Global Security Glossary -B-


Background investigation: an inquiry into the background of an individual under consideration for employment, credit, access to sensitive assets (such as national defense information), and other reasons. A background investigation can vary widely, from merely checking prior employment experience and educational credentials to civil, criminal, and medical histories.

Backstop: the provision of verification and support of cover arrangements for an undercover agent in anticipation of inquiries or other actions which might test the credibility of the agent’s cover. Backstopping may include the establishment of physical addresses, telephone numbers, a driver’s license, business cards, letterhead, employee identification, and other records.

Balanced scorecard: is a performance measurement system that, in addition to financial measures, quantifies items that had previously been considered as intangible assets, such as brand image, customers, reputation, Human capital, Information, Innovation, and Corporate culture.

Balkan route: a route used by heroin and opium smugglers which begins in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan and transverses Turkey and the Balkans into Western Europe.

Bandwidth: is a measure of the capacity of an information channel, that is, the volume of Information that can be transmitted over a communications link in a given time.

Bangalore torpedo: a dynamite-filled length of pipe detonated by a blasting cap or a fuse.

Bank Guarantee: Scam

Financial con artists persuade their marks that there is a wonderful, secret opportunity available in trading so-called PRIME BANK GUARANTEES, or PBG’s.

They use the term as if it were a stand-alone financial instrument that can be obtained in quantity like stocks and bonds, and attach all sorts of quick wealth accumulation to the myth.

One finds the use of Bank Guarantee, BG, and PBG in HIGH-YIELD INVESTMENT PROGRAM scams, in which the investor is told many a tale about leveraging anywhere from $10,000 to $10,000,000 to purchase hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars worth of guarantees on day one, then selling them on day two for huge profits.

The truth of the matter is that the buying and selling of trade finance instruments is a highly specialized field, relegated only to experienced FORFAITERS and the FORFAITERS department of international banks.  Forfaiting requires an intimate working knowledge of international politics, law, and economy.

As for selling a Bank Guarantee for profit, as you can see in the Truth above, that wouldn’t really be very practical.

Barrister: a lawyer in the United Kingdom and in certain British Commonwealth countries who is authorized to represent a party in court, in contrast to a solicitor, who is primarily an office lawyer.

BASC: Business Alliance for Secure Commerce. A private sector security initiative in Latin America.

Behavior modification: the changing of human behavior through conditioning or other learning techniques. It generally uses a system of rewards and punishments to elicit the desired or appropriate behavior. Behavior modification is one of the major concepts employed by therapeutic communities.

Benchmarking: is a continuous, systematic process for evaluating and comparing an organization’s activities, products, services, and work processes with those of organizations that are recognized as representing best practices for the purposes of performance improvement. A secondary purpose is to reveal useful practices or ideas that may be adopted or adapted with advantage

Best practices: fundamental principles that add value to organizational performance; workplace behavioral standards that contribute to consistently excellent performance by employees and teams of employees; comparative research (i.e., benchmarking) that is intended to improve organizational performance. Best practices in the security field incorporate elements that have been found to be successful such as policy and planning as guides, work rules and procedures as directives, risk assessment, crime opportunity reduction, and training and re-training of employees.

Biometric: a security identification system which measures a physical feature (such as hand geometry, retinal scanning, fingerprints, facial or vocal feature), translates it into a digital form, and then compares it with the values found in the approved database.

Black intelligence: information obtained through espionage.

Black propaganda: disinformation consisting of lies combined with distortions, half-truths, and even bits of the whole truth; propaganda which purports to emanate from a source other than the true one.

Blackmail: the popular name for extortion in which the offender obtains something of value from another by means of threatening to expose some secret or true or alleged fact which would do harm to the subject’s personal circumstances or would subject the victim to disgrace or loss of reputation.

Black Market Peso Exchange: a system by which drug money profits are laundered through the use of international trade and blocked currency accounts (see BLOCKED FUNDS).  Here is how it works:

Colombian drug dealers export drugs to North American and Western Europe.  The drug sales are deposited in the currency of country where the drugs are sold.  Now the drug dealer has to figure out a way to convert those Dollars, Francs, Deutsche Marks, etc. into Columbian pesos back home, but there is a small catch – a peso broker (broker who specializes in converting currencies in blocked currency accounts for a commission) is contracted by the cartel to exchange the pesos he controls in Columbia for the funds the cartel holds in the foreign countries.

Once this is accomplished, the drug dealers are out of the picture.  Now it is up to the currency broker to launder the funds he now hold in foreign countries.  He now must place these funds into the country’s banking system and move it around.  For this process, he has contacts in the foreign countries to assist him.

