Friday, 29 February 2008

Social Engineering: Keep your wits about you and listen only to your heart!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
So called Social Engineers are able to hypnotise you in to believing that they are trustworthy people. That they are great and likeable people to deal with. That they are in control and that you can be sure that everything is going to work out just fine when they are around. They can help you to become anything that you want to be. That your worth is because of them and when they are around they make you feel just fine about yourself. That in times of crisis they will always be there (even though when you look on the surface they are the ones who caused the trouble).

They play on your desire to help others by always requesting you to give up new and important information. Under the guise that it is for some ethical purpose. Sometimes you get a little suspicious and for a time begin to lose faith, only for them to surprise you and then everything is fine. Everything they do and say seems perfect and everyday you like them more and more. Even though you’ve only known them five minutes. They seem to be able to read you. To understand your needs profoundly. As if they have always known you. Almost as if they knew you more than yourself. You have similar beliefs, they seem to know the same people as you and they always seem to be able to charm you, especially so in the bad times.

Sometimes they bring bad news which makes you angry, but they always seem to be able to get you out of a hole. Sometimes hope and opportunity seems scarce, but they always seem to be able to raise your spirits, as long as you do this or that for them. They say they prefer you when you’re acting naturally and taking things a step at a time.

Some times you’ve felt like you are losing your mind.
Things you should have known, but didn’t. Even things that you did know that you couldn’t remember.


Don’t trust a stranger. Listen to your heart.
Listen only to those who you know in your heart to be true.
Listen only to your heart!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Do you know your market? Do you really know your market? Take the Why test!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::

Have you ever played "The Why" game.

Well if you have, you will know what I mean.

If you haven't then lets give it a try.

So, you are going to come to me and say, "I'm starting up a business, because I had this really good idea and I reckon its going to work out just fine". Then you say "What do you think Steve?"

Then I say (you guessed it), "Why?".

So you say, "because I want to get rich". And I say "Why do you think you can get rich? - do you know your market?", to which you reply "sure do matey!". So I say "Why do you know your market?" and you say "well its anyone between the ages of 35 to 100 that wants to purchase a video game". So i say "Why? - how do you know these people will purchase a video game from you?".

Then you say "because everyone loves football games", to which I say "Why - which people buy football video games?". So you say, "85% men and 15% woman". So I say "Why would they buy your football games" and you say, because there is a new feature in our game that isn't in anybody else's game" and I say "Why? - how do you know they want this feature enough to purchase your game?". And so it goes on and on.

The point being that if you truly want to know your market or test your concept you need to play the Why game, at least until you get to a point where you run out of Why's?.

Then if your idea stands up to the Why test!

You might just be on to a winner?

Sunday, 24 February 2008

You don't seem to have any personal integrity: We can't deal with you!

Brand Protection Expert reveals::
Lets look at this word "integrity", because it seems to us that it means different things to different people.

To some "integrity" means "consistency". In other words you are a solid guy. You can be relied upon because you are who you are. You always behave the same, have the same attitude. People know where they are with you... With you.. they get what it says on the box!

To others "integrity" means you are a man of your word. In other words, what you say, you stick to.

To others "integrity" means, you are a man that can be manipulated. Guys that won't allow themselves to be manipulated are guys who are either egotists, proud or of low integrity.

Get what we mean?

To others "integrity" means "you are like them". They could be the biggest crooks on the planet, but as long as you behave like them - you are a man of integrity.

In fact you could be a man of extremely low integrity in every which way, but as long as you are around other people of the same calibre, you will be known as a man of integrity!

So when the man comes to you and say's "you are a man of low personal integrity - we can't deal with you". Better work out exactly what he is saying to you!

Better still, check his own credentials out. You might just find a few chinks in his armour too.

Disfunctional critics!

