldn’t hear about it. Why? Because the relationship is professional, not personal. Although the client might at times spend more time with you than they do with their spouse, it’s still not about you. It’s never about you or your needs. Ouch. Deal with it or find another job.

This can be hard, we know. Life happens when you’re on coverage. Maybe a family member has just died, or you received some horrible news like your parent’s house burned to the ground. Still, when you’re on the job, you’re on the job. The friendly “How are you?” gets answered with a “Good, and you?” rather than an open sharing of what’s also running through your head. Because that could disturb the client’s mind. And it’s not about you.

Wanting to be friends with the client

This can be another hard one. It’s the most natural thing in the world to want to be friends with the people we spend time and work with, but in the case of executive protection, it’s not a good idea for either the client or you. And certainly not for your career.

First, let’s all understand that being friendly is not the same as being friends. Maintaining a positive and polite tone is one thing. Trying to establish a personal relationship with a client is something else. It’s important that you don’t move out of the lane of your role as protector. Your job description does not include asking clients for favors or business advice, or trying to get family employed. Don’t involve yourself in business that isn’t related to your business.

Agents who do this are overstepping their bounds and trying to cross a five-lane highway. Even though our clients can at times be lonely and insulated, and might themselves make friendly overtures to protective agents, it’s important to maintain a professional distance. Because sooner or later the agent is going to get hit, despite what seemed to be a good level of comfort and rapport. They are taking advantage of the client, not helping him or her.

Another problem some immature agents have is trying to get noticed and get facetime with the client. They might be a little star struck, and they would like to see the feeling reciprocated. They might try to insert themselves into the client’s life, getting too close to them or to their staff.

But folks who are public figures see this all the time, and they’re seldom enamored with people trying play the game of “I want to get close to you”. They’d rather be far away from people like that. Guess which side of this budding personal relationship is going to get nipped, and be looking for work elsewhere?

Not respecting others who work around the client

Some people need to feel more important than others and end up making trouble for themselves. Don’t be one of those guys.

This problem arises when an executive protection agent thinks the job is more significant than the work of the client’s executive assistant, estate manager, nanny, chef, house cleaner or other staff. While the agent might be good with the client, he or she isn’t necessarily so with everyone else – and treats them differently, with varying levels of respect.

What our unfortunate agent doesn’t understand is this: the woman who cleans the toilet might have a very close relationship to the family that has lasted for years. They would much rather keep the loyal cleaner than the new EP agent who acts like a jerk to her.

Don’t think you’re your irreplaceable. Anyone can be replaced, starting with ill-mannered executive protection agents. So be respectful of the role others have in the client’s staff and life – that’s a great way to earn their respect, too.

Not blending in to client’s lifestyle, company culture or personal preferences

It’s not our job to force our culture or personalities on our clients. It’s our job to fit in.

If you come off as too militaristic, you’re going to make the clients feel like prisoners in their own home. If you act like Robocop around the spouse and children, they’re unlikely to feel comfortable even though they might be safe. And even Mr. Personality might need to take a chill pill, because his perky greetings and chattiness start getting on people’s nerves.

You don’t want to come off like that weird uncle who always manages to show up at the summer garden party in a three-piece suit or the funeral in his favorite Hawaii shirt. You want to blend in, so the client never has to think “who is this guy?!”

Check out Jared’s recent blog on being a social chameleon for way more perspective on this point.

Having a big ego does not make you many amigos on the protective team

So let’s get this straight. The client is a big shot, and that makes you one, too. You’re basking in the strong light of the principal’s halo, as the detail leader no less, and your power gives you license to treat other team members poorly.


We’ve seen it happen more than once. A guy who is a capable operator rises through the ranks to assume some management responsibility. He’s very aware of his role and perceived power, and he wields it to his own advantage without worrying about how that impacts other members of the protective team. The principal doesn’t know half the story, and likes him. Until he doesn’t.

One day, the guy rubs the principal’s spouse the wrong way, and he’s on his way off the detail. The next day, he’s looking for work and everyone he treated poorly remembers him exactly for that: being a jerk. And who wants to work with a jerk?

Don’t let your career turn to toast because you let your ego do the driving when you got a bit of influence. Instead, pay it forward. Someone just starting out in the industry might be a strong player in a few years, so be sure not to burn bridges you might need later.

