SAEDY: Subversion and Espionage Directed Against You

Judy Towers

Judy Towers

Speaker Bio

As an active duty US Army Counterintelligence Agent (6 yrs), Judy provided weekly SAEDA briefings for new incoming unit soldiers and for yearly awareness training requirements. Judy received an Army award for the presentation’s effectiveness in engaging the audience, thereby enhancing self-awareness of the threat. Her experiences include training in traditional espionage tradecraft, along with supervising and conducting counterintelligence investigations of individuals, organizations, installations and activities in order to detect, assess and counter threats to national security. After leaving the Army, Judy started a civilian career in information security as:  domain admin for a global company, an IT manager implementing incident response system, Fraud department investigating people stealing company services, and now a Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst, augmented by a 2nd Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity and Computer Forensics.


“Frequently, people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late”, as per testimony from former CIA Director John Brennan, May 2017. The definition of social engineering (SE) is: “any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interest”. Using an old US Army acronym called SAEDA, Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the Army, will discuss how today’s use of SE is essentially trade craft of espionage, commonly known as spying.

“There is no patch for an untrained user or even an experienced security professional who forgets, in the heat of the moment, to follow what they have been taught.” Espionage is the practice of secretly gathering information about a foreign government or a competing industry, with the objective of placing one’s own government or corporation at a strategic or financial advantage. Presenting case examples of military and industrial espionage will illustrate how tricks of the spy trade are parleyed against ordinary individuals every day. The ultimate goal is for individuals to become self-aware as today’s cyber threat landscape is essentially ‘them against you’.