News & Events

Cyberforce Superiority™ March 2014 courses – Register Now!

Secure your seat now for
Cyberforce Superiority™
May 2014 courses!

New location: Arlington, Virginia

Executive/Managers Course
May 5-9, 2014 (Arlington, Virginia)

White Belt Course
May 12-16, 2014 (Arlington, Virginia)

Cyberforce Superiority™, training cyber operators to be more broadly based, integrating offense, defense and forensics into a holistic program.  Select courses above for link to detailed course learning objectives and content.

These courses are offered in partnership with Raytheon Solipsys. 


Piedmont Virginia Community College offering Cyberforce Superiority™

Piedmont Virginia Community College is offering the Academy’s 5-day introductory Cyberforce Superiority™ course as part of its Spring 2014 Workforce Services course schedule.

This course will be held April 28-May 2, 2014 in Charlottesville. More information can be found here.

Cyberforce Superiority


Johns Hopkins University offering Cyberforce Superiority™: Foundational Elements

Johns Hopkins University now offers our Cyberforce Superiority™: Foundational Elements introductory-level course as part of their Advanced Academics Programs’ curriculum. 

The first session begins February 19, 2014 and runs for 2 1/2 weeks at JHU’s Krieger School of Arts & Sciences in Washington, DC.  

More information can be found here.

Cyberforce Superiority

Johns Hopkins University Krieger School


Cyberforce Superiority™ January & February 2014 courses – Register Now!

Secure your seat now for
Cyberforce Superiority™
January & February 2014 courses!

Executive/Managers Course
January 27-31, 2014 (Reston, Virginia)

White Belt Course
February 3-7, 2014 (Reston, Virginia)

Executive/Managers Course
February 10-14, 2014 (Reston, Virginia)

Cyberforce Superiority™, training cyber operators to be more broadly based, integrating offense, defense and forensics into a holistic program.  Select courses above for link to detailed course learning objectives and content.

These courses are offered in partnership with Raytheon Solipsys. 


Cyberforce Superiority™ training – additional courses scheduled in 2013!

Cyberforce SuperiorityResponding to client interest, we’ve scheduled additional Cyberforce Superiority™ Introduction courses in 2013 – secure your seat now!

  • August 5-9, 2013 (Reston, Virginia)
  • December 2-6, 2013 (Reston, Virginia)

Cyberforce Superiority™, training cyber operators to be more broadly based, integrating offense, defense and forensics into a holistic program.

Many experts agree that cyber is a new warfighting domain, requiring new approaches and new skills.  Unlike most cyber training courses that emphasize either computer security or hacking skills, the 5-day Cyberforce Superiority™ Introduction course is designed to give students a preliminary integrated understanding of the methodologies and interrelated offensive and defensive factors that come into play when training a cyber warrior. 

Are you interested in cyber and want to learn about all aspects surrounding the topic?  Are you a manager who needs to understand the basics of cyber operations in order to be able to communicate in a more effective manner with your employees? Are you interested in a comprehensive entrée into Computer Network Operations?  If so, this course is for you!

Students will learn the lexicon surrounding the cyber realm; will become familiar with the different facets of cyber operations to include attack, defense, forensics and exploit development; will understand the methodology and processes behind expoiting a system; and will comprehend and understand the difference between the introductory, mid-level, and high-level tactics used for Computer Network Operations (CNO) including Computer Network Attack (CNA) & Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), Computer Network Defense (CND), as well as Computer forensics.  Topics of instruction include: ethical hacking, Boolean Logic, networking for both advanced Unix and Windows, vulnerability identification, computer exploit development, and reverse engineering.  This will be a practical course with instruction that is focused on in-class computer exercises and lab work. 

Please note that this course has been approved for 4.1 CEUs by George Mason University.

This course is offered in partnership with Raytheon Solipsys.



What’s A Little Spying Among Friends ?

By Kimberly Dozier for The Associated Press
July 2, 2013

President Barack Obama had a simple answer to European outrage over new allegations that the U.S. spies on its allies: The Europeans do it too.

