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Josh Lefkowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Josh Lefkowitz executes the company’s strategic vision to empower organizations with Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). He has worked extensively with authorities to track and analyze terrorist groups. Mr. Lefkowitz also served as a consultant to the FBI’s senior management team and worked for a top tier, global investment bank. Mr. Lefkowitz holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Williams College.
Evan Kohlmann
Chief Innovation Officer
Evan Kohlmann focuses on product innovation at Flashpoint where he leverages fifteen years’ experience tracking Al-Qaida, ISIS, and other terrorist groups. He has consulted for the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Justice, the Australian Federal Police, and Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, among others. Mr. Kohlmann holds a JD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School and a BSFS in International Politics from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown Univ.
Josh Devon
Chief Operating Officer / VP Product
Josh Devon focuses on product vision and strategy at Flashpoint while ensuring the company’s departments function synergistically during its rapid growth. He also works to ensure that customers receive best in class products, services, and support. Previously, Mr. Devon co-founded the SITE Intelligence Group where he served as Assistant Director. He holds an MA from SAIS at Johns Hopkins Univ. At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, he received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in English from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jennifer Leggio
Chief Marketing Officer / VP Operations
Jennifer Leggio is responsible for Flashpoint’s marketing, customer acquisition, and operations. Ms. Leggio has more than 20 years of experience driving marketing, communications and go-to-market strategies in the cybersecurity industry. She’s previously held senior leadership roles at Digital Shadows, Cisco, Sourcefire, and Fortinet. She’s been a contributor to Forbes and ZDNet, and has spoken on the importance of coordinated disclosure at DEF CON and Hack in the Box, and on threat actor “publicity” trends at RSA Conference, Gartner Security Summit, and SXSW Interactive.
Chris Camacho
Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Camacho leads the company’s client engagement and development team, which includes customer success, business development, strategic integrations and the FPCollab sharing community. With over 15 years of cybersecurity leadership experience, he has spearheaded initiatives across Operational Strategy, Incident Response, Threat Management, and Security Operations to ensure cyber risk postures align with business goals. Most recently as a Senior Vice President of Information Security at Bank of America, Mr. Camacho was responsible for overseeing the Threat Management Program. An entrepreneur, Mr. Camacho also serves as CEO for NinjaJobs: a career-matching community for elite cybersecurity talent. He has a BS in Decision Sciences & Management of Information Systems from George Mason University.
Lisa Iadanza
Chief People Officer
Lisa M. Iadanza leads all functional areas of People Operations at Flashpoint, including human resources, talent acquisition & management, employee engagement, and developing high performance teams. In addition to collaborating with the executive team to drive strategic growth, she plays an integral role in fostering Flashpoint’s culture and mission. Driven by her passions for mentorship, employee advocacy, and talent development, Ms. Iadanza has more than twenty years of experience in building, scaling, and leading human resources functions. Prior to Flashpoint, she held leadership roles at Conde Nast, Terra Technology, and FreeWheel. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds a bachelor’s degree in management with concentrations in human resources and marketing from State University of New York at Binghamton.
Rob Reznick
VP of Finance and Corporate Development
Rob Reznick leads the finance, accounting, and corporate development teams at Flashpoint. Rob previously served as Director of Finance & Accounting for 1010data (acquired by Advance/Newhouse), and Director of Finance for Financial Guard (acquired by Legg Mason) after prior work in forensic accounting and dispute consulting. Mr. Reznick is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA and MAcc from the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University, and a BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Lance James
Chief Scientist / VP Engineering
Lance James is responsible for leading Flashpoint’s technology development. Prior to joining Flashpoint in 2015, he was the Head of Cyber Intelligence at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. James has been an active member of the security community for over 20 years and enjoys working creatively together with technology teams to design and develop impactful solutions that disrupt online threats.
Brian Costello
SVP Global Sales and Solution Architecture
Brian Costello, a 20-year information technology and security solutions veteran, is responsible for leading the Global Sales, Solution Architecture, and Professional Services teams at Flashpoint. Throughout his career, Brian has successfully built security and cloud teams that have provided customers with innovative technology solutions, exceeded targets and consistently grown business year over year. Prior to Flashpoint, Brian led a global security and cloud vertical practice for Verizon. Brian also held senior leadership roles at Invincea, Risk Analytics and Cybertrust. Brian received his B.A. from George Mason University.
Tom Hofmann
VP Intelligence
Tom Hofmann leads the intelligence directorate that is responsible for the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of Deep and Dark Web data. He works closely with clients to prioritize their intelligence requirements and ensures internal Flashpoint operations are aligned to those needs. Mr. Hofmann has been at the forefront of cyber intelligence operations in the commercial, government, and military sectors, and is renowned for his ability to drive effective intelligence operations to support offensive and defensive network operations.
Jake Wells
VP, Client Engagement & Development
Jake Wells leads strategic integrations and information sharing as part of the client engagement & development team, which serves as an internal advocate for our government and commercial clients to ensure Flashpoint’s intelligence solutions meet their evolving needs. He leverages a decade of experience running cyber and counterterrorism investigations, most recently with the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, to maximize the value customers generate from our products and services. Mr. Wells holds an MA from Columbia University and a BA from Emory University.
Brian Brown
VP Business Development
Brian Brown is responsible for the overall direction of strategic sales and development supporting Flashpoint’s largest clients. In his role, Mr. Brown focuses on designing and executing growth-oriented sales penetration strategies across multiple vertical markets, including both Government and Commercial, supporting Flashpoint’s Sales and Business Development Teams. An experienced entrepreneur, Mr. Brown also serves as CSO for NinjaJobs, a private community created to match elite cybersecurity talent with top tier global jobs and also advise growth-stage cybersecurity companies.
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Analysis of DDW Activity Brings Context to CVE Prioritization