Playing favorites

This is another pitfall that too many agents dive right into. It’s understandable because it’s human nature to want to be liked. And it’s yet another a good example of “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

Some agents who don’t get the bigger picture think they are special, and that the client really cares for them. They don’t see anyone else with such a close relationship with the client, and this illusion soon becomes a dangerous pseudo-reality. For one thing, it probably was never true in the first place. But even if it did seem to be, it clouds your judgement and leads to nothing good. Ultimately, it will cost you your job.

Cultivating a culture of favoritism damages team readiness. It’s unhealthy for the wellbeing of the program and the principal. And it’s not a sustainable foundation for anything. The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re the favorite today, someday you won’t be. And where do you go from there? Avoid being the favorite at all costs. With our history of developing and managing EP programs we see people fall into “the favorites trap” all too often.

Favoritism starts out innocently enough and often with the best intentions. The client really likes Tim, and Tim has to do everything. That’s a win-win for a short while, but it soon turns counterproductive.

The detail rapidly becomes a logistical nightmare. Tim will burn out – he’s too close to the client and working too many hours. The rest of the team will suffer – they come off like second-class citizens. The solution is to build everyone up to Tim’s level, not to turn Tim into a fast-flaming fave.

Being a control freak

We’re all for being sticklers when it comes to security and following the SOPs designed to safeguard our principals. But we also recognize that even the best of plans sometimes get broadsided by the client, and all for good reason: whatever the client says it is.

Or doesn’t say. You see, it’s the client’s business, not ours. Business opportunities arise suddenly; someone else’s plans changed suddenly. It doesn’t matter. When we’re on the clock, we’re on client time, not ours.

This can be tough for the pack of alpha males and females who often end up in our industry. We’re used to being in control, and we plan carefully. But when you can’t control it, just embrace it. You’ll end up being less stressed, and you won’t stress the client with unnecessary interruptions designed to satisfy your schedule, not the client’s priorities.

Trying to take advantage of the client financially

You know this is wrong without us telling you, right? We hope so. And yet, the point deserves a little clarification.

Working with C-suite executives, celebrities and other high net worth clients means moving about in some very different environments than most of us are used to. One day you’re bunking at the Motel 6, the next day you’re staying at the Four Seasons. You’re used to figuring out the cost per ounce when you compare hot dogs at the supermarket, and now you’re figuring out a menu that doesn’t have prices on it, trying to decide what to have for dinner.

It’s easy to think that because the client is wealthy, money doesn’t matter and you might as well try that caviar with gold leaf. It’s also wrongheaded. Money does matter – both in terms of how others will view your judgement and integrity – and to program success.

There’s always a budget for everything. Even if you don’t know what it is, assume someone does and is ready to check your expense reports. Go ahead and order a good meal, but don’t feel sanctioned to order the absolute most expensive item on the menu. Keep a clean path. Pay for your personal items yourself. Agents who go far in this industry respect the client’s wallet and work to save their money.

Clogging up information transparency – a.k.a. lying or being selectively honest

It’s true now and it’s been true for thousands of years: Information is power, and asymmetrical access to information can give a competitive advantage or disadvantage. That’s great if you’re fighting a war, but it’s really not good if you’re working on a team together.

We’re not saying that everyone needs to know everything. But the executive protection agent who deliberately resists sharing information, reduces information transparency or spreads false information is on his or her way to career suicide.

Some inexperienced agents might have the erroneous belief that hoarding information will further their interests. They’re making a fundamental mistake. They haven’t understood that what’s good for the team is good for the principal and for themselves. We’ve seen agents try to keep executive assistants in the dark to make them look incompetent. We’ve heard of agents who say the principal’s spouse prefers this or that driver – even when that wasn’t the case – to play favorites or gain personal advantage.

People like this are worse than dishonest. If they’re willing to hijack parts of the program for their own reasons, what else are they willing to do? Their reasons are never good, and manipulating the healthy flow of useful information will always hit them in the back of the head like a boomerang.

Getting the balance wrong between tactical discipline and friendly service

Being a good executive protection agent means juggling multiple roles seamlessly and imperceptibly. We’re the tactical tough guy when we need to be. We’re the friendly concierge if that’s what’s called for. We know not to overplay either hand. And we know when to switch immediately.