Obama said Monday during his trip to Africa that every intelligence service in Europe, Asia and elsewhere does its best to understand the world better, and that goes beyond what they read in newspapers or watch on TV. It was an attempt to blunt European reaction to new revelations from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden that the U.S. spies on European governments.

“If that weren’t the case, then there’d be no use for an intelligence service,” Obama told reporters in Tanzania.

“And I guarantee you that in European capitals, there are people who are interested in, if not what I had for breakfast, at least what my talking points might be should I end up meeting with their leaders,” Obama said. “That’s how intelligence services operate.”

European spies have been spying on the U.S. for years, according to two former intelligence officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss espionage programs. They said such spying includes tracking senior U.S. officials to see what they are doing in countries like France and Germany, which have both complained bitterly about the EU reports.

But European spying efforts haven’t been exposed the way American exploits have recently with the explosive release of secret documents by Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence systems analyst. The latest round came Sunday in Germany’s Der Spiegel’s magazine, which reported that the NSA bugged the EU’s diplomatic offices in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. The magazine said the NSA took similar measures to listen in on the EU’s mission to the United Nations in New York, and also used its secure facilities at NATO headquarters in Brussels to dial into telephone maintenance systems that would have allowed it to intercept senior EU officials’ calls and Internet traffic.

A Guardian newspaper article Sunday also alleged NSA surveillance of the EU offices, citing classified documents provided by Snowden. The Guardian said one document lists 38 NSA “targets,” including embassies and missions of U.S. allies like France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explained the spying as routine. “I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs with national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information contributes to that,” Kerry said.

French and German officials called the behavior “unacceptable,” and German government spokesman Steffen Seibert flatly denied that his country spies on allies.

“It’s not the policy of the German government to eavesdrop on friendly states in their embassies,” Seibert said. “That should be obvious.”

Not quite, according to the two former intelligence officials.

The German government did put severe restrictions on its intelligence services, especially on the domestic intelligence branch, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of East Germany with West. It was a conscious rejection of the rampant spying by the East-German-era Ministry for State Security, known by its abbreviation “Stasi,” which turned even family members into snitches spying on each other for expressing anti-government views.

“The intelligence services in France and Germany and across Europe are guffawing into their respective national drinks today, at the ‘shock’ that international meetings are a target for U.S. spies,” said former intelligence official Joel Brenner, who served in senior roles at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies. “And if anyone thinks the Europeans don’t do it too, they’re nuts,” he added.

But that doesn’t mean the Germans apply the same measures to foreigners, including Americans, explained the two former senior intelligence officials, because intelligence activity was often detected by classified means or by covert U.S. agents. German intelligence tracks both U.S. diplomats and high-level U.S. military and counterterrorist officials on German soil, in part to make sure the Americans aren’t overstepping their bounds, one of the officials said.

Nor is France innocent when it comes to espionage and spying on Americans, said former CIA officer Bob Baer, who was stationed in Paris for three years. “The French intelligence service used to break in regularly when I was in Paris into rooms of U.S. businessmen to image their computers,” he said.

“The United States and its coalition ‘Five Eye’ partners enjoy a close intelligence partnership and do not spy each on each other,” writes former CIA officer Mark Lowenthal in his book “Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy.” The group includes the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. “Beyond that, all bets are off,” he writes.

The U.S. surveillance of its allies is largely focused on activities related to weapons proliferation and corrupt practices, and doesn’t generally involve politics, trade or other domestic issues, according to James Lewis, national security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He said the U.S. is concerned about companies in other countries who may be selling nuclear technologies or missiles to countries like Iran. He said increased sanctions on Iran have made that less of a problem with companies located in allied nations in the last couple years.

Lewis said the foreign corrupt practices that attract U.S. attention often involve instances of bribery — such as a company offering money to a country in order to secure a contract, or other criminal activities like money laundering or drug trafficking.

Israel and the U.S., two ardent allies, also have a long history of mistrust. The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials. Counterintelligence is the art of protecting national secrets from spies. This means the CIA believes that U.S. national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel.

