Geek with an edge: Gordon Snow, Asst. Dir. FBI Cyber Division

it’s anyone’s guess whether 24’s Jack Bauer would win in a faceoff against the new FBI Cyber Crimes Top Cop, Gordon Snow. Give this guy the data from the malware and he’s sharp enough to take the information and form a counterintelligence strategy and also reach into the black bag for which snake-eating team he needs to use in order to go and get the suspects from unfriendly countries – any way possible.

Fast Company’s tongue in cheek yet informative piece on Gordon M. Snow said this:24Collage3

    • There's no doubt that Snow's going to be effective in going mano a mano in the battle for cyber supremacy–although one must pity the poor geek who dares to make a mook-up on his watch.
    • Previous positions held by him include: member of the Hostage Rescue Team, SWAT program coordinator of the Feds' Detroit Division, chief of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear and Missile Technology Unit at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C.,
    • …and he was instrumental in drafting the Cyber Counterintelligence Plan for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

    Clear message to Cybercriminals: We’re coming to GET you…

    So this guy was literally in charge of chasing down WMD technology arms dealers. Globally. According to Gordon Snow’s resume on the FBI’s site, this guy reads as real Jack Bauer street credibility:

      • In April 1996, he was assigned to the Critical Incident Response Group as a member of the Hostage Rescue Team. During that time, he took part in several sensitive rendition missions; conducted terrorism assessments overseas with the Department of State; and was assigned to assessment, protection, and investigative support missions after the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, and the embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.
      • He also served as the SWAT Model Manager.
      • Following his return to the U.S. [from a year in Afghanistan as the Counterterror Div. Commander], he was appointed section chief in the Cyber Division in January 2008 and detailed to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Counterintelligence Executive.

      Translated into civilian I specifically outline ‘sensitive rendition’ here. Rendition is often defined as capturing and transporting criminals without extradition. Clear message that we’re coming to get them, making law enforcement corruption within other countries less of an issue.This rendition background should cause very considerable fear in out of reach cybercrime syndicates.

      The following takes place between 5:00am and 6:00am…

      For the lighter side, this bit from Fast Company had me laughing… 

        • … fellow students describe him as "[redacted for reasons of security]" and the most "[redacted for reasons of security]-out guy you'd ever [redacted for reasons of security] in a [redacted for reasons of security]."

        We’ve got one phrase at Threat Blog for guys like Gordon Snow: ‘card-carrying bad-[redacted for reasons of security]’

        What’s in a name – Is ‘Gordon’ replacing the Tao of Steve?

        Like Baby Boomers had their card-carrying movie tough guys named Steve, (Steve Mcqueen, Steve Austin $6M man, and Hawaii Five-O’s Steve McSomething referenced) it seems us Gen-X’ers can add Top Cyber Cop Gordon Snow to the list of quite a few card-carrying Gordons in the 21st Century:

        24Clock

        1. Commissioner Gordon – that guy always calling on Batman, prequel showing him to earn the right to card-carry.
        2. Gordon Freeman – scientist turned hero in HalfLife crowbar wielding fame.
        3. Gordon Ramsey – Chef from Hell’s Kitchen. If he wasn’t so good at rescuing businesses, he wouldn’t be a card-carrier.
        4. Flash Gordon – You know… the guy who fought Ming in the 80s flick and ‘saved every one of us’.

        Analysis / Opinion: Smart + Heavy Hitter = Renditions, Baby…

        What does it mean when they take a person who’s got a lot of tactical experience as well as chops in the supervisory role of cyber crimes? If this administration is expecting cyber-trouble in the form of more than just a keyboard and server, this guy’s got at least twenty years of direct and applied pipe-hitting experience.

        1. For a policy maker to pick an operative, it means you want someone in that position who fully understands the application of force through tactical operations.
        2. Expect some shakedowns in the cybercriminal world and some renditions that director Ridley Scott would be proud to remake. My assessment is that Gordon Snow is uniquely suited for beginning the offensive in a front that other FBI resources aren’t shy in saying we’ve lost the war and need to gain back ground. Additionally, the past two years having dealt with the counterintelligence priorities of the Director of National Intelligence brings some serious insight into the cyber-espionage / cyber-spying that has plagued our country for the past ten years.
        3. When you’re expecting trouble you look for the tough AND smart guys and you stick them in places they can make a difference when every second of decisiveness counts. Gordon Snow strikes me as a great balance of both, and having spent the past two years in counter-intelligence, he can put the hot intellectual property loss issues appropriately onto the table.

        Gordon is also a former Marine which means versatility and adaptability, not to mention a social network that isn’t on Facebook. Additional reading further into his resume ‘Monterey Bay’ is listed which intersects with the same location as the Naval Postgraduate School, a hub of cybersecurity and cyberwarfare learning as well as Naval Warfare leadership.

        Maybe that’s just coincidence but when you add it to his Bay Area leadership experience, I don’t think it’s a fluke.

        Result: Never discount a little friendly cooperation from Canoe University for difficult renditions globally. It’s been done for terrorists before and Gordon’s got the ball with seconds on the clock. Kudos to the folks within the Obama Administration for this sharp move.

        And yeah, for the record, this is EXACTLY how you bring the rain when you play to win.

        Securing Our eCity Contributing Writer

        Update: To answer legal questions about rendition, the legality dates back to this 1886 Supreme Court decision.

        Author ESET Research, ESET

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