There are often multiple ways to accomplish the same objective. Use your situational and social awareness to find the ideal path, striking a middle way between the many possible extremes. You want to make sure the room you’re leading the principal to is safe? Great, but you don’t need to act as if you’re clearing a house in Ramadi. Find another way that works, and doesn’t make the principal wonder what’s going on and what movie you’re in.

Similarly, it’s great to be service-minded, but not excessively friendly in all circumstances. We’re here to facilitate the principal’s smooth flow through the day and night, but we’re willing to stand up and disrupt the good vibes if that means maintaining security.

Like so many other things, it’s a balance. We wish you luck and skill in finding yours!

Let’s learn from our mistakes

The good thing about mistakes is that they’re learning opportunities: they help us to discover better ways of doing things. Once you get over the initial pain of having put your hand too close to the fire, you know better the next time and can avoid a lifetime of burnt fingers. At least you could know better.

It’s only when we continue to make the same mistakes over and over that people start calling us names. Similarly, not learning from others’ mistakes is rarely an indication of a sharp mind.

We admit that we’ve learned some of them the hard way – by putting our own hands in the flames, so to speak. Other lessons came easier, by observing colleagues and staff get burned themselves. But they’re all things we need to be aware of and get better at.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

American car makers that left U.S. for Mexico suffering worst drop since 2009

MEXICO CITY –  Protected by the newly signed NAFTA agreement, in the 90s American car makers flocked to Mexico and became the main engine behind its steady rise to the top tier of the region’s car-making nations.

For the better part of the last decade, a $26 billion investment frenzy fueled the sector, pushing Mexico to become the world's fourth biggest car exporter in the world.

There are signs, however, that Latin America's auto maker powerhouse may be running into a speed bump. According to the sector's umbrella organization, AMIA, production has gone down more than 3 percent this year, and overseas sales have dropped by almost 6 percent.

American auto makers are among those suffering the worst drop, with Ford, which has set roots  mostly in the country's north, lowering production for export by more than 35 percent.

Chrysler, which has plants in Saltillo and Toluca, dropped production by 28,4 percent in the first semester of 2016.

Neither responded to a Fox News Latino request for comment.

It's the biggest lull in the industry since 2009, something especially worrisome in a country where cars and trucks account for almost a quarter of exports.

Bank of America's chief Mexico economist Carlos Capistrán recently said the sector was facing a "yellow alert."

Eduardo García, editor of the business website Sentido Común, referred to the drop as a "significant development," considering how the sector has developed over the past few years.

“Mexico has become a very important global platform in the car manufacturing industry, with a highly qualified labor force,” he said.

Observers largely agree upon the causes of the sudden weakening of the sector: both the global economy and the record-low oil prices. The latter is especially significant in the United States, by far the biggest importer of Mexican cars.

“With gas prices dropping, Americans change their consumer behavior,” Garcia said. “It's now more attractive to buy bigger cars that are less fuel efficient.”

Exports more than tripled between 2001 and 2014, up to almost $90 billion per year — but the car boom was mostly fueled by smaller cars that guzzle up less gas, models that rarely fare well when oil prices are low.

Some observers say it's still too early to tell whether the current lull in production and exports heralds a more permanently weak Mexican car industry. Car makers continue to invest billions of dollars each year in Mexico, as do secondary manufacturers.

Just last April, Ford announced a massive $1.6 billion investment in a new small cars plant, provoking the ire of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. And early this month, tire manufacturer Michelin said it would move forward with the construction of a new, $500 million plant in the city of León, in Central Mexico.

“It's still too early to draw any conclusions about the long-term situation of Mexico's car industry,” deputy director Manuel Molano of the Mexican Institute for Competitivity (IMCO), a Mexico City think tank, told FNL.

“Changes in the mobility market are a complicated issue,” he added. “There are signs that Americans are changing their mobility behavior, that the younger generation in urban areas is less inclined to buy a car, which could mean that car sales in the U.S. have reached a ceiling. But we could just be looking at a temporary drop in sales and production.”

Moreover, even as exports are doing poorly, the domestic market is booming. Car sales in Mexico represent less than half of the total output of the car makers, but have risen to record heights in recent years.

For American brands Dodge and Ram Trucks, marketed by Fiat Chrysler (FCA), June was the best month of 2016. General Motors has also sold steadily more cars in Mexico as the year progressed.