To accomplish the final phase, the broker advertises to Colombian importers that he has foreign funds available for the purchase of foreign products.  Colombian importers place their orders.  The broker’s contacts purchase from manufacturers on behalf of the Colombian importers, and the broker pays for the products with the drug money.  The broker is in turn paid in pesos by the Colombian importers, refilling the broker’s supply of peso currency funds.

The purchased goods are shipped to the Caribbean or a destination in South America from which they are smuggled into Colombia, the Colombian importer takes possession, and avoids the expensive Columbian import and exchange tariffs.

The drug money has thus been moved into the banking system, the broker has his new peso accounts, making money from all sides in the process, the drug dealers have their pesos, the Columbian importer has his foreign products to sell at a cheaper price, and everyone has made out like a bandit.  Unfortunately, honest manufacturers and suppliers have been unwittingly dragged into money-laundering.

To learn more about the Black Market Peso Exchange, please visit Money Laundering: Black Market Peso Exchange, brought to you by Enforcement Division of the U.S. Customs Service.

Bleached note: a counterfeit bill treated by bleaching a low denomination genuine note and then printing on it, with a counterfeit plate, a higher denomination note.

Blog: is a direct means for an individual to share ideas, thoughts, opinions, and Information concerning a particular topic with an audience, using the Web as the medium. It usually takes the form of a diary or narrative (in reverse chronological order) initiated, and frequently updated, by the blogger. Its main value lies in the establishment of networks and the Social capital created as a result, and usually comprises ephemeral material.

Boiler Room: in a typical boiler room, sales people sit shoulder to shoulder at phone banks all day. They cold call potential investors using sophisticated sales scripts and high-pressure sales techniques…In most cases, these companies first approach … investors with an initial proposition of buying a well known, New York Stock Exchange stock only to have the salesperson quickly sell that stock without authorization and then purchase a low-priced, speculative micro-cap security… other characteristics of these schemes are unauthorized transactions; offers of low-priced, unsuitable, speculative securities to conservative investors; guarantees of huge profits; and the representation that the salesperson possesses inside, non-public information that will ensure a stock’s rapid success.

The object of this fraud is to drive the value of the stock higher and higher as a result of all the stock purchases.  The scammers, having purchased considerable shares of the targeted stock before setting up the boiler room, then sell at the peak causing a major slide of the stock value.  This is sometimes accomplished in a very short period of time with  the fraudsters sell their holding, driving the price down, and the investors do not have time to react to the change.

One of the ways in which scammers drive the price of the stock is by sending out thousands of unsolicited emails (Spam) every day with enticing stock offers.

Breach of trust: to take for personal use anything of value being held in trust for someone else.

BRIC: The four largest emerging market economies Brazil, Russia, India and China.  They are predicted to surpass the current leading economies by the middle of this century, a tectonic shift that by this reckoning will eventually nudge the United States and Western Europe away from the center of world productivity and power. The term BRIC was first coined by a Goldman Sachs economist in 2001.

Bio-hackings: name given to hobbyist, for the most part biologist students, who build personal biology labs in which these do-it-yourselfers tinker with the building blocks of life in the comfort of their own homes. Some of them buy DNA online, then fiddle with it in hopes of curing diseases or finding new biofuels.  The trend can have deep implications in the future and is therefore worth monitoring both for its benign applications as well as its potential to create dangerous pathogens.  DIY Bio is a website frequented by bio-hackers sharing their developments.

B/L: Bill of Lading is a document issued by a carrier specifying that certain goods have been received on board as cargo for movement to a named location for delivery to the consignee.

Bullet-resistant glazing: glass consisting of two or more plates bonded with plastic interlayers, generally resistive to penetration by bullets from medium to high power arms.

Business Continuity: A comprehensive managed effort to prioritize key business processes, identify significant threats to normal operation, and plan mitigation strategies to ensure effective and efficient organizational

Business environment: encompasses all those factors that affect a company’s operations, and includes customers, competitors, stakeholders, suppliers, industry trends, regulations, other government activities, social and economic factors, and technological developments. The topic is also referred to as Operating environment.

Business Intelligence (BI): refers to computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes. BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, and predictive analytics.

Bust-out: a fraud in which a company declares bankruptcy immediately after diverting or concealing cash obtained from the sale of inventory purchased on credit.

Main Glossary Page


2 Responses to “Global Security Glossary -B-”

  1. Country Security Profile: Brazil « Security Beyond Borders™ Says:

    […] for an undoubted prominent future.  Despite its eminence (economic ascendance) as one of the BRIC (fastest growing emerging markets comprised of Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, Brazil […]

  2. Observations on Competitive Intelligence in Latin America « Security Beyond Borders™ Says:

    […] Learning from the military sphere many previously fragmented areas like business intelligence (BI), knowledge management (KM) along with CI have converged into an overarching tool called Strategic […]

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