The SSTC Concept

Over the past few years, the increasing threat of terrorism has forced Governing bodies around the world to set up stringent regulations on the way security personnel should be trained and tested.

These new regulations have meant many organisations no longer have the capabilities to provide in house training to their employees and require specialist help from security training companies.

While many security trainers have sufficient security  knowledge to provide the training, many lack the technologies and marketing prowess required to take advantage of these extra requirements.

The SSTC franchise has been developed by Renful Premier Technologies in order to develop a worldwide framework for superior security training.

It is designed to enable security trainers to take advantage of the expertise, know-how and technology Renful has developed since its inception in 1994 so that they can provide a multi level security training service to their clients and increase their business opportunities.

Following the Renful Concept

All SSTC’s are able to follow Renful’s concept of providing training, testing and certification products and services that meet the needs of security screeners throughout their job cycle.

The concept is built on the belief that screener’s require a high level of initial training and testing before they are ready for their job.

For example, Pre-M enables security managers to analyse whether a candidate has the correct aptitudes to become a successful security screener while the use of our security X-ray simulator; Simfox together with our range of Simulants enable new personnel to familiarise themselves with the look, texture, functionality and x-ray signature of explosives.

At Renful, we also believe that security training should be pro-active rather than re-active and have therefore developed products and services that enable security personnel to get regular training on current and emerging threats.

For example, our Infogence publication provides monthly reports on emerging terrorism trends that can be used to update security personnel and build replica IEDs for Red Team Testing that are relevant to the current threat.  These threats are also placed into Simfox; which should be used on a monthly basis to improve the detection skills of x-ray screeners.

As well as providing services that meet every training and testing requirement of an x-ray screener, Renful provide a range of security courses, accredited in partnership with Middlesex University.

The courses last 3 days; are taught by experts and cover subjects such as Profiling, Document Verification, Terrorism Awareness, and more. Participants are then able to continue their studies via e-learning before enrolling at Middlesex University where they can earn academic qualifications designed to improve their earning potential and job prospects.

 Contact us for more information about providing secuirty training services through the SSTC>>

 

 


The Rise of Cyber Terrorism

Q: Where are you most likely to find a Terrorist? A: Wherever there’s a good Wi-Fi connection.

Author: 

For most, the internet has become an indispensible part of modern life. We Tweet about our lives, Facebook with our friends and shop till we drop.

Just like you and me, Terrorists spend a lot of time on the internet. However, their reasons for clicking “like” will be a lot more sinister.

Communication

YouTube channels and Facebook pages of Al Qaeda supporters are used to radicalise Western-based sympathisers, and also provide a means for communication between these “lone wolf” actors and larger organised networks of terrorists.

Recently, a 20 year old Moroccan was arrested in Brescia, Italy and accused of making a detailed plan for a terror attack on a Synagogue in Milan. A 40 year old Yemeni woman was also arrested in London over links with this group showing the global reach of many of these sites.

Police claim the accused used “exceptional” computer skills to create secret groups on Facebook.

A statement from police claimed “In this online arena, members could share instructions on how to assemble explosive devices, what chemical ingredients could be bought and the use of weapons”.

Propaganda

Terrorist organizations use the Internet to raise awareness for their cause, to spread propaganda, and to inspire potential operatives across the globe.

Websites operated by terrorist groups can contain graphic images of supposed successful terrorist attacks, lists and biographies of celebrated martyrs, and forums for discussing ideology and methodology.

Al-Quaeda distributes audio, video and graphics via The As-Shahab Institute for Media Production to forums, blogs and file-hosting websites.

Only recently, an English language terrorist publication called Inspire was intercepted by intelligence officials. Many articles within are thought to have come from Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born radical imam who has been linked to a number of terrorist plots including the attempted Times Square bombing.

Al-Awalki is also thought to have been behind the radicalizing of Nidal M. Hasan, who allegedly committed the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect accused of trying to ignite explosives on Christmas Day 2009.

Funding

The internet is also used as a way to fund terrorist organisations. Cybercrime has now overtaken drug trafficking as the main source of income for terrorist organisations.

