The Art of Escape: Coming to a city near YOU!

Dear Friends,

Have you been yearning to see what all of the Art of Escape fuss is about? Have you been reading Rift Recon blogs, surfing through photos, and staring longingly at press releases strategizing how to get to a city that’s one hundred, five hundred, or perhaps even three thousand miles away from you? Well, we hear you, and we’re here to help!

Rift Recon is on the verge of a very exciting expansion - we’re looking at bringing our renowned The Art of Escape urban escape and evasion training to twice as many cities within the next year - and we want to make sure we’re considering the needs of all of our customers, supporters, and collaborators. Please take just five minutes to fill out this brief survey detailing where YOU would like to see The Art of Escape appear! The power is in your hands.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Rift Recon Staff

Review Rift Recon Gear From Near or Far!

We’ve rolled out a brand new feature in our store, and we can’t wait for you to utilize it! Introducing: The Customer Review Form!

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Not only will you be able to review your favorite products, but you also will be able to see what other customers are saying about them before you purchase! We want to continue to facilitate a supportive, synergetic community and offer you the highest-quality products available, and we know you can help us do that.

Additionally, should you be interested in publishing more thorough print or video reviews of our gear, simply email info@riftrecon.com and we’ll send you our review guidelines! We’re particularly interested in hearing from fellow researchers, former military and private security detail contractors, and computer and hardware hackers who have a significant social media impact. We can’t wait to hear from you!

- Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

The Big Apple Proves No Match for The Art of Escape

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What were you doing over Labor Day Weekend? Perhaps you were spending some time grilling in your backyard for the neighbors, or basking in the sun while stretched out on the beach. Whatever the case may be, you can bet that while you lounged around, half a dozen intrepid students were eagerly pounding pavement in Manhattan learning exactly how to survive in a vast, destabilized urban environment. They may not have gotten an even tan, but when the graduates of the first NYC-based Art of Escape training wrapped up their three-day “vacation”, they emerged as the competent, intuitive, inventive folks you’d want on your team should disaster strike.

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This was Rift Recon’s first East Coast survival training of any kind, so there were lots of variables to consider. First and foremost: Why pick New York City?

"Choosing New York City as our next training site was very intentional," remarked Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud, "It’s a major metropolitan city with a dense population and heavy international influence, and it’s only a matter of time before the next destructive event occurs. It could be a natural disaster, as experienced with Hurricane Sandy in 2012, or a direct attack, as with 9/11. Unfortunately the city is an iconic one in America, and it’s always going to be exceptionally vulnerable because attackers will find its notoriety attractive and conducive to making a bold statement.”

The classroom portion of the training was held at Joynture, a brand new co-working space in the heart of Wall Street. With a bright, spacious interior and readily-available drink and food supplies for participants and staff, Joynture proved to be the perfect Art of Escape training site. Students were taught the standard urban survival curriculum including a harmonious mix of lockpicking, escaping from restraints, social engineering, and covert movement skills. There was particular emphasis placed on moving inconspicuously through dense crowds; in Manhattan, it quickly becomes obvious that you cant travel with speed or ease in the opposite direction of a mobile crowd.

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Michaud and lead trainer Brian O’Shea arrived in Manhattan barely 24 hours before the first morning of class, and though they’d spent extensive time researching the city’s geography and public transportation systems, they still anticipated some challenges.

"In conceptualizing Saturday’s [Field Training Exercise], we thought we’d be challenged by the landscape since Manhattan is surrounded by water," said O’Shea, "but were able to successfully construct the abduction simulation within the restrictions. What we didn’t expect was the difficulty in navigating through the populous, especially in Chinatown, where the simulation was held. It’s quite impractical to operate a car in the city due to the sheer number of vehicles on the roads. You can’t pause in one area for very long or law enforcement will move you along, and there are also lots of one-way streets. For these reasons, we found that it was much easier to do all of our tracking on foot.”

During the Field Training Exercise (FTX), both trainers watched students excel at manipulating their appearances and donning disguises. One participant began the simulation with a beard and full head of hair, making varying alterations to it throughout the day until he was bald and clean-shaven. Another participant outfitted himself quite convincingly as a priest! While O’Shea and Michaud anticipated running into some difficulty getting the local Chinatown shopkeepers to participate in the training (helping with caches, providing elements of disguise, and succumbing willingly to social engineering tactics), they all responded with enthusiasm and a desire to assist in future trainings!

"This Art of Escape Training was revolutionary," Michaud reflected, "Both our students and our staff excelled in an unfamiliar environment, and I’m looking forward to using the lessons learned to influence and improve upon future trainings. We can’t wait to come back to New York!"

- Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

RFidler Moving Out of Pre-Sale, Now Shipping!

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An exciting announcement from Rift Recon: While we’re journeying back to the West Coast after an incredibly successful New York City edition of “The Art of Escape”, we are pleased to announce that our fulfillment center has just received its first batch of RFidlers (RFID Low-frequency Emulator & Readers) from Aperture Labs! That means that this incredible product will officially move out of its current pre-sale status and be available to ship upon ordering!

Read more about the RFidler HERE, and stay tuned for an upcoming blog on CEO Eric Michaud and lead trainer Brian O’Shea’s experiences running our largest, most complex urban survival training in The Big Apple!

