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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
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 sales and client engagement & development teams, which also includes customer success, solution architecture, 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 Partnerships and U.S. Public Sector
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 and Solution Architecture
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.
Justin Rogers
VP Revenue Operations
Justin Rogers leads the Revenue Operations team at Flashpoint, aligning marketing, sales, partnerships, and customer success across vision, planning, process, and goals. He leverages over 15 years of experience in security, strategy, product design, and implementation to drive growth, provide an end-to-end view of the customer journey, and a seamless customer experience. Recently, Justin led Marketing for Centripetal, bringing the first Threat Intelligence Gateway to market. Previously, he managed operations of a Counter IED lab electronics forensics division while forward deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Justin holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.
Glenn Lemons
Executive Director of Customer Success
Glenn Lemons is a Executive Director of Customer Success at Flashpoint. He previously served as the acting Director of Citigroup's Cyber Intelligence Center where he was responsible for analyzing and reacting to intelligence from a variety of threats. These threats ranged from fraudulent activity and attempting to defraud Citi's clients to supporting security operations for the firm's worldwide network presence. He has extensive experience working with multiple clients across the financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and public sectors. Glenn also has more than 26 years of intelligence experience within the operational and support communities in the U.S. military and federal civilian service; seven of which focused on both defensive and offensive cyber operations. While working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he testified numerous times before U.S. Congressional committees and member requested open and closed sessions.
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Steve Leightell
Steve started his career in Internet sales in the early 1990s and was always a top sales rep before transitioning to business development. By the early 2000s, he was the Director of Business Development at DWL, where he managed a team that built partnerships with Accenture, Oracle, Tata Consulting, Wipro, Cognizant and IBM. Steve designed the channel and strategy that ultimately culminated in the acquisition of DWL by IBM in 2005. He went on to lead a global team within IBM that was responsible for major system integrator partnerships. In 2008, he left IBM to found a niche consulting firm focused on business development for SaaS organizations. Steve holds a BA in anthropology and sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Ellie Wheeler
Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft and is based in the firm’s New York office. Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston. Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Glenn McGonnigle
Glenn McGonnigle is a General Partner at TechOperators. Prior to launching TechOperators in 2008, Glenn was CEO of VistaScape Security Systems, a venture-backed provider of enterprise intelligent video surveillance software. He lead the company through its successful sale to Siemens Building Technologies. Previously, Glenn was a co-founder and senior executive of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems (ISS) where he helped raise initial venture capital and launch the business. For 7 years, he led the business development team in developing sales channels and entering the managed security services market. During his tenure, the company grew from startup to revenues of over $225 million and was later acquired by IBM for $1.3 billion.
Peter George
Peter George has an established track record of building companies that deliver sustained growth and profits and in identifying critical worldwide partnership opportunities that strategically expand market share. Prior to becoming President and CEO of Fidelis Security Systems in 2008, Mr. George spent the last seven years as President and CEO of Crossbeam Systems, the market leader in the high-end segment of the Unified Threat Management market, where he took the company from being a pre-revenue start-up to over $50 million in revenue. Previously, he was President of Nortel Networks Enterprise Business in Europe, Middle-East, and Africa, responsible for managing more than 5,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue. Mr. George came to Nortel via their 1998 acquisition of Bay Networks where he was serving as vice president of European operations. During his tenure at Wellfleet and Bay, he played key sales executive roles in New England and in Europe. Prior to joining Wellfleet, Mr. George served as the Northeast regional manager and GM of Canada at 3Com Corporation, and also held senior management positions at Ungerman Bass. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross, and has done graduate studies at Harvard and Oxford University.
Brendan Hannigan
Brendan joined Polaris Partners in 2016 as an entrepreneur partner. In this role, he focuses on funding and founding companies in the technology sector with a concentration in cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity. Brendan is a co-founder of Sonrai Security and chairman of Twistlock, both Polaris investments. He also currently serves on the board of Bitsight Technologies and Flashpoint. A 25 year technology industry veteran, Brendan was most recently the general manager of IBM Security. Under Brendan’s leadership, IBM Security grew significantly faster than the overall security market to become the number one enterprise security provider in the world with almost $2B of annual revenue.

