Digital Communication Analysis for Insider Threat

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Digital Communication Analysis for Insider ThreatFocus Area: Forensic Intelligence

Description: Protecting against a threat to an organization from within its own ranks is difficult and easy to miss. An attack from inside has the potential for causing more physical, financial, and psychological damage to an organization than an external attack. Within any organization, there are large amounts of text communications, such as e-mails, that can reveal a profile of the psychological, mental, and emotional states of the author. Charles River Analytics is developing an assessment software tool that automatically analyzes large volumes of digital communications to detect disgruntlement, anger, psychological states, attitudes, and personal characteristics of the persons within a given organization. The assessments will produce a prediction of the likelihood or probability of physical violence, espionage, sabotage, and information theft by the author of the messages. The software tool will be capable of being inserted at various levels into communication systems and databases. The tool will search and analyze the messages for specific words, patterns of words, linguistic traits, tendencies, and other information that can identify persons who have specific risk factors. These factors will include traits and characteristics indicating if the persons are experiencing emotional states associated with extreme anger and disgruntlement toward the government, their supervisors, or coworkers. The factors will then produce a relative index of likelihood of certain future behaviors. The index will allow investigators and security personnel to focus their efforts on those most likely to be an insider threat for follow-up action.

Project Cost: $495,184

Project Duration: 16 months

Operational Impact: An automated tool to analyze who in an agency may be an insider threat

Delivered: Five software units that analyze digital communications for insider threat

Performer: Charles River Analytics, Inc.

End Users: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community

Transition: To be commercialized by developer