Russia and the U.S. have a storied history of spying on each other, immortalized in print, film and cartoon, and sometimes still veering into the ridiculous — like the embarrassing publicity after a CIA officer was caught trying to recruit a Russian security officer who was largely inaccessible, with his wig, alternative identification and spying contract ready for the Russian to sign in hand. The CIA officer’s cover was blown and a diplomatic incident ensued. The Russian government expressed outrage, but as is customary in these tit-for-tat incidents, no further action was taken. U.S and Russian authorities continue to work together to figure out if one of the Boston Marathon bombers was in contact with terrorists or militants in the former Soviet Union, said a U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing intelligence operations.

Leaker Snowden is believed to be caught in legal limbo in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23. The U.S. has annulled his passport, and Ecuador, where he has hoped to get asylum, says it may take months to rule on his case. According to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that has adopted Snowden and his cause, he has requested asylum from more than 20 countries.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but added that Snowden has no plan to stop leaking. Putin repeated Russia’s stance that it has no intention of sending Snowden back to the United States, also insisting that the stranded American isn’t a Russian agent and that Russian security agencies haven’t contacted him.


Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo contributed to this report.


New Terror Strategy Shifts C.I.A. Focus Back to Spying

By Mark Mazzetti
New York Times
May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON — For more than seven years, Mike — a lean, chain-smoking officer at the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Virginia — has managed the agency’s deadly campaign of armed drone strikes. As the head of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center, Mike wielded tremendous power in hundreds of decisions over who lived and died in far-off lands.

But under a new plan outlined by the Obama administration on Thursday, the Counterterrorism Center over time would cease to be the hub of America’s targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where presidents might choose to wage war in the future. Already, the C.I.A.’s director, John O. Brennan, has passed over Mike, an undercover officer whose full name is being withheld, for a promotion to run the agency’s clandestine service.

It is a sign that Mr. Brennan is trying to shift the C.I.A.’s focus back toward traditional spying and strategic analysis, but that is not an easy task.

Arguably, no agency has changed more in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks than the C.I.A., and no agency could be affected more by the new direction of the secret wars laid out by American officials on Thursday.

More than half of the C.I.A.’s work force joined the agency after 2001, and many of those new officers have spent the years since almost exclusively on the work of man-hunting and killing.

Some American officials and outside experts believe it could take years for a spy agency that has evolved into a paramilitary service to rebalance its activities.

“There’s a huge cultural and generational issue at stake here,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior C.I.A. official. “A lot of the people hired since 9/11 have done nothing but tactical work for the past 12 years,” he said, “and intellectually it’s very difficult to go from a tactical approach to seeing things more strategically.”

The C.I.A. is not getting out of the killing business anytime soon. Although Mr. Obama did not specifically mention the C.I.A. drone program in his speech, he said that the United States would continue to carry out strikes in the “Afghan war theater”— which American officials have long considered to include Pakistan, a country where the C.I.A. has carried out hundreds of drone strikes. Mr. Obama indicated that these strikes could go on for more than a year and a half, until the end of 2014, when most American forces are to be out of Afghanistan.

Obama administration officials said this week that some drone operations would shift to the Pentagon, particularly those in Yemen, where the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command is already running a parallel drone program. And, they said, the “preference” for the future is for all drone operations to be run by the Defense Department, rather than the C.I.A. While C.I.A. officers and analysts will continue to play a role in any drone operations run by the Pentagon, the White House plan is for the Defense Department to assume control over all drone operations in less than two years.

American officials said that one of the biggest challenges facing the C.I.A. is to take a large group of case officers who have spent more than a decade trying to hunt terrorists in war zones and retrain them to spy in countries like Russia, China and other so-called hard targets — difficult environments where governments are hard to penetrate and many C.I.A. operatives are under constant surveillance. Spying on the streets of Moscow might involve less physical danger than working in Karachi, Pakistan, or in Sana, Yemen, but trying to recruit Russian sources and to outwit Russian intelligence officers requires a subtlety that spies have not always practiced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In an embarrassing case last week, the Russians detained a young man in Moscow who they said was a C.I.A. officer trying to recruit a Russian official to spy for the United States. Video images of the man, Ryan Fogle, showed him wearing a shaggy blond wig under a baseball cap and revealed an assortment of items he was said to be carrying — including a compass, a street map of Moscow and a second wig. The images portraying an amateurish American spying effort played in an endless loop on Russian television.