Blog
March 25, 2019

By Cheng Lu

The recently disclosed WinRAR vulnerability has reportedly spawned more than 100 working exploits since it was disclosed—and patched—in late February. Attackers can use the bug to exploit machines running the vulnerable Windows file-compression software and plant malware or other malicious code on devices that persists after reboots.

Given that WinRAR lives on nearly half of every Windows machine in existence—up to 500 million users—and that the vulnerability has been present in the product for 19 years, this bug has legs, to say the least.

With these circumstances surrounding this vulnerability (CVE-2018-20250), it wasn’t a difficult decision for enterprises to prioritize patching. Rarely, however, does a bug tick off so many patch management checkboxes that it goes right to the top of the queue.

IT shops and security teams have long struggled with assessing the criticality of vulnerabilities, regardless of the rating Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and others may give them. Truly, one organization’s critical bug may be of moderate severity for another.

One factor that should get growing consideration for IT and network managers trying to make the call regarding patching prioritization is Deep & Dark Web (DDW) activity. In the context of the WinRAR bug, it was quickly apparent from the rampant discussions in Flashpoint’s dataset collected from numerous closed sources on the underground that this vulnerability was in prime position to be exploited quickly and often.

WinRAR Bug in the DDW

A quick look at the numbers reinforces the need to consider not only the number of times a particular CVE is mentioned on forums, but then taking it further and examining what the discussions are focused on. For example, within 48 hours of Check Point Software Technologies’ public disclosure of the vulnerability—the bug had been already privately disclosed to WinRAR in order to address the root cause—publicly available proof-of-concept code was posted to a GitHub repository. From there it took until March 14 for the vulnerability to be exploited in the wild, as reported by security firm McAfee.

Checking our dataset, Flashpoint analysts looked at nine leading DDW forums and found significantly more discussions about this bug and its CVE number, or the publicly available proof-of-concept exploit. Most of the discussions were happening in English- and Russian-language forums, with topics centered around the PoC code, how to make it work, what versions of Python required to make it run, and more dissection of the code.

Flashpoint analysts also saw some discussions in Chinese- and Romanian-language forums, but 92 percent were concentrated in English- and Russian-speaking underground communities.

The attention received by the WinRAR bug is noteworthy given that most CVEs are not discussed at all on the DDW. Flashpoint’s dataset normally contains upwards of 700 monthly mentions of CVEs; there were more than 100 discussions about CVE-2018-20250 in the last week of February alone.

DDW Brings Additional Context to CVSS Ratings

What’s important here related to patching prioritization discussions around the WinRAR bug and future vulnerabilities of this scale is that the chatter suggests threat actors aren’t just aware of the vulnerability, they’re experimenting with ways to exploit it, finding new attack vectors for the bug, and actively targeting it. In this case, the vulnerability is particularly appealing because the proof-of-concept code posted to GitHub may be trivially modified to deliver any kind of malicious payload.

In this case, Flashpoint was also able to confirm that other archiving software such as FilZip relies on the same vulnerable component as WinRAR, a DLL called UNACEV2 which is used to unpack ACE files; ACE is a data compression file format, similar to RAR and ZIP. Compounding the problem, analysts said, is that antivirus software has limited support to scan the content of ACE archives, meaning that an attacker could elude detection by these systems by stashing malicious code in an archive that would execute when unpacked.  

There are some limitations to the scoring system that have been discussed in the past. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System behind the criticality ratings is meant to bring a measure of standardization to rating the severity of a vulnerability potential impact, and is meant to help organizations prioritize how they’re going to respond in terms of triage and patching.

It’s folly, however, for organizations to base risk decisions just on a CVSS rating, or by counting how many unpatched bugs are in their environment. A more thorough risk assessment is preferred, one that applies additional context to the discussion and allows decision-makers to formulate their own decisions about whether a particular vulnerability, if exploited, will impact their business and how.

Conclusion

Information and finished intelligence culled from data in DDW forums is one piece of that puzzle. In this case, given that CVEs are mentioned infrequently any mentions are significant. Combine that with the public release of proof-of-concept code, and there is a good barometer for whether an organization might be in the crosshairs of a threat actor.

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Cheng Lu

Senior Analyst, Hunt Team

Cheng Lu is a Senior Analyst on Flashpoint’s Hunt Team, specializing in vulnerability research. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and math from Towson University.

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