Spartan9 Dispatch for November 2022

This month - Short trip to South Korea, China unrest, Field Guide updates, evacuation planning workshops, and five new crisis management articles.


What we’ve been doing, where we’ve been travelling to, and what’s next.

Korean Peninsula Escalation

On 2 November, North Korea fired 25 missiles off its east and west coasts. One of the missiles was fired towards South Korea’s Ulleung Island, triggering an air raid alert. This missile landed 26 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL). Later that day, North Korea fired 100 artillery shells into South Korea’s maritime buffer zone, once again violating the inter-Korean agreement reached on 19 September 2019. There was a significant risk of escalation.

As you might recall from last month’s newsletter that I’ve been spending quite a bit of time focused on contingency planning. Turn out that planning was timely. I took the first available flight to Busan in South Korea, arriving on the ground early on 3 November.

I spent a few days on the ground working with a client and ground truthing different aspects of the contingency plan. Turns out I was lucky, as the scheduled ferry service from Busan to Japan had only just started again, after a long pause over the COVID period.

China Unrest

As though the Korean Peninsula wasn’t already enough, this month has also seen unprecedented protests in China, as people seek an end to COVID restrictions and lockdowns. This is a complex situation, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. The state is leveraging all it’s resources to track down protestors. Lots of lessons from an information security perspective.


Training workshops and customised training solutions.

Evacuation Planning Workshops

We’ve developed Evacuation Workshops for South Korea and Taiwan.

During the 3-hour workshop, we cover the following:

  • Organisation and leadership
  • Decision-making frameworks
  • Evacuation preparation and readiness
  • Air evacuation planning
  • Maritime evacuation planning
  • Domestic relocation planning
  • Shelter-in-place planning

By the end of this workshop, you’ll have a detailed understanding of the evacuation problem and how to get around many of the inherent challenges.

If your organisation has people in South Korea or Taiwan, and you’re interested in these workshops, please get in touch.

Learn more about our training workshops


Updates on our in-house gear.


I’m continuing prototyping with a few different bag designs but tbh was focused on other things this month. Did manage to order some new materials for testing and get some new samples for zip pulls, but otherwise lots going on…

Street Satchel Mk I options

The Street Satchel Mk I is available in two variants:

  1. Street Satchel Mk I DCF. Made using Dyneema Composite Fabric.

  2. Street Satchel Mk I ULTRA. Made using Challenge Ultra fabric, which is a blend of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) and polyester.

You can learn more about the difference between ULTRA and DCF variants here. You’ll also be able to see photos of both variants. All Street Satchels come with custom-ordered matte black YKK zips and matte black oxide sliders, UHMWPE webbing tabs for optional accessories, and a 40mm polyester detachable shoulder sling with acetal hardware.

Learn more about the Street Satchel


Our latest articles and updates on selected publications.

Crisis Management Newsletter

This year, I’m writing one article a week on crisis management in a newsletter titled ‘51CM’.

Here’s a list of the articles I published in November:

44/51 Supporting Families During and After a Crisis

45/51 Managing the Intensity of a Crisis Without Failing

46/51 Dealing with Stress, Anxiety and Burnout as a Crisis Manager

47/51 How to Improve Your Crisis Management Training

Four posts to go…

Publication Updates

I’ve just published the updated versons of the four volumes of the Field Guide series. Updated versions have been released in PDF format and on Apple Books.

If you’ve already purchased these books, you should have already received an email with links to the updated versions. You’ll be able to download these updates at no additional cost.

What’s changed in these guides?

For the Field Guides to Personal Security, Accommodation Security and Transport Security, the changes are minor. I fixed a few typos, reworded a few sentences, and improved the table of contents. I also made a few minor design changes. If you’ve already read these books, there’s no pressing reason to re-read them based on the updates.

For the Field Guide to Deployment Planning, I added a short section on AirTags in the chapter on clothing and equipment (that chapter was previously called ‘packing’). More substantively, I added three new chapters covering local support, physical and psychological preparation, and contingency planning. If you’ve already read this book, you can just read these new chapters.

I’ve also added free samples for all of the Field Guides, so you can learn more about the contents.

New Publications

I’ve started serious work on the Field Guide to Information Security. I’m not going to give myself a deadline on this one (simply to help avoid the stress of having a deadline), but probably Q1 next year. This book will cover how to protect information when operating in locations where you may be targeted based on what you know and what’s on your devices.

If you have any ideas on what you’d like to see in this guide, please reach out.

Bulk Orders

If your organisation or team would benefit from the knowledge and experience contained in these books, please reach out. We can provide discounts for bulk sales.

View all our publications


Links to articles covering the use of Brazilian cover stories, resistance fighters, terrorists on Tinder, Chinese censorship, plus other interesting topics worth your time.

The 5×5—Non-state armed groups in cyber conflict. Read here

The Brazilian Candidate: The Studious Cover Identity of an Alleged Russian Spy. An article by Bellingcat. Read here

How Xi Jinping is mobilising the masses to control themselves. A low-tech arm of a high-tech police state. Read here

A new Tinder Swindler? ISIS using dating app to fund terrorism: Report. Might want to read before swiping right… Read here

Stealthy Kherson resistance fighters undermined Russian occupying forces. Great read on resistance operations. Read here

Who’s behind Rybar?. The Bell unmasks one of Telegram’s most widely-cited pro-Kremlin military analysis channels. Read here

The 5×5—The rise of cyber surveillance and the Access-as-a-Service industry. Read here

‘Tectonic shifts’: How Putin’s war will change the world. A former CIA leader imagines Russia, NATO and China in 2023 — and how the war in Ukraine will change them all. Read here

How China’s censorship machine feeds on fear. Read here

How to Maintain Mental Hygiene as an Open Source Researcher. Good article by the folks at Bellingcat. Read here

China just announced a new social credit law. Here’s what it means. The West has largely gotten China’s social credit system wrong. But draft legislation introduced in November offers a more accurate picture of the reality. Read here

Alex Joske on China’s Influence Operations Abroad. Read here

That’s it for this month folks.

Thanks for reading and stay safe out there.

Grant Rayner Spartan9

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