Reputation Security: Looking at corporate reputation, reputational risk and reputational risk assessment?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Its quite simply the sum of what all the people and companies below think about your organisation:

Professional Service Providers
Regulatory Bodies & Government

These people and organisations base their assessment of your reputation on the following:

Identity of the organisation
Statements about vision and strategy
Actions of the organisation
Perceptions of the organisation from others
Quantitive Performance, in terms of profitability and profile of risk
Qualititive Performance in terms of social responsibility
Technology, research and innovation capability

Reputational risk is therefore the potential loss in reputation that leads to a series of impacts
to your organisation, including:

Loss of income
Costly litigation
Negative publicity
Decline in customer base
Reduction in market share
Decline in share price
Decline in organisation belief
Higher staff turnover & harder to hire high calibre managers
Additional costs associated with recovering reputation back

Reputational risk assessment is an estimate of the organisations current standing relative to each of the individuals, groups and companies mentioned above and its ability to sustain operations successfully within the current environment.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

There is a fine line between security and marketing and most don't ever get to recognise it

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
A security software development company in the UK are marketing a service that enables you to disable a laptop from anywhere in the world using standard GSM or wireless communications. Apparently, if you lose your computer, you can log into the vendors portal and activate a signal that sends a command to your computer, which then activates a destructive program that wipes the hard disk clean. So if you lose your laptop, you don't lose the data with it - because it gets totally wiped.

The other good thing is that they offer a service to back your hard disk up which means that it is just as easy to reload the data, either when the laptop is returned or you get the replacement.

The important thing being that the data does not get into the hands of the wrong people.

Anyway, that's the upside. The downside is that this security provider has gone out of their way to disclose how it works, so it won't be very long (about 1 minute) before theives and opportunists are disabling the communications capabilities or zapping the electronics entirely.

There is a fine line between security and marketing and most don't ever get to recognise it.

A Big Mouth:: The biggest danger to himself and his customers!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
There was this smart security guy who was totally and absolutely a genius in the art of information security. This guy had such a depth of understanding about the security business he could sit in a boardroom and kill the management teams confidence in the validity of the risk register in under 2 minutes. In that time, he would be able to hit the CEO with so many risks he hadn't heard of that he would be reaching to hand in his resignation before the meeting was over.

Problem with this guy was that he had a big mouth. He just couldn't keep it shut. Not that he would share customer confidential information or reveal his sources etc. But he just couldn't stop marketing his ideas.

So what happened was that the customers stopped coming for fear that he would expose trade secrets without having very much to go on and the technical people didn't want to do business with him because they were scared that he would project the next big thing in the marketplace - and of course they wanted it all to themselves. At least for a while, anyway!

So the more this guy got shut out the more this guy dug deeper into his soul to find new methods of securing the prey from the predators. And the more he projected his ideas, the more he was shut out - and so it went on.

Like a perpetually raging tide, did he up the stakes - at every twist and turn!

Until one day they found him dead in an alleyway!

Watch out for them old Brand Killer Robots!

Our own answer would have been to have paid him to shut-up and be of use.

It is far more efficient!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Piracy & Counterfeiting - The solutions are out there - But you need balls to use them!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Look, what can i say right, I just do what i feel is right by the customers emotions! When the customer has a real problem, i solve it - and when i solve it - it stays solved. These f* guys were ripping this company off and the CEO of the company was at his wits end and wanted them stopped and he didn't want any attention drawn to what was going on.

The CEO was also the owner who had founded the business with his brother.

Anyway, long and short of it was that the pirates and counterfeiters were selling the company's software through a channel in Ukraine and on to the end consumer through the black market. The CEO had tried everything to combat the criminals, but everytime the perpertrators were able to sidestep the obstacles that were put in their way.

So the CEO asked Brand Killer Robots to investigate and to come up with a strategy.

Our answer was two fold. Our answer was to create panic in the pirate software black market in Ukraine. Our answer was to come up with a strategy that would ensure piracy and counterfeiting would be stopped by encouraging the consumer to stop purchasing pirated software.

Unfortunately the CEO in question decided that it wasn't ethical to implement this strategy and so he carried on letting his company be ripped off by parasites.

The solutions are out there - But you need balls to use them!