Identity theft, counterfeiting, and other types of computer fraud all provide a higher yield whilst also having the benefit of being carried out under a shroud of anonymity.

The 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali were thought to be partially funded through online credit card fraud.

Explosive Manufacturing

Given the difficulty in accessing military grade hardware, many online discussions will turn to the homemade manufacture of explosive charges.

Anders Behring Breivik admitted he used instructions he found on the internet to build the bomb he used in his terror attacks on Norway in 2011.

The ingredients used by Breivik to build his bomb were all available to the general public. For example, the main charge was made from Amonium Nitrate and Diesel Fuel obtained from fertilizer.

Tactics

Many online discussions often turn to how best to build and conceal an IED in order to get through security checkpoints.

In 2009, Al-Quaeda’s expert bomb maker, Ibrahim Al-Asiri, saw the potential of inserting a bomb in the rectum of a suicide bomber.

The plan was to assassinate Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the head of the Saudi Arabia’s counter-terror operations.

The suicide bomber got through a number of security measures before setting off his IED as he went to meet the Prince. Fortunately, bin Nayef survived with only a few minor injuries.

A few months later, Al-Asiri got his bomb through security at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, this time concealed in the underpants of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The IED had no metallic parts, completely cancelling the effectiveness of metal detectors and x-ray machines. Fortunately, the bomb malfunctioned and the plane landed safely.

Recent intelligence suggests Al-Asiri has not given up. Reports tell us he is currently working with doctors on a plan to surgically implant IEDs into the bodies of terrorists.

The next step

While terrorists are very adept at spreading propaganda and communicating online, they have yet to deliver any major cyber attacks on organisations.

At the moment, cyber attacks attributed to terrorists have largely been limited to denial-of service attacks and defacing of websites.

However, as they have shown with their continued innovation in the manufacturing and concealment of bombs, it is clear that they will continue to improve their technical skills in order to deliver a major cyber attack.

Only time will tell.

About Us

Renful Premier Technologies is a knowledge based company that offers security solutions to organisations throughout the world.

Renful believes that working towards compliance is only the first step towards high-quality security and aims to provide a comprehensive solution that enables security x-ray screeners to excel in their job for the benefit of both the individual and the employer.

Our solution provides an integrative approach that includes training and assessment tools for the selection of the right candidate for the job of x-ray screener (Pre-M), computer based theoretical security training (TREFOX), familiarization with prohibited items (Simulated Explosives) and computerized security x-ray simulation training (SIMFOX).

We understand that training does not end in the classroom.  Once a screener has obtained certification following the induction phase, it is the employer’s responsibility to continue challenging his image interpretation skills and monitor his progress.  Renful’s solution is to present each employee periodically with tests and to provide feedback to the employee and employer. The system will allow the employer to take part in the design of the test and will record all results permanently.

During the operation, the employee is challenged by other assessment tools, such as TIP (Threat Image Projection), covert testing and supervisor assessment and routine testing on the SIMFOX Security X-Ray Scanner Simulation system.  This ensures that the x-ray screeners are constantly challenged in their detection abilities by regularly introduction of new threats and concealment methods.

To overcome difficulties with cross-referencing test results from various sources, Renful has developed a readiness management system (OpeReady) which enables the management to identify performance flaws and non-compliance issues on all levels, whether occurring on an individual, departmental or organisational level.

Please visit our website for more information about our security training services. 

Security Training Essentials – Drill Items

It is important to test xray security screening operations are functioning correctly and that screeners are able to detect threats correctly.

Many organisations have covert tests or red team testing carried out on their screening operation, either from their governing body or internally.

Renful has developed a range of inert replica concealed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that can be used in security drills such as covert testing and hand search testing.

  • Drill Items are made using CT correct explosives
  • Drill Items are validated by intelligence gathered by our Infogence Terrorism Intelligence Reports.
  • Drill Items are available to rent which enables you to return them after you have used them and rent a new one.

