Target Developer Job Profile

What is a Target Developer?

The Target Developer performs target system analysis, builds and/or maintains electronic target folders to include inputs from environment preparation, and/or internal or external intelligence sources. Coordinates with partner target activities and intelligence organizations, and presents candidate targets for vetting and validation.

  • computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
  • risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
  • laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles.
  • cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
  • human-computer interaction principles.
  • network traffic analysis methods.
  • concepts, terminology, and operations of a wide range of communications media (computer and telephone networks, satellite, fiber, wireless).
  • physical computer components and architectures, including the functions of various components and peripherals (e.g., CPUs, Network Interface Cards, data storage).
  • collection management processes, capabilities, and limitations.
  • cyber attack stages (e.g., reconnaissance, scanning, enumeration, gaining access, escalation of privileges, maintaining access, network exploitation, covering tracks).
  • website types, administration, functions, and content management system (CMS).
  • applicable statutes, laws, regulations and policies governing cyber targeting and exploitation.
    WITHKnowledge of analytical constructs and their use in assessing the operational environment. (See System Architecture)

  • attack methods and techniques (DDoS, brute force, spoofing, etc.).
  • client organizations, including information needs, objectives, structure, capabilities, etc.
  • collateral damage and estimating impact(s).
  • common computer/network infections (virus, Trojan, etc.) and methods of infection (ports, attachments, etc.).
  • computer networking fundamentals (i.e., basic computer components of a network, types of networks, etc.).
  • criticality and vulnerability factors (e.g., value, recuperation, cushion, countermeasures) for target selection and applicability to the cyber domain.
  • cyber intelligence/information collection capabilities and repositories.
  • cyber operation objectives, policies, and legalities.
  • data communications terminology (e.g., networking protocols, Ethernet, IP, encryption, optical devices, removable media).
  • dynamic and deliberate targeting.
  • encryption algorithms and cyber capabilities/tools (e.g., SSL, PGP).
  • evolving/emerging communications technologies.
  • fundamental cyber operations concepts, terminology/lexicon (i.e., environment preparation, cyber-attack, cyber defense), principles, capabilities, limitations, and effects.
  • general Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system components.
  • governing authorities for targeting.
  • host-based security products and how those products affect exploitation and reduce vulnerability.
  • how Internet applications work (SMTP email, web-based email, chat clients, VOIP).
  • how modern digital and telephony networks impact cyber operations.
  • internal and external partner cyber operations capabilities and tools.
  • internal and external partner intelligence processes and the development of information requirements and essential information.
  • Internet network addressing (IP addresses, classless inter-domain routing, TCP/UDP port numbering).
  • intrusion sets.
  • legal considerations in targeting.
  • malware analysis and characteristics.
  • operational effectiveness assessment.
  • operations security.
  • organization or partner exploitation of digital networks.
  • physical and logical network devices and infrastructure to include hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, etc.
  • specific target identifiers, and their usage.
  • target development (i.e., concepts, roles, responsibilities, products, etc.).
  • target estimated repair and recuperation times.
  • target list development (i.e. Restricted, Joint, Candidate, etc.).
  • target methods and procedures.
  • target vetting and validation procedures.
  • targeting cycles.
  • TCP/IP networking protocols.
  • telecommunications fundamentals.
  • the basic structure, architecture, and design of modern communication networks.
  • the basics of network security (e.g., encryption, firewalls, authentication, honey pots, perimeter protection).
  • the common networking and routing protocols (e.g. TCP/IP), services (e.g., web, mail, DNS), and how they interact to provide network communications.
  • the structure and intent of organization specific plans, guidance and authorizations.
  • the ways in which targets or threats use the Internet.
  • threat and/or target systems.
  • wireless technologies (e.g., cellular, satellite, GSM) to include the basic structure, architecture, and design of modern wireless communications systems.

Key skills of the Target Developer include:

  • applying various analytical methods, tools, and techniques (e.g., competing hypotheses; chain of reasoning; scenario methods; denial and deception detection; high impact-low probability; network/association or link analysis; Bayesian, Delphi, and Pattern analyses).
  • assessing and/or estimating effects generated during and after cyber operations.
  • conducting non-attributable research.
  • conducting research using deep web.
  • defining and characterizing all pertinent aspects of the operational environment.
  • determining appropriate targeting options through the evaluation of available capabilities against desired effects.
  • determining the physical location of network devices.
  • evaluating available capabilities against desired effects to provide effective courses of action.
  • evaluating information for reliability, validity, and relevance.
  • fusion analysis
  • identifying alternative analytical interpretations to minimize unanticipated outcomes.
  • identifying critical target elements, to include critical target elements for the cyber domain.
  • identifying cyber threats which may jeopardize organization and/or partner interests.
  • performing target system analysis.
  • preparing and presenting briefings.
  • providing understanding of target or threat systems through the identification and link analysis of physical, functional, or behavioral relationships.
  • reviewing and editing target materials.
  • tailoring analysis to the necessary levels (e.g., classification and organizational).
  • using Boolean operators to construct simple and complex queries.
  • using geospatial data and applying geospatial resources.
  • using multiple analytic tools, databases, and techniques (e.g., Analyst’s Notebook, A-Space, Anchory, M3, divergent/convergent thinking, link charts, matrices, etc.).
  • using multiple search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, LexisNexis, DataStar) and tools in conducting open-source searches.
  • using targeting databases and software packages.
  • utilizing feedback to improve processes, products, and services.
  • utilizing virtual collaborative workspaces and/or tools (e.g., IWS, VTCs, chat rooms, SharePoint).
  • writing effectiveness reports.
  • analyze and assess internal and external partner cyber operations capabilities and tools.
  • analyze and assess internal and external partner intelligence processes and the development of information requirements and essential information.

Target Developer must be able to:

  • communicate complex information, concepts, or ideas in a confident and well-organized manner through verbal, written, and/or visual means.
  • accurately and completely source all data used in intelligence, assessment and/or planning products.
  • develop or recommend analytic approaches or solutions to problems and situations for which information is incomplete or for which no precedent exists.
  • evaluate, analyze, and synthesize large quantities of data (which may be fragmented and contradictory) into high quality, fused targeting/intelligence products.
  • focus research efforts to meet the customer’s decision-making needs.
  • function effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • function in a collaborative environment, seeking continuous consultation with other analysts and experts—both internal and external to the organization—to leverage analytical and technical expertise.
  • identify intelligence gaps.
  • recognize and mitigate cognitive biases which may affect analysis.
  • recognize and mitigate deception in reporting and
  • analysis.
  • think critically.
  • utilize multiple intelligence sources across all intelligence disciplines.
  • exercise judgment when policies are not well-defined.
  • clearly articulate intelligence requirements into well-formulated research questions and requests for information.

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