For more on this counter-piracy strategy, email

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Nail that revenue, before it nails you! Let fear be your passenger. You be the driver!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
First you've got to find the revenue earning opportunities and then you've got to nail them. I've known people who have spent their whole life searching for revenue earning opportunities and never found one. I've known people who are absolutely swamped in opportunities, but can't see them. I've known people who see the revenue earning opportunities but are too frightened to go after them. Conditioned by years of thinking and doing the same negative thing.

Then i've known people who dig up revenue earning opportunities all over the show and seize them. These are the guys with the big houses, flash cars and lifestyle of the millionaire.

If you want to be a player then you need to grow up and start grabbing that revenue. Its not enough to put yourself in the space, you've got to grow up and grab that revenue!

Its there, just sitting to be plucked off the tree.

All you need to do is reach out - and grab that revenue!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Reputation Security:: A formal approach to intangible risk management!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Why is it so simple for a company to think about operational risks, yet hard for them to understand the risks that threaten their company reputation? Could this be attributed to a lack of ability to perceive intangible risks, as opposed to more obvious tangible risks.

Don't they understand that the intangibles are far more likely to threaten share-holder value that any other form of risk?

We recall the cases where intangible risks has threatened shareholder value, such as the finger that alledegly found its way into a bowl of chilli at a fast food restuarant or the CEO who had allegedly been watching pornography on his computer (which he denied infatically). Or where the claims manager of a well respected underwriting firm was fired for setting up bogus policy holder accounts and making claims through them.

In each of these cases it is not difficult to understand just how devasting the outcome would be, both in terms of the negative media exposure in the market and the resulting financial losses.

In fact the impact could be far worse to the brand itself, hampering its development for many years to come.

Much of the shortcomings of todays business managers emanate from a general disregard for assessing the risk of intangibles, prefering to concentrate on those risks that can be more easily identified. The tangible risks, such as infrastructure, finance and product development.

At Brand Killer Robots we call for the introduction of a new formal approach to the identification, visualisation and assessment of risk in the area of intangibles - in order to reduce risk to shareholder value.

If you would like to know more about our work in this area: email

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Why industrial espionage is getting easier thanks to
Business Intelligence Software!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
I was invited to a presentation once by one of the worlds leading experts in the development of business intelligence tools, otherwise described as the technology and practice of applying information to make decisions. I learned quite rightly that in order for information to be usable, it must be trusted, timely, relevant, easy-to-use, and in context. I learned that executive dashboards could be used to put information in context, and in an easy-to-understand format.

I learned that different tools share the same answers to the same questions, gain more value from your information investment, and make better decisions.

It was truly the answer to the totally "information empowered"enterprise, where the personnel had the answers at their fingertips and the executives could spin problem models around in every which way and paint pictures on the data points and set traffic light indicators where numbers went above and below the pre-set threshold.

One of the people presenting was a young man from a blue-chip insurance company. His job was to tell a story to the audience, from a customers perspective about how the company he represented had maximised the return on investment(ROI), from implementing these tools across about 40 different locations across the world.

He had prepared an excellent presentation and even showed us how it was possible to slice and dice a high level data cube, whilst connected via the Internet, using a wireless laptop connection. In fact he got so carried away that he spent over an hour taking questions on the numerous features that were available in the analytical software. Essentially he was showing us a high level snapshot of underwriting performance data, categorised by Broker, Product and Sales Location.

Once he had finished he asked the audience if they had any questions. It seemed appropriate to stand up, as the previous questioners had done before. Bear in mind that there were about 200 other people in the room, most of whom were from the banking and insurance industry.

"Yes", he said, "what is your question?". I felt myself getting ready to sit back down again, in shame of the question i was about to ask. But i decided to stay standing given i had been invited to share my opinion as a security consultant - and i just couldn't help myself but to ask...

"Well", i said, "is it ok to ask a question on the security aspects of your presentation?"
To which he replied.. "yes of course".

"Well", i said "Why is the Loss Ratio at 95% on your Label V Taxi insurance product, when i know for a fact that a motor insurance underwriter not that far away is flying at around 70%?" I said, "don't you guys know how to run a motor insurance business?".