Great Art of Escape NYC TV coverage: Five seats added

On the night before Art of Escape NYC, we were interviewed and featured on one of NYC’s biggest local TV stations and the nightly news.

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Ayana Harry interviewed Eric Michaud about our first NYC class and asked great questions about who takes Art of Escape, and why. We were especially entertained to see the station use clips from our video - and shots of actor Liam Neeson from the film “Taken.”

To meet demand, we now have five additional seats for Art of Escape NYC: Sign up here.

If you want to sign up at the last minute (class starts at 9AM in the Financial District), call us at 415.795.3402 and find out if you can jump the waiting list.

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Read more:

Watch the Art of Escape trailer:

RFIDler To Be Exclusively Distributed By Rift Recon

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Introducing the brand new RFIDler by Aperture Labs, now available for pre-sale!

Rift Recon is thrilled to be the exclusive online distributor of the RFIDler (RFID Low-frequency Emulator & Reader), an open platform RFID reader/writer/emulator that can operate in the 125-134 KHz range. A complex, essential implement for any pentester’s tool kit, it can be used for many other purposes, adding unique functionality to certain projects.

Today marks the start of our pre-sale period, while official sales and shipments will begin September 1st. Don’t delay! Click HERE for more information, as well as to place your order!

We want to thank you

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While many of Rift Recon’s staff served at various levels of military, law enforcement and first responder fields, we know there’s no such thing as a former serviceperson.

Starting today, and with our NYC Art Of Escape training on August 28, Rift Recon extends a variety of discounts to all public trainings — just for those who know what it means to serve.

For Art Of Escape NYC, all 9/11 first responders receive a significant discount for the training.

Please email training@riftrecon.com for verification info and details.

Find out more about the training at: Art of Escape: NYC

Best Regards,

-Eric Michaud

CEO & Founder

                                                     CEO Eric Michaud Defuses “The Box”

Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud took some time to partake in one of his friend’s new games, “The Box,” at the 22nd Annual DEFCON in Las Vegas this past weekend.

"The Box is a mini-contest hosted inside the Defcon 22 Tamper-Evident Village. The premise is simple: defuse a bomb! Make a mistake and get blown up. Don’t worry, you can respawn at the back of the line. The Box is an extremely realistic EOD challenge that will test your skills against a variety of traps, alarms, and tamper-evident sensors…”

- “The Box” D22 Tamper Challenge Competition Page

- Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

ExploitHub and Rift Recon Announce an Expansion of Hardware Offerings

                                                              

It was just last year that the companies joined in a strategic global partnership with a goal to expand the marketplace to include hardware and firmware markets. Now, the marketplace has expanded access to high quality hardware products like the GoodFet42, the bladeRF, and the Open Access Raspberry Pi kit.

“ExploitHub has always been a free and open marketplace for software security such as exploits, utilities, and Metasploit modules,” remarked Dustin D. Trammell, CEO of ExploitHub, “But why does this have to be limited to software only? Last year, we added a small amount of physical and hardware products, and this year, we look forward to greatly expanding those offerings.”…

Read the full press release HERE.

Rift Recon is blogging live from DEFCON! From now until Sunday August 17th, enjoy 15% off all store merchandise with the discount code “defcon22”! Happy hacking!

- Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

THE ART OF ESCAPE GETS COMPACT, GOES HOLLYWOOD

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"They came as targets, but they left as hard targets."

- Rift Recon Trainer Brian O’Shea

Rift Recon’s Art of Escape trainings are notorious for cramming boatloads of vital information into two full days of coursework, followed by an entire day of practical field application. The challenge of succeeding comes predominantly through mastering the sheer volume of material. So what happens when you only have 24 hours to absorb, apply, and come out on top of the entire course?

Nine participants in a corporate training in Los Angeles on June 28th got to find out. The group consisted of business professionals from an array of backgrounds: finance, advertising, aerospace, and the tech industry among them.

Lead Trainer and Rift Recon CEO Eric Michaud noted, “It was a very sharp, deeply motivated group  - lots of Type A personalities. Their enthusiasm and focus certainly helped them conquer the compressed nature of the course.”

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To accommodate the 24 hour window, Michaud and Assisting Trainer Brian O’Shea collapsed the curriculum into three modules: lockpicking, escaping restraints, and a new module called “The Art of the Con,” which combines social engineering and evasion techniques. Michaud and O’Shea then thrust the students into a high-intensity kidnapping simulation, where they had to escape their captors and rendezvous at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, evading abduction and garnering multiple disguises along the way. Once at the Theater, students had to deftly employ social engineering tactics to engage and gain the trust of the locals, including the costumed actors performing in front of the Theater.  They were tasked with getting them to “break character” and divulge their “secret identity”, aka personal information about their lives. Armed with this information, the students could then report back to Michaud and O’Shea and cross the proverbial finish line, and the trainers were thrilled to report that each participant excelled.

"It was rewarding for us as instructors to watch a very talented and competent group of people who are already wildly successful open themselves up to learning new skills and new challenges,” remarked O’Shea, “[The Art of Escape] taught them how to manage captivity, how to evade aggressors, and how to elicit valuable information from total strangers. Those skills could save their lives as well as save their businesses.”

“I’m really excited to see people taking both their personal and general security into their own hands,” said Michaud, “And I’m glad that Rift Recon can equip them with the tools to do so.

- Arianna Travaglini

Executive Assistant at Rift Recon

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