Indeed, some experts predict that Mexico's car production will rise to about five million cars yearly by 2020, over a million and a half more than last year's record-breaking 3.4 million units.

“Even though it represents maybe just a third of total production, the domestic market is very healthy,” Sentido Común's Eduardo García told FNL. “And investment also doesn't show signs of slowing down any time soon.”

Jan-Albert Hootsen is a freelance writer based in Mexico City.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Crooks Hack Taiwan ATMs With 'Smartphone,' No Bank Card, Steal Millions

Police say Russian suspects operate ATM machines without bank card, make off with $2.2 million.

Hackers, believed to be Russian nationals, stole around $2.2 million from ATMs in Taiwan, possibly using just their smartphones, and fled the country the following day, reports The Register, quoting Taiwanese police. Security camera footage shows the crooks used a connected device, but no bank card, to work several ATM machines of First Bank, say the police.

Craig Young of security tools firm Tripwire says it was likely the First Bank hackers “had installed malware ahead of time, enabling a wireless connection to 'jackpot' the ATMs.” Three malware strains reportedly showed up on the breached machines. He believes a weak wireless service could also allow hackers to access ATMs.

Several banks in Taiwan have suspended their ATM operations while investigation continues.

Crisis Hostage Negotiators Needed

LOS ANGELES - July 18, 2016 -RyPul -- RyPul Threat Assessments, a U.S. based security company has a emerging and current need for Spanish Speaking Crisis and Hostage Negotiators for contract work in Central and South America.  If you have the following skill sets or have knowledge of a professional that meets the following criteria please have them contact us today for additional information.

RyPul Threat Assessments has a emerging current need for Spanish Speaking Crisis and Hostage Negotiators for contract work in Central and South America.

Hostage /  Crisis Negotiation Job Description:
Hostage or Crisis Negotiation jobs responsibilities:

  • Assess the major actors within a crisis situation
  • Determine propensity for violence and willingness to dialogue
  • Discretely enter crisis zones and initiate dialogue criminals
  • Endure extended periods of dialogue and crisis management
  • Maintain operational knowledge of crisis incidents
  • Manage instructional programs for new negotiators
  • Provide psychological assessments to tactical personnel
  • Advise on response strategies
  • Manage data incidents and responses from around the world
  • Previous Law Enforcement, Military or Civilian experience required
  • Submit specialized training certifications of programs attended
  • Basic crisis negotiations certification(s) required


Must have a working knowledge of:

The Tactical Use of Negotiators, Team Structure During Crisis Events, Basics of Negotiating, Use of Social Media During a Crisis Event,Tactical Communication Skills, Psychology of Negotiations, Knowledge Terrorism and the Negotiating with Terror Suspects, Use of Case Studies to Achieve Peaceful Resolutions, Suicide Intervention Protocols, The Resolution of Crisis and Dealing With The Aftermath of Negotiations.

Send your resume to

RyPul Threat Assessments

Friday, July 15, 2016

RyPul Threat Assessments School Safety Assessments, Personal Security Details, Executive Protection Agents, Home Security Assessments And Body Guard Placement Services.


DUNS: 079084226   CAGE: 6Y3A0   NAICS: 541616 / 51621   SIC: 87429901 / 73820000

RYPUL THREAT ASSESSMENTS, a US Corporation, is a provider in the personal protective security specialist sector worldwide. Our protective specialists have operated and provide high-level static and mobile security services around the world for clients including Non-Governmental Organizations, Multi-National Corporations, and a host of prominent executive and celebrity clients that require specialized risk mitigations options including travel to war zones or other areas of high conflict that lack first world security postures.

RYPUL has the qualifications and capabilities to ensure the successful protection of our clients, their personnel and their assets. Our comprehensive program management solutions, mission support, force protection and expertise in diplomatic / executive protection services, ensures that RYPUL THREAT ASSESSMENTS stands out from its competitive peers as one of the best in the business.

As a matter of good business practice we thoroughly vet and hire only the most skilled personnel who bring an extremely dynamic combination of training and expertise to the protective environment. Our security professionals come from some of the US military's most highly skilled special operations forces, large city municipal police departments, and experts in the civilian executive protection fields. This unique mix of talent allows RYPUL to tailor our protective models to meet our customers' needs anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.