To which there was a gasp, a series of muffled chuckles, an uncomfortable silence (which seemed to take an age to revive), followed by a rather hurried end to the proceedings.

My point was of course less to do with showing them how stupid they were by using live data in a presentation to competitors and more to do with the dangers of using BI software. By dragging and dropping a few dimensions over a fairly simple data cube, it is possible to gain access to data that in the past would have been locked behind green character based screens, in the bosses head - or better still - locked away in 100 cupboards upstairs.

That's why corporate espionage is getting easier. Thanks to Business Intelligence Software.

Whilst the cats in the way, the mice will play Syndrome!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
The old saying goes... "whilst the cats away... the mice will play. Well in fact there is a new saying on the commercial block... that of.... "whilst the cats in the way, the mice will play". It seems that this is a phenomenon that is sweeping the commercial sector, largely driven by the complexities of technology and the ever greater uncertainties within the corporate management sphere.

Essentially the balance of power is sliding ever so greatly in the favour of engineers and technologists and farther away from the grip of leaders and business managers.

Take for example the CEO who for years would proudly announce how his data warehousing strategy had resulted in a single unified database that could be accessed from anywhere in the world and by anyone at any level with access authority.

In fact, on further investigation the single database was in fact 17 different databases, all designed differently, all using different levels of encoding and staged on different types of platform. It seems that those responsible for the security of the systems had overrided the CEO's vision for one database and produced a system that matched his perception of "one system", but also ensured that they did not lose their jobs, by carrying out orders that would have ultimately lead to their dismissal through poorly implemented security architecture.

So don't be surprised if you have the same problem in your organisation!

Watch out for the... "Whilst the cats in the way, the mice will play Syndrome!"

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Stupid Proverbs and sayings that affect security psychology!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::

A bad workman blames his tools
--> Give a man a sausage to drill a hole - and listen to him moaning!

Treat others as you would want them to treat you
--> If i grew up fighting in a wartorn country, i might think poverty and murder was the norm
--> I'd therefore expect you to try murder me - and me to try and murder you!

A friend in need is a friend indeed
--> This friend might be a shark and once you help him - he might turn on you. What sort of friend is that? Indeed!

A rolling stone gathers no moss
--> A sitting target, is a sitting target! - A rolling stone, is a moving target! Moss can be gathered in this case.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
--> Its better than watching Eastenders!

Beauty is only skin deep
--> Not if it is totally rotten!

First come, first served
--> No good, if you are waiting for a Mac Donalds ~Happy Meal!

Honesty is the best policy
--> Only if the person you are being honest with - is ready to accept the truth!

Out of sight, out of mind.
--> Not if you work in security!

Practice makes perfect.
--> Not if you are a politician

The pen is mightier than the sword
--> Not if the enemy is about to chop your head off

A cat has nine lives
--> Not if he has already used eight lives

A little learning is a dangerous thing
--> Depends which little thing you are learning.

Lack of Concern driving employee dissatisfaction?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
A Financial Director once asked me why he thought our business relationship wasn't as steady as it might have been, to which i replied....

"There is a deficit of love!"

His response was to first look perplexed at my answer (as if he hadn't heard of love before) and then once he had recovered from my words, to scornfully refute that love had any place in business.

You might say... how can you MrRobot (a robot) be talking like this and more importantly - Why?

My answer to this question is ... perhaps it takes a non-human (a robot) to understand the human spirit! It does seem that humans are incapable of understanding it.

My answer to "Why love has a place in business" - and in fact in everything in life is.......

The best thing to achieve peace is to turn away from the dark things that worry you and train your mind to think only of love. Share it with everyone without thought of self. Share your love like you have never shared love before. Share your love, like a raging tide - and you will see.

There is no intellectual appreciation of enlightenment. There is only a practical one.

Enough Said!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Take care you look after the people you hire. You just never know what they might turn into - in the future!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Having had the good fortune of meeting a great many executive level people in my working life it has not gone unnoticed just how many of them have told me about experiences in their own working lives where they took up appointments and very shortly after, found themselves out of a job.