Beyond the drone campaign, the C.I.A. over the past decade built large stations in Kabul and Baghdad, populating them with hundreds of young clandestine officers, many of whom were serving on their first overseas tour. The way C.I.A. officers operate in war zones — hunkered down much of the time behind large concrete walls and driving through cities in armored vehicles — is often the antithesis of the tradecraft used in noncombat areas, where spies need to blend into the local population.

Mr. Brennan, who spent decades in the C.I.A. as an intelligence analyst, also faces a significant challenge in widening the aperture of the CIA’s analytical work — which has also been consumed by the counterterrorism mission since the Sept. 11 attacks.

“A lot of things that pass for analysis right now is really targeting,” said Michael V. Hayden, a former C.I.A. director. “There has to be a shift in emphasis.”

In 2011, as popular revolutions spread through the Arab world, White House officials were critical of C.I.A. analysts for what they saw as a failure to keep up with the rapidly changing dynamics of the revolts. During his confirmation hearing earlier this year, Mr. Brennan made a veiled reference to this criticism.

“With billions of dollars invested in C.I.A. over the past decade, policymaker expectations of C.I.A.’s ability to anticipate major geopolitical events should be high,” he said in a written response to questions posed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Recent events in the Arab world, however, indicate that C.I.A. needs to improve its capabilities and its performance still further.”

Even though Mr. Obama made it clear on Thursday that America’s shadow wars would continue, it is obviously the hope of the White House that the C.I.A.’s role on the front lines of those wars will gradually diminish — and that the C.I.A. can adapt as the administration tries to refocus its foreign policy away from Middle East and counterterrorism and toward other parts of the world.

As Mr. Lowenthal, the former top C.I.A. official put it, “China isn’t going to allow us to fly drones over their country.”


Drone program had largely run its course

By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
May 24, 2013

By the time President Obama announced the new limits, the campaign had been scaled back sharply, because of criticism and waning targets

President Obama took pains to place the new restrictions on targeted killings he announced Thursday into the context of a broad reappraisal of the nation’s anti-terrorism effort.

Drones are not “a cure-all for terrorism,” he said in his speech at the National Defense University. They are not always “wise or moral,” he said. “All wars must end.”

But a large measure of expediency helped push those principles along, former U.S. officials and analysts say.

The five-year surge in missile strikes that Obama authorized after inheriting the program from President George W. Bush already has accomplished most of what it could, the analysts say.

“We’re running out of viable targets,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former CIA assistant director for analysis. “To just keep slinging drones for the sake of slinging drones becomes counterproductive.”

At the same time, the political and international backlash against drones has grown. And many experts believe drone attacks have become a recruiting magnet for new terrorists.

The drone program “has long been a declining asset,” said historian Matthew Aid, whose 2012 book, “Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror,” looked deeply at drone operations. “Lately, it’s been mostly killing small fry. And the national security establishment has started to turn against it.”

By the time Obama made his announcement of more restrictive, targeting rules for drone strikes, the pace of such attacks had already declined sharply. So far this year, 13 attacks have taken place in Pakistan, just a little more than two per month, on average, down from a peak of nearly 10 a month in 2010, according to the Long War Journal, a website that tracks drone strikes using media reports. The site reports 10 strikes so far this year in Yemen, where 42 took place last year. Strikes in Somalia have always been infrequent.

To be sure, few national security officials believe the drone program should be shelved entirely, which is why Obama’s speech included a vigorous defense of it.

Drone strikes have killed “dozens of highly skilled Al Qaeda commanders, trainers, bomb makers and operatives,” he said. “Plots have been disrupted that would have targeted international aviation, U.S. transit systems, European cities and our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.”

But what had been a loosely coordinated program run mainly by the CIA — the standards for which had already been tightened in the last year — now will evolve into a different sort of enterprise, officials said, one subject to more review across the government and controlled mainly by the military.