Please contact us to see our library of over 50 different types of inert IED replicas.

The Underwear Bomb

The underwear bomb used during the attempted bombing of flight 253 on Christmas day, 2009 was innovative in that no component within it was metallic. The terrorist was therefore able to walk through the metal detector completely undetected; completely negating the effectiveness of the x-ray machine.

Our replica concealed IED contains 80g of simulant penta erythritol tetra nitrate (PETN) enclosed in a small see thru plastic bag and placed in a pocket within a pair of underpants.

The underwear I.E.D also comes with a syringe containing simulant acid which was intended, when injected into the PETN, act as a detonator and create an explosion. The PETN simulant used to create this concealed I.E.D is ideal for use in airport security training as it remains inert while providing the exact Visual, Tactile, Colour and Texture characteristics and CT and Z effective number as the original.

Replica Concealed Book IED

In December 2009, the Infogence Report uncovered the use of concealed IEDs in hollowed out books by terrorists in Baghdad. In this instance, terrorists used a poetry book to conceal an IED containing 400-550g of plastic explosive wrapped in nylon.

The explosive device used a wireless initiation system, consisting of a Nokia mobile phone, with a safety amplifying system connected to the earphone socket while the charge’s voltage source came from a 9V battery. Pellets were also glued on pieces of cardboard.  Fortunately attempts made to detonate the charge failed due to a malfunction in the initiation system.

The same technique was later used in November 2010 during the Athens mail bombs. In this instance the concealed IEDs were detected during security x-ray screening at Athens Airport.

Contact us for more information about our Inert, Simulated IED Drill Items.

Passenger Profiling

Written by: 

Current security measures

Whenever a terrorist manages to breach the security system designed to protect airports, questions are asked as to why these countermeasures failed. Invariably new regulations are created and money is spent on technologies in the hope that they fill the gaps left by the last security breach. For example, following the Liquid bomb plot, restrictions were put into place limiting passengers to 100ml bottles of liquid in their hand luggage and more recently money has been spent on full body scanners in the hope that they will detect IEDs concealed on terrorists’ bodies.

Continually mutating threat

Although adding new technologies and restricting certain items can help security screeners detect threat items, they are not effective against the continually mutating threat of terrorism.  Infogence, providers of terrorism incidents and activities intelligence reports, are continually gathering intelligence regarding discussions about new IED technologies and concealments on terrorist websites and message boards.

So while the new regulations and body scanners may foil another “Underwear Bomb” style terrorist attack, they may not be effective against whatever the terrorists use next.

Inefficient security measures

Current security measures are extremely predictable usually involving an X-ray machine and a metal detector/ body scanner while slower but more advanced explosives detection technologies are rarely used.

The security measures therefore rely heavily on the ability of x-ray screeners to identify concealed IEDs, weapons and their components that, without the highest level of training, are extremely difficult to detect. Added to this the fact that security companies are under pressure to get passengers through security checks and into duty free shops as quickly as possible means that screeners are not being given the required time to provide an informed decision on each bag.

Screening all passengers and their luggage in exactly the same way, using the same technologies and as quickly as possible seems extremely inefficient given the fact that 99.9% of passengers are not terrorists.  If the current security measures were applied to a doctor’s surgery, the doctor would take an x-ray of each patient, no matter what their complaint was, look at it for 6 seconds and provide a diagnosis.

Fortunately, doctors do not treat patients this way, and instead ask a few questions before deciding whether further tests are needed on the patient or whether they can be diagnosed straight away. The same principle could be applied to security screening through the use of passenger profiling.

 

 

Passenger Profiling

Profiling involves carrying out a risk analysis on all passengers passing through a security checkpoint. It involves passengers being asked a set of questions based on any suspicious signs in their documentation, itinerary, appearance and behaviour. The screener then decides based on the passenger’s behaviour and answers whether they are a threat to the flight they are attempting to board.

Those who pose a threat are put through stringent security measures using complimentary detection technologies like explosives trace detectors, while those who are not seen as threats would ideally go through the normal security measures minus the removal of shoes, liquids and so on.

