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Rob Cook is a Senior Analyst at Flashpoint. He focuses on physical security threats including social and political extremist groups that pose a physical threat to assets such as individuals, facilities, and national infrastructure. A dynamic all-source intelligence and physical security analyst with 23 years of multi-discipline intelligence experience, Rob’s background includes managing and developing installation-level personnel security, physical security, and operations security programs for the Department of Defense. His positions have entailed tactical-level intelligence collection and reporting, providing pattern-of-life analysis and biometric tracking of high-level personalities, as well as strategic-level positions requiring POTUS-level assessments on foreign military operations and counterinsurgencies. Rob also has a wealth of experience in the financial services sector, where he previously served as a Senior Analyst on the cyber threat intelligence teams of two large U.S. financial institutions.

Shoplifting: Defeating Theft Detection And Prevention Technology

Typically considered one of the most accessible and in many cases least-sophisticated types of crime, shoplifting persists as an undeniably damaging affliction across the retail sector. In fact, the National Retail Security Survey reported that loss of inventory cost U.S. retailers an estimated $49 billion USD in 2016, with 70 percent of the loss caused by employee theft and shoplifting. The survey also indicated that in response, retailers are investing more in technological deterrents like live, customer-visible closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems and point-of-sale (POS) data mining software rather than in Loss Prevention (LP) personnel. Indeed, retailers’ investments in staffing for LP departments remained generally flat in 2016. Motivated to help our retail sector customers bolste...

Inside A Twitter ‘Pornbot’ Campaign

Analysts recently investigated the trend of adult entertainment-themed Twitter bots known as pornbots. These bots post tweets with hashtags containing popular brand names alongside random, unrelated terms. The observed set of pornbots appear to be a mix of compromised accounts and accounts specifically created to advertise pornography. As such, organisations mentioned in these bots’ pornographic advertising campaigns on Twitter may suffer reputational damage, in addition to distorted social media engagement campaign metrics. In recent years, Twitter has become a primary form of external, two-way communication and engagement for organisations across all sectors. For example, companies often use hashtags to monitor the spread and reception of marketing campaigns and sponsored events. More cr...