Obama left it to aides to address the details, and the targeting changes hinge on subtleties of language. Where once the U.S. would mount a drone operation against someone who posed “a significant threat,” now the standard is a “continuing and imminent threat.”

And while a threat to “U.S. interests” formerly sufficed to justify a strike, now the threat must be to “U.S. persons.”

The rules still give the president plenty of leeway.

The Obama administration’s definition of “imminent,” for example, is not the one found in Webster’s. A Justice Department white paper relating to the targeting of U.S. citizens said an imminent threat does not require “clear evidence that a specific attack … will take place in the immediate future.”

Although the new guidelines still give the administration considerable flexibility, external pressure increasingly has been constraining the drone program.

Congress, which had supported the strikes for years, has been holding hearings in recent months questioning their legal underpinnings. In April, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard moving testimony from a Yemeni journalist, Farea al-Muslimi, who spoke of a drone-fired missile that hit his village and killed a local extremist whom he believed could have been captured easily.

Other countries that cooperate with the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have long quietly disagreed with the Obama administration’s legal justification for many of the strikes. But now the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, is investigating whether some of the attacks amounted to war crimes.

And concern has been expressed by notable U.S. figures, including former Gen. Stanley McChrystal and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, that the program’s strategic value was waning. Its success in killing mid-level terrorists is now outweighed by the hatred it evokes in Muslim countries, they and others say.

“The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes … is much greater than the average American appreciates,” McChrystal said in January. “They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.”

“You can’t fight terrorism by trying to kill everybody, and you can’t fight terrorism on your own,” said Richard Barrett, a former United Nations coordinator on counter-terrorism. “You need moral standing and international credibility, and I think drones work against that.”


OpenAcademy individual enrollment courses posted for March-July 2013!

Don’t miss out on upcoming individual enrollment courses that are scheduled March through July.  New courses have been added.  Cyberforce Superiority™ might be a great opportunity for you or your colleagues!


AFCEA and the Intelligence & Security Academy Announces Strategic Relationship


AFCEA’s Professional Development Center (PDC) and the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC have entered into a strategic relationship based on the highly complementary nature of their respective course offerings.  We are pleased to announce that the Intelligence & Security Academy is an AFCEA Preferred Provider in Education & Training.

The PDC is part of the AFCEA Educational Foundation and offers courses on a wide range of topics that support AFCEA International’s guiding vision to advance knowledge in the fields of communications, information technology, intelligence and global security.  The Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational incentives, opportunities and assistance for people engaged in information management, communications and intelligence efforts and fostering excellence in education particularly in the “hard science” disciplines related to C4ISR.  The Foundation offers a range of scholarships, fellowships and grants and actively promotes opportunities for persons from groups under-represented in its fields of interests.

The Intelligence & Security Academy® is one of the leading providers of courses on intelligence – the role of the Intelligence Community, introduction to analysis, the intelligence budget process, and many others – and a wide range of national security topics, including cyber, homeland security, and counter-terrorism finance, among others.  Since 1999, the Intelligence & Security Academy® has taught courses in almost every agency of the U.S. Intelligence Community and in each of the military services.  The Academy teaches across the United States and overseas.  These courses are offered on a client basis and twice a year there are courses open to individual enrollment in its Open IntellAcademy®.  All Intelligence & Security Academy® courses are overseen by Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, former Assistant DCI for Analysis & Production; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence; and Staff Director, House Intelligence Committee.  Dr. Lowenthal is the author of the standard college textbook on intelligence, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, (4th ed, 2009).   Dr. Lowenthal is the course coordinator for the PDC’s popular course The U.S. Intelligence Community: Who Does What, With What, For What?

By marketing its courses together the AFCEA PDC and the Intelligence & Security Academy® can offer their respective communities, clients and AFCEA members a much wider range of successful and proven course offerings from highly technical courses to broader policy courses.  AFCEA members will receive a 10% discount on all Open IntellAcademy® courses.   AFCEA PDC and the Intelligence & Security Academy® courses are all taught by highly experienced practitioners, each of whom typically has over 25 years of experience in their subject.

Click here for more information on the AFCEA PDC

Click here for more information on the Intelligence & Security Academy