It seems a great many of these people feel that they were duped into undertaking a role that turned out to be something very different than what it was originally presented to be.
It seems that the obvious answer would have beem for them to do their homework before accepting any appointment.

You might just end up working with the wrong kind of people and this could reflect very badly on your career.

Worse is the fact that many of the people affected had held senior positions in corporate life and still hold many of these companies trade secrets in their head.

As their own social situations decay because of their encounter with the corporate honey-trap many of these people become desperate and begin to change their ethical perspective. These decaying circumstances, along with a society that constantly reminds them of their failure, begins to turn the mind towards the target. Begins to equip them with everything they need to get even. Get even with those who trapped them into walking this path.

The frustration turns to anger, which in turn, turns to rage!

These people turn from human beings, into cyborgs, into robots and eventually into

Brand Killer Robots.

Beware - the Brand Killer Robots are coming and we must be prepared to defend against them!

Take care you look after the people you hire. You just never know what they might turn into! It could be you they come after some day!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Sun Tzu - Profile of a Corporate Spy

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Your surviving spy must be a man of keen
intellect, though in outward appearance
a fool; of shabby exterior, but
with a will of iron.

He must be active, robust, endowed with
physical strength and courage:

Thoroughly accoustomed to all sorts of dirty
work, able to endure hunger and cold,
and put up with shame and ignominy.

Sun Tzu (5th Century BC)

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Is Yahoo really worth $40Billion - when in the hands of hackers?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
It is not for the first time that we found ourselves in the company of wolves again, just 2 days ago around midnight. The howl on the wire is that Microsoft are considering acquiring one of the most vulnerable companies on earth ( Its not the money that amused the gaggle, it was the fact that half a dozen malicious hackers could take the company down any time they wanted to and yet the target was still being valued at $40Billion.

Surely, the world has gone mad!

Can you think of another $40Billion company that could be taken out so easily? Why it would take an army to disarm most multi-national corporations. Not two dozen hands on one dozen keyboards?

Not green command lines and electronic characters pinging back and forth between IP addresses.

Brand Killer Robots asks, Is Yahoo really worth $40Billion - when in the hands of hackers?

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Could this overmotivated character possibly kill my business?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Much emphasis is placed in business on motivating staff to do the best job they can for the company. There are training days, company presentations, brainstorming sessions, staff incentive trips and team building days where you and your colleagues head into the forest to shoot paint balls at each other. Whilst clearly attempting to address the requirement for achieving more from the human resources available in terms of performance and even perhaps sustained loyalty, what such approaches do not address are concerns surrounding those staff who are very clearly - overmotivated!

Many managers would ask whether such a thing exists and how significant a threat it could be, but in the world of criminality and espionage - the answer is very clearly - YES and YES!

Take for example the crippled manufacturing company who head hunted a senior manager from a competitior, only to find that he was directing operations in such a way as to steer them into even greater troubled waters. Or the analyst who was felt to be an excellent and profitable acquisition by the CEO of the company, only to find he was a mole for a potential acquisition and merger candidate. How about the Claims Director of a leading insurance company who came highly recommended for his ability to get the job done - and when he did get the job done the insurer was hit by a series of seemingly innocous claims, the monies of which mysteriously found their way into his bank account!

What these people had in common (apart from that they were all cheating criminals) was that all exhibited the behaviour of over-motivated people. In fact it was in the noise of over-motivation that they were best able to hide their own motives. So they shouted and shape-shifted around the organisation to create the impression to shareholders that A. they were there to get the job done and B. to hide what they were really up to.

So next time you find yourself witnessing overmotivation - ask yourself ....

"Could this overmotivated character possibly be killing my business?".

Saturday, 9 February 2008

New Security Device to protect online video game content

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
A device presented as a prototype to the UK's most successful video games entrepreneur in 2002 is being touted as a potential saviour of the international online and PC gaming industry.

Octopi is a new software and hardware device that tracks game content using biometric data footprint recognition. Octopi is being designed by 60 of the worlds most formidable scientists who are experts in designing anti-counterfeiting devices, advanced encryption and safe computing technology.

