BHC Global And Project Vigilant: Where's The Money?
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BHC Global And Project Vigilant: Where's The Money?

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A breakdown and some fishy details about Uber and the story of the PV funding.

A breakdown and some fishy details about Uber and the story of the PV funding.

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BHC Global And Project Vigilant: Where's The Money? BHC Global And Project Vigilant: Where's The Money? Document Transcript

  • BHC Global And Project Vigilant: Where's The Money? Jeffrey Carr, Subscriber Comment Now Follow Comments I won’t bother with introducing readers to Project Vigilant and its backer BBHC Global. If you haven’t heard about them yet, check out Andy Greenberg’s “Stealthy Government Contractor Monitors U.S. Internet Providers, Worked with Wikileaks Informant” here at Forbes, Robert McMillan’s “Secretive Group Seeks Recruits, Finds Skepticism” at the IDG newswire, and Mark Albertson’s “ Big Names Help Run Project Vigilant” in the San Francisco Examiner. When it comes to assessing the real impact of this elusive organization that claims to monitor regional ISPs’ data in search of online crime and terrorism, I’m solidly in the skeptic’s corner along with Richard Bejtlich and many others. All volunteer groups require full-time leadership in order to get projects done. When I founded Project Grey Goose it never had more than 40 members and 20% of that number did 80% of the work. With only 40, one or two of us could manage it. Chet Uber claims to have 500 volunteers for which you’d need a paid staff of full-time managers. The project’s backer, according to Uber, is BBHC Global. Surely such a company, able to field and supervise so many volunteers and with plans, according to Uber, to triple that number has been around for awhile, but it’s domain name (BBHC-GLOBAL.COM) was registered in April, 2009. It must have an income stream in order to pay its staff, but what is its product? The Central Contractor Registry (www.ccr.gov) has it registered as a news syndicate (NAICS code 519110), which is defined by NAICS as establishments who sell information to the news media. But the news media just now heard about them so clearly they aren’t the customer. Perhaps BBHC Global sells directly to the government but they’d have to be in business a lot longer than 1 year for that to happen. On average it takes a new company at least 3 years to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops and receive its first check. BBHC Global seems more like a shell company than a legitimate organization. Who owns BBHC Global? Steven Ruhe shows as the registrant for the domain name but the email address he provides is chet.uber@mac.com. Ruhe’s LinkedIn profile says his present job from 2004 to the present is as the owner of T.G.B.S. Construction in Lincoln, NE however aYellowPages.com search under that name turns up nothing. I checked 411.com. Nothing. Then I found a copy of the Lincoln Business Builder from April, 2007 with a photo of Steven Ruhe and his partner Brett Reifschnider of R&R Drywall. Is there another Steven Ruhe in Lincoln, NE? Not that I can find.
  • In fact, Chet Uber seems to have more connections to BBHC Global than Ruhe does. BBHC’s CCR listing, an official registry whose information has to be vetted through Dun & Bradstreet, only shows the name Chet Uber who resides at an address in Florida. An online AT&T directory shows a Barbara Uber living at that same address. Spouse? Mother? On Chet’s Nyamz page he lists his position with the company as “volunteer consultant”. Since when does a volunteer consultant register a company with Dun & Bradstreet and the CCR? In fact, everything about Chet just feels wrong. Check out his Nyamz bio and see what I mean. Or you can click on his LinkedIn profile and discover that he is no longer just a volunteer consultant but has staked out a new title: Director Project Vigilant at BBHC Global. BBHC Global, however, is not in Florida according to its Duns and CCR records. They list the address as 12105 William Plaza, apt 336, Omaha, NE 68144-1416. That same address shows up for a marketing company Double W Marketing and a one-on-one wellness consulting company called Innovations in Health. Both of those domains are registered to someone named Wayne Wilson. So why is Chet Uber of Fort Pierce, FL the registered principle point of contact for a company in Omaha? It’s registered as a partnership. It’s also registered as an A5 (Veteran-owned business). The Veterans Administration publishes mandatory requirements (.pdf) that must be met in order for a business to claim veteran status. For starters, it needs to be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more veterans, service-disabled veterans, or their surviving spouses. BBHC Global is registered as a partnership. Chet Uber’s LinkedIn profile doesn’t mention any military service, and it goes as far back as high school. Steven Ruhe’s LinkedIn profile only goes back to 2004 and his non-existent construction company. No mention of military service for him either. If true, this represents fraud. It’s also, sad to say, way too common – especially for companies that improperly register as Service-Disabled Veterans (see this GAO report). If Congressman Nye has his way, there will soon be criminal penalties for claiming veteran status illegally. In my opinion, Chet Uber, who claims to have trained the Nebraska State Patrol in how to create and backstop online personas for use in criminal investigations, doesn’t know a backstop from a pitstop and he owes an apology to the authentic hardworking online investigators like the ShadowServer Foundation, Jart Armin of Host Exploit, Brian Krebs, Dancho Danchev, the Project Grey Goose volunteers and many others that are making real headway in finding bad guys and shutting them down, often at their own personal risk and expense.