Profiling therefore provides a more efficient use of both security personnel and technologies.  Security staff can be trained on previous attacks and known terrorist modus operandi enabling them to respond to future threats as well as to those of the past while screeners are given the required time and technologies needed to detect the threat items concealed by terrorists.

An Integrated Security Process

Passenger Profiling should not be seen as a substitute for other screening processes but be integrated into a one stop security checkpoint involving the screening of checked luggage, hand luggage and passengers.

Integrating all security processes allows for security personnel to get the full picture when screening passengers and their luggage. They can identify anomalies and create a more detailed profile of each passenger.

An example of where an integrated security process involving profiling could have been used successfully comes following the recent attempt to blow up flight 253. Abdulmutallab could have been asked why he bought his ticket in Ghana with cash for a flight that left from Nigeria  or why he had not checked luggage for a 2 week stay in the U.S. Had he not provided adequate answers to these questions then he could have been selected for a more thorough check using the various detection tools available.

The need for Training

Although passenger profiling has been implemented in many airports around the world it is often scaled back due to fears that it encourages racial discrimination. There is a worry that screeners can become complacent, see someone and decide that they are a threat due to their religious belief or the colour of their skin rather than through proper reasoning.

The fact is that profiling must be carried out by skilled individuals who have been properly trained to identify terrorists through behavioural analysis, documentation and expert questioning.

Renful Premier Technologies offer a seminar designed to equip all participants with the knowledge, techniques and practical skills required to organise and implement an effective Profiling System at their location.

For more information on our Passenger Profiling please visit us at http://www.renful.co.uk

Advanced Security X-ray CBT

This article aims to highlight the difficulties faced by x-ray screeners in detecting threat items and the importance of investing in quality threat detection CBT to provide the best possible xray simulation training possible.

The Human Factor

Ever since the attack on Pan –Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, X-ray machines have become a main stay of security checkpoints throughout the world. Although they may look very sophisticated, they are essentially just imaging systems, and cannot be relied on to automatically identify weapons and explosives effectively.

Security X-ray machines therefore  rely heavily on their operators correctly analysing each image that comes through, a task which is made all the more difficult by the fact that they have, in a busy environment like an airport, only a few seconds to carry out their search.

If we compare the tasks required from an x-ray screener in finding a threat to that of a radiologist finding a disease we can clearly understand the difficulties of the job.  For example, a hospital radiologist will examine each medical x-ray image for several minutes and often consult with colleagues before making a diagnosis. Also, a medical x-ray image is viewed in a quiet and darkened room, with no distractions.

On the other hand security x-ray personnel have only about 6 seconds to inspect each bag image.  Within this very short time period the x-ray screener must intensively scan for prohibited articles and make a decision about each luggage item.  X-ray images in airports are also viewed in bright light with noise and a multitude of other potential distractions. The sheer number of bags that have to be screened and the cluttered patterns on each bag image makes it very challenging to identify dangerous items, especially as many objects look different under x-ray to how they appear in reality.

Now imagine you switch those working environments around; the radiologist would make mistakes, patients would be angry and changes would be made to the procedures immediately.

So why is it we accept the difficulties faced by x-ray screeners? After all, they are both searching for a potentially deadly threat, one to an airport and its passengers, the other to an individual’s well being.

The fact is that every bag cannot be checked thoroughly for much longer than 6 seconds in busy environments. Stopping each and every bag on the conveyor belt for longer would drive check in times earlier and earlier and create longer queues which in themselves would provide an attractive target to a terrorist.

The solution therefore is to train security x-ray screeners to a level that befits the critical job that they carry out.  Just as hospitals invest in the education of radiologists, security organisations need to invest in the training of security x-ray personnel. Perhaps not to the same level as radiologists, who after all require a university education, but at least using the best possible tools at our disposal within an effective and well thought out training schedule.