PRIVATE SECURITY DETAIL (OCONUS):  RYPUL's staff have direct experience planning, staffing, and managing security operations OCONUS under the purview of US government and military agencies in host nations and for numerous non-government organizations operating OCONUS.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION:  RYPUL offers custom-tailored security management services for critical infrastructure assets, to include reviews and assessments of existing security systems, security audits and assessments, emergency and contingency planning, and secure document disposal.

EXECUTIVE & DIPLOMATIC PROTECTION:  RYPUL executive protection services focus on protecting critical human corporate assets in an effective and unobtrusive manner In addition to security-based training, our staff understand the rules of conduct with respect to providing armed services and daily transportation of VIPs and their families in their day-to-day movements as well as through any dangerous or hostile situations that may arise RYPUL has provided armed (24/7) protective services for senior level executives (CEO or Chairman) for Fortune 500 businesses; and in addition to executives in the private sector, prior Executive Protection clients have included high-level government representatives, foreign nationals and diplomats, including ambassadors and royalty.

MOBILE PROTECTION:  RYPUL owns and/or can provide armored vehicles, follow cars, and executive protection personnel in
addition to security-trained drivers to deliver high level 'transport security. Wherever your travels take you, RYPUL drivers are thoroughly trained and vetted professionals familiar with the current social, economic, political, and threat situation in your area of operations and destination.

Anyone Know Where This Image Came From??

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Philippines President Calls On Civilians To Kill Drug Addicts

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

The Philippines’ president is asking civilians to murder drug addicts in the island nation — adding to a growing list of outrageous actions from the newly elected official.
President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into office on Thursday after running a campaign that focused on violently cracking down on crime.

He’s pledged to bring back the death penalty and kill 100,000 criminals. Now, he’s asking his fellow Filipinos to kill alleged criminals themselves. 
“These sons of whores are destroying our children,” Duterte said Thursday night to a crowd of 500 in a Manila slum. “I warn you, don’t go into [drug trafficking], even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” he said.
Duterte said funeral parlors would become increasingly profitable under his rule.
“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful,” he told the crowd.
Duterte worked with the Davao Death Squad during his 22-year run as mayor. The group killed more than 1,000 people during his tenure, according to Human Rights Watch.
Drug lords across the country have promised $1 million to anyone who assassinates the president.
Duterte had already made a series of offensive remarks in the lead-up to his election as president. In April, he told a crowd of supporters that he should have had a turn in the gang rape of an Australian missionary killed during a 1989 prison riot in the country.
“I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful,” he said. “I thought, the mayor should have been first.”
Duterte was embroiled in further controversy earlier this month, when he cat-called a female journalist when she asked him a serious question at a news conference. He had earlier called Pope Francis a “son of a whore.”

Monday, July 4, 2016


God bless a free America.....


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

"What I Can Do For My Country I Am Willing To Do"
RyPul Threat Assessments
Detect Design Defend
Eastvale, CA 92880

RyPul Threat Assessments specializes in worldwide protective services, school threat assessments, and active shooter training

RyPul Threat Assessments, is a SAM registered small business company located in Eastvale, California. RyPul Threat Assessments specializes in force protection, worldwide protective services, school threat assessments, site security planning, residential security plans, risk mitigation, personal protection assessments, work place violence training, active shooter training and commercial security plan reviews. 

Other company specialties include barrier placement, bulletproofing recommendations, blast mitigation plan and vehicle access restriction expertise for commercial, residential and school sites. Our experience includes providing these services for the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, Non- Governmental Organizations and private client security sites and various force protection sites throughout the world.

RyPul has been involved in the area of force protection, site protection, protective building material placement and upgrades for over 5 years. RyPul Threat Assessments currently provides threat assessment services to fortune 500 companies and ballistic barrier upgrade assessments to civilian schools, residences and companies on a contract basis. Our consultants’ hold professional qualifications from Military Police Services, Various Special Military Operation Units, the Los Angeles Police Department, Certified Private Investigative, (PMC) Private Military Contracting experience and years of High Threat Location site assessment experience. We hold current certifications from the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, Federal Emergency Management (FEMA), United States Air Force (USAF) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), in worldwide protective services, physical security, protecting critical infrastructure, incident command), installation security and active shooter protocols.

Call today for your professional personal, business, site or school security assessment.

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