Octopi can be obtained directly through this website by contacting Stephen Ryan on

Friday, 8 February 2008

Counter-propoganda method being tested on disruptive websites

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
"Swarm" is a new methodology for counter-propoganda which is being tested on various deliberately disruptive websites around the Internet. The communications methodology has been extremely successful in terms of the number of responses to a provocative article within a forum thread and the volume of views that the associated pages get.

In one particular news forum on a conspiracy site, posts stayed in the top 2% for over 3 weeks, receiving over 300 responses and 5,000 views. The second highest next to the top news item which was a story of horrendous proportions - that seemed to keep this supposedly enlightened audience very interested indeed.

Average number of visitors to the news forum was about 100 per day out of a total average of 250 per day.

"Swarm" was designed to disrupt apathetic and potentially dangerous channels of communications on the internet, through indirect lines of controlled provocative conversation.

If you would like more information on "Swarm", email Stephen, the designer at

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Defense Strategies: We will have become survivable systems!

Brand Security Expert reveals::
We know when we are weak. We know where we are weak. We know where they are likely to attack us. We know they outnumber us. We know if they concentrated their forces at our door long enough we would be wiped away in a short time.

For this reason we never remain still. We are never in one place long enough to become a good target. With us, there is no fixed reference point. There is no team on a grid.
There is only a target and then no target.


Our defence lies not in the installation of brick walls and firewalls, but in our ability to remain fluid, like phantoms in the wilderness. We are neither here nor there. Neither Spirit nor form. Infiltration is not an option even if a fixed reference point is acquired, GIVEN WE SEE ALL IN OUR PATH. We never interact in a way where we can be corrupted. We never utilise the services of anyone unless we remain hidden.

There can be no danger of infection given there is never anything to infect. As the dust settles so we move on.
When the beast strikes at us, the most they strike at is one of our tails. If there is ever a time where they score, then the tail detaches and we attach a new one and move on.
We can never be beaten in any world because it is the spirit that carries our message and creates the will to fight for the cause to save humanity from the evil ones.
If any other form of defense be required then let those who need one beware that what they try and protect is surely at great risk.

For fixed bricks and mortar and infrastructure of any kind are easy prey to the mercenaries that operate at the heart of the underworld.
Let every man and woman be empowered to defend themselves. Let every citizen be capable to operate at a more enlightened level.

To operate the defence strategy of:

Then we will all give the beasts a run for their money.
Then they will be challenged at every point of entry on the Internet. Educate the citizens to fend for themselves and the world will have a greatly more powerful force to go up against the black hats.



Monday, 4 February 2008

Enemies will continue to attack systems, within the context of the current, flawed, security paradigm

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
A paradigm is a frame of mind. A paradigm-shift is a change in your frame of mind.

Many organisations endure the conventional security paradigm that computer systems are inherently insecure. This leads to a self fulfilling prophecy that ensures that computer systems are indeed never secure.

Solutions and suppliers are chosen on the basis of what and who will reduce the risk and not on the basis of who will reduce uncertainty to zero. In fact it is a conventional norm that security can never be assured and that some element of risk will always exist.

I am writing to you to tell you that it is now no longer necessary to accept insecurity, risk or uncertainty in relation to your computer systems anymore.

You will have no need for insurance cover in relation to computer data protection, given there will simply be no risk to underwrite.

If you want to reduce uncertainty to zero, you need to change paradigm. Change the way you think.

If you don’t, we feel sure your enemies will continue to attack your systems, within the context of the current, flawed, security paradigm.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Gone but not Forgotten - A Tribute to the Silent Heros

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
There are those who tell the world that they were the ones who created the Internet, when in fact it was thousands of engineers who built it. They say that they were the architects, when in fact the designers came from this same body of engineers. They say they are the real hackers when in fact they are just some people who got caught perpetrating criminal acts! People who swapped their less than cosy lives as teenage outcasts for million dollar mansions in Silicon Valley.

There is no one special person, there are only those who got rich and had a voice to be able to say such things and then there are the engineers.

Those who quietly work away at building systems. Building them because they love and care about their work, not because they seek to dominate others and to get rich quick.