Simfox – Advanced Security X-Ray CBT

Security X-ray is an extremely specialised subject and requires advanced software that can deliver training that covers all the capabilities required to become an effective screener. For this reason Renful Premier Technologies developed, in 1989, the first ever security x-ray CBT; Simfox. Over the years Simfox has been continually developed, becoming the standard bearer for all other security x-ray CBTs on the market.

Simfox delivers the most accurate computer simulation of an x-ray machine allowing security trainees to use the same image enhancements, zoom functions and control features of the original machine. In fact, Renful’s newest development, Simfox Net, offers an on screen replica of the dashboard of the x-ray machine, so screeners can get themselves quickly acquainted to the x-ray machine’s various functions.

Simfox is currently compatible with all major manufacturers of x-ray machine and, unlike many other security x-ray CBT, offers simulators unique to each. This lack of discrepancies between simulation and reality allows for a seamless move from classroom to on the job training.

Simfox is extremely easy to implement into security training procedures and can be used in all types of applications including Airports, Cargo, Mail, Parliament Buildings, Prisons, Secure Hospitals and other high security establishments. It can be delivered through a number of flexible license options and is available through LAN, WAN and internet connections enabling organisations to provide training both within classrooms and remotely.

Security X-ray training

As most newly appointed x-ray screeners will come to the job having never seen the images that a security x-ray machine produces, Simfox offers a range of readymade, fully editable, x-ray image interpretation courses. These courses consist of items being put through the simulator at different angles enabling trainees to get a better idea of their shape, colour and density under x-ray. The courses include all types of threat items as well as innocent items, especially those that can be easily used to conceal weapons and explosive devices.

Once the x ray image interpretation courses have been completed, the next step is to introduce these items into a bag or container. Unlike many other xray CBTS, Simfox, as well as offering pre-packed bags, allows trainers to build their own bags from scratch using the thousands of individual items within the database. This feature is immensely useful as it allows security x-ray trainers to create an almost infinite number of bags that provide the kind of customised training that is so essential to their students.

The easy customisation of bags means trainers can adapt the training they give to the level of competency of their trainee. At first they may place the threat items within bags so that they are easily identifiable. As training evolves, the trainer can up the difficulty by concealing the threat behind other objects within the bag. In essence, the trainer becomes the terrorist creating the type of intelligent training content that is needed to combat the threat of modern terrorism.

Statistical Reporting

In order to map the progress of each student, Simfox has an integrated statistical module that records each and every student’s test results. As well as providing a useful tool for developing reports for management, it offers a range of valuable training functions. For example, Simfox provides an analysis of each student’s detection rate for each category of threat. Training can then be adapted to suit the needs of the student; increasing the level of training on a certain threat. All in all it allows the trainers to identify weaknesses in their screeners and provide the type of relevant and continuous training that is required.

Summary

The task given to x-ray screeners is extremely difficult. In order to give them the best possible chance to detect threats, they must be given the best possible training available. This can be achieved through the use of high-tech x-ray threat detection CBTs like Simfox that provides a multilevel approach to training enabling x-ray screeners the opportunity to develop the capabilities required to become effective at their job.

Contact us on 0208 457 9111 or at info@renful.co.uk.

Simfox Features – Quick Overview

Simfox X-Ray Simulation Software offers a number of features that enable instructors to provide challenging and realistic x-ray machine simulation training and testing to their x-ray screeners.

Huge Image Database

Simfox offers image databases for Rapiscan, Heimann, L3 and Gilardoni x-ray machines.

The system includes over 3000 item images of which 1000 are of Firearms, IEDs, Explosives and Knives.

The added ability to configure which items are threats, and which are not, ensures users are able to use a train their students to the exact regulations they will encounter on the job.

Simfox is also available with 2000 full bag images already configured into well structured training and testing session plans.

A large database of items helps security screeners get experience of a wide variety of both threats and everyday items.

Add to the Database

Simfox offers users the ability to create an almost unlimited number of bags ready to be taken as part of x-ray simulation training and testing.

Through the Bag Creator, users can build a bag from scratch, taking items from the database and virtually packing them into the system’s database of empty bags.

All created bags are permanently saved on the Simfox database and can be edited to create a completely new bag.

