Category: Tradecraft

The Fifth Column’s tradecraft section contains all of the how-to guides on subjects that you won’t see discussed in any traditional news outlet.

Tradecraft: Diversion Safes

(TFC) – Diversion safes aren’t really “safes” most of the time. They typically don’t lock. The appearance of the item stops people from believing it would contain anything of value. Most people have seen the soda can that has a bottom that…

Tradecraft: The TFC Every Day Carry kit

(TFC) – Emergencies, by their very nature, are typically unexpected. You can prepare for scenarios, but you can’t plan for an emergency. It isn’t always feasible to have a bug out bag with you everywhere you go. You can’t always…

Tradecraft: 50 Survival Myths Debunked

(SurvivalSullivan) – One paradox of survival is that many of us have been conditioned to do the wrong thing. Between movies, survival shows, and just everyday modern society, most people would not last a day in a survival situation. Until you really do your research and put that knowledge into practice, your mind will send you […]

Tradecraft: Temporary Survival Shelters

In an outdoor survival situation, think clearly and try not to panic. It is a different experience than watching carefully selected highlights of shows like “Survivor” or “Naked and Afraid”. In reality, the best way to survive an unanticipated emergency is to learn what to be ready for and practice doing it, before you need […]

Tradecraft: Snares for survival

(SurvivalSullivan) – If there is any exercise in patience, it is snaring wild game, particularly the rabbit. Snaring involves learning by trial and error and knowing your quarry. Snaring is the most successful when you take the time to arm yourself…

Tradecraft: Introduction to OpSec

(TFC) – Operations Security sounds like something that would only concern spies and special operations soldiers. The reality is that since your government is likely spying on you, even if you “have nothing to hide”, OpSec concerns you. It’s a…

Tradecraft: Counter-Intelligence Background Checks

(TFC) – Counter-intelligence is critical in many fields. Proper counter-intelligence can stop industrial espionage, it keeps activists safe, it can secure religious organizations, and it is used by governments every day. One of the most important pieces to any counter-intelligence…

Tradecraft: Prepacked Bug Out bags

A recent trend in emergency preparedness has led to dozens of companies offering prepacked bug out bags. It’s so prevalent, in fact, The Fifth Column has been asked why we don’t have our own line.

They’re easy enough to produce. There are even companies that allow other companies to purchase their bags and rebrand them as their own.The reason we don’t have our own line is simple: retail bug out bags are a farce. You have to build your pack to match your needs and skill set. There’s a slight exception to this rule. There is a company that sells a variety of starter packs. They don’t market them as bug out bags, they don’t tell you it’s everything you need to survive the end of the world, they aren’t even an equipment company. They’re a food company.

Tradecraft: The Book Cipher & Other Old School Techniques

More than 48 hours ago, a message was posted in an article on The Fifth Column. Readers were asked to break the cryptogram. At the time of writing, the message remains unreadable. At least one person with training from the NSA and three hackers associated with the Anonymous collective have made the attempt. It doesn’t use advanced cryptography or anything like that. It didn’t even require a computer. It was made using a multi-layer cipher. The key component of the cipher is a modified book cipher, sometimes called a Beale code.

In this installment of Tradecraft, we will be discussing how to manufacture your own cipher systems. Multiple ciphers will be discussed, and they can be combined to create your own system. You are only limited by your imagination. Some may be asking what about the NSA supercomputers? Can’t they crack it? Maybe. Later this week, a new message will be rendered and we will encourage our readers to tweet it directly to the NSA in the hopes of getting a response.