SpecterOps acquires MINIS

November 1, 2017

Today, SpecterOps announces its acquisition of MINIS LLC. The company is doing its social media thing to spread the word. I wanted to take a moment to share the news and comment on it in my own words. If you want press release language, we have that too.

To evaluate an operation, military planners often discuss measures of performance and effectiveness.

Performance discusses the technical execution of the operation. How well did the operators adhere to the plan? How skillfully did they carry out the complex tasks asked of them? It’s quite possible to have perfect execution and fail to meet the objective of the operation. That’s why performance is one measure. Effectiveness is the other. Effectiveness is a measure of the success of the operation, overall.

In a highly technical role, like adversary simulations, it’s easy to lose ourselves in measures of performance. How many shells did you get? How many findings are there? Did we get DA? How evasive, scary, and cool is our malware? What kind of bypasses did we use? Our community is regularly abuzz with discussion of technical innovations. It’s good stuff.

There are too few voices discussing the big picture of red team operations and adversary simulations. How do we do this in a professional, safe, and repeatable way? How do these efforts directly benefit a program? How do we measure this benefit? This is the big picture “measure of effectiveness” stuff.

We care about this at SpecterOps. We don’t execute an engagement, write a report, and leave. We care about how to make this work have a lasting impact on our customers. We care about disseminating best practices to all.

And, that’s why I’m so excited about the MINIS LLC team joining SpecterOps.

Andrew Chiles, Derek Rushing, James Tubberville, and Joe Vest are skilled operators. All spent parts of their career with a Department of Defense red team. Today, they’re an important voice on the big picture topics related to red team operations and adversary simulations. How do we do this in an effective and impactful way?

Since MINIS LLC was founded, several firms sought them out to learn tradecraft and sharpen their red team offerings. This opportunity to influence expanded a great deal when James Tubberville and Joe Vest co-authored the SANS Red Teaming and Threat Emulation course. Their course focuses heavily on the big picture topics. MINIS LLC gets “threat emulation” and I’ve always seen them as a key ally, helping to drive these ideas forward.

They. Them. Not anymore! Us. I’m very excited to welcome Andrew, Derek, James, and Joe to SpecterOps. You’ve done so much under the MINIS banner. I’m very excited about what we’ll do together.

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