Simfox also offers an IED Creator that allows users to create IEDs and conceal them within other innocent objects thus ensuring screeners are getting a continuous stream of new threats to analyse and detect.

The ability to build new bags and IEDs ensures x-ray screeners are not being trained over and over on the same bags and threats and are getting the customised training they require

Customise Session Scoring

Simfox delivers a complex yet easy to use scoring system that can be adjusted if required to suit the skill level and experience of the x-ray operator.

The highly sophisticated scoring system is layered to avoid irregularities and provides scoring for all of the following factors and more:

  • Correct identification of each and every threat or search area in the bag.
  • Correct location of the position of each and every threat or search area in the bag.
  • Correct naming of each and every threat in the bag or reason for search.
  • Time taken for threat identification.

 A flexible scoring system ensures trainers can test screeners on the capabilities required at each stage of screener training.

The Simulator

Simfox offers single and dual view x-ray simulators that provide image enhancements and zoom functions through an on screen replica of the xray machine’s control panel.

The security x-ray simulators provide large, high quality images that create an unparallel level of realism for screeners taking their training or testing.

The realism provided by Simfox’ simulator ensures there is no knowledge gap when screeners move from the training room to the operation.

Review X-Ray Simulator Sessions

After each x-ray simulator session, the screener is able to review each and every bag they have just seen as well as any scoring penalties they have incurred. They are also able to isolate specific items within bags, view their x-ray image and photograph.

The ability to review a session ensures screeners can learn from their mistakes and get a better understanding of what is expected of them.

Analyse Screener Performance

Simfox Net contains a detailed statistical module which analyses the performance of both individuals and groups on a number of criteria including:

  • Threat Recognition
  • Speed of Detection
  • Detection Ability

Trainers can use the statistics to design specific training sessions on the x-ray simulator that will enable them to provide their x-ray operators with the correct level of training.

Contact us for more information about Simfox – Security X-Ray Simulation Software.

Security Seminar – Cancun, Mexico

In August 2012, Renful will be holding a seminar in Cancun, Mexico that consists of 3 separate modules that can be taken together or individually:

‣      Airport Risk Assessment and Operational Design.

‣      Passenger Profiling using Behavioural Patterns Analysis.

‣      Training Management and Readiness of Screeners.

Airport Risk Assessment and Operational Design

Module 1 – (August 20th 2012)

It is commonly known that the design and implementation of an Airport security operation affects the probability of threat detection and passenger throughput.

Participants will be taken on a visit to Cancun Airport during which they will be introduced to a number of training and operational design ideas as well as the use and implementation of various security technologies including CT scanners, single and multi view x-ray systems and trace detection technologies.

Passenger Profiling using Behavioural Patterns Analysis

Module 2 – (August 21st–  22nd 2012)

Profiling ensures more time can be devoted to detecting threats as security personnel are able to target suspicious passengers based on their behavioural patterns and target them for additional searches and questioning.

This module teaches the unique skills required to implement a Profiling System within all high security organisations in order to help reduce delays and increase passenger throughput, whilst actually enhancing security.

Training Management and Readiness of Screeners

Module 3 – (August 23rd – 24th 2012) 

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link. If one component within it is not ready to meet the threat, the whole operation is at risk.

Security managers must, therefore, be able to identify weaknesses within their security system and be able to correct them immediately.

This module focuses on the tools required to manage employee qualification, training, re-training and certification requirements and provide suggestions for monitoring the readiness of single employees, units, departments and equipment within an organization ensuring that compliance and performance standards are being maintained.

Seminar Prices

Participants can select which of the three modules they wish to attend:

‣       Module 1: $390.00

‣       Module 2: $590.00

‣       Module 3: $590.00

‣       Discounted Full Seminar Price: $1,250.00

Fees include lunch and light refreshments daily, airport visit (module 1) and course material. There is a 10% Early-bird discount for payments received on or before 1st of July 2012

For more information about this seminar please contact us on +44 208 457 9111 or rm@renful.co.uk.