Criminal organizations have previously disrupted and manipulated legitimate supply chains for financial gain and other reasons, and they will continue to do so. Such disruption and manipulation may take the form of blocking one or more elements of a supply chain to demand ransom, cause damage to the target, create delay or uncertainty, or motivate a redirection to alternative suppliers, or they may take the form of injecting counterfeit material into the supply chain and/or removing genuine materials. During a time of global crisis, the effects of supply chain disruptions or manipulations are magnified as already fragile systems and populations are under stress. Additionally, in the current environment, multiple supply chains will prove critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic via the distribution and uptake of vaccines and treatments.
The project team is developing methods and tools to detect active, pending, or past criminal manipulation or disruption of a supply chain, with specific emphasis on supply chain vulnerabilities during disasters. The team is modeling both supply chains and criminal operations, and merging those models to simulate attacks and establish likely disruption or manipulation scenarios, associated indicators, and mitigation recommendations.
The resulting analysis for specific supply chains identifies likely attack points, develops indicators which can serve to alert authorities and supply chain operators about a pending, active, or past attack, and provides recommendations to mitigate the identified vulnerabilities and reduce attack impacts. The team is delivering analysis of three different supply chains, as well as a methodology and tools so that DHS and others can model and study other supply chains and criminal organizations, and anticipate and thwart attacks before they happen.
Research Team PI: Carlotta Domeniconi (GMU/CINA) and Fred Roberts (Rutgers/CCICADA)