An After-Action Analysis of the Mirai Botnet Attacks on Dyn

BRI
October 25, 2016

Key Takeaways

• On October 21, 2016, a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Dyn DNS impacted the availability of a number of sites concentrated in the Northeast US and, later, other areas of the country. Impacted sites included: PayPal, Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and RuneScape.

• While the attacks were still ongoing, Flashpoint was able to confirm that at least one portion of the attack was initiated by a Mirai Command and Control server.

• Mirai botnets were previously used in the DDoS attacks earlier this month against the “Krebs on Security” blog and the French internet service and hosting provider OVH. 

• Despite public speculation, Flashpoint assesses with a moderate degree of confidence that the perpetrators behind this attack are most likely not politically motivated, and most likely not nation-state actors.

Background

On October 21, 2016, a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Dyn DNS impacted the availability of a number of sites concentrated in the northeastern United States and, later, other areas of the country. Flashpoint has assessed with high confidence — and Dyn has confirmed — that a Mirai botnet participated in the attacks, although it is unclear if other botnets were also involved. Flashpoint is continuing to work with security researchers and service providers to takedown the Mirai infrastructure that was involved in carrying out these high-volume attacks.

Impacted sites include but are not limited to:

• PayPal

• Twitter

• Reddit

• GitHub

• Amazon

• Netflix

• Spotify

• RuneScape

Timeline of the Attacks

• Starting at approximately 7:00 AM ET on October 21, a major DDoS attack was directed against three Dyn datacenters in the northeastern United States. The targeting of these DNS servers had localized impacts on users within these regions attempting to resolve DNS queries sent to Dyn servers.

• The attacks continued throughout the day in two subsequent waves: one occurring around 1:00 PM ET, and another later that evening. The two subsequent attacks were successfully mitigated by Dyn DNS and resulted in no outages, although some customers may have experienced slight delays.

Assessment of Attack Infrastructure

While the attacks were still ongoing, Flashpoint was able to confirm that some portion of the attack infrastructure used throughout the attack were botnets comprised of Mirai malware. Mirai botnets were previously used in the DDoS attacks earlier this month against the “Krebs on Security” blog and the French internet service and hosting provider OVH. Flashpoint has also confirmed that at least some of the devices used in the Dyn DNS attacks were digital video recorders (DVRs), further matching the technical indicators and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) associated with previous known Mirai botnet attacks.

Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that the Command and Control server used in the Dyn DNS attack was separate and distinct from those used in the Krebs and OVH attacks. It is unknown how the most recent attack compares to previous ones, and the size and scale of the infrastructure used. The previous Mirai attacks against OVH and Krebs were recorded at approximately 1 Tbps and 620 Gbps, respectively.

The development of Internet of Things (IoT) botnets over the past few years has enabled those in the hacking community to launch DDoS attacks at a scale that was previously impossible. These developments have culminated in the Mirai botnets used in these attacks. Mirai targets IoT devices like routers, DVRs, and web-enabled security cameras, enslaving vast numbers of these devices into a botnet, which is then used to conduct DDoS attacks. Mirai malware has strategically targeted the right IoT devices that allow for botnets of immense size that maximize disruption potential.

Dubious Claims of Responsibility

Over the weekend, various actors have spoken out to claim responsibility for the attack or to attribute it to a different set of actors. Some of the most high-profile claims are as follows:

• The well-known grey hat hacker “The Jester” has intimated that the Russian government is behind the attacks. On October 22, The Jester defaced the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, posting a message scolding the government for the hacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the alleged interference with the 2016 US presidential election. Subsequent statements made by The Jester to media outlets, as well as the timing of the defacement, have indicated that the actor believes the Russian government to be the culprit.

• WikiLeaks has also linked itself to the attack, but stopped short of claiming credit. On October 21, the official WikiLeaks Twitter account @WikiLeaks asked “supporters to stop taking down the US internet.” The organization further stated that attackers had “proved [their] point.”

• On October 22, 2016, the hacker group known as “New World Hackers” appears to have claimed responsibility for the attack via its Twitter account @NewWorldHacking, stating that it had “broke a couple records” (an apparent reference to size of the earlier Mirai DDoS attacks, which broke records as the largest DDoS attacks in history.)

Flashpoint assesses with medium confidence that each of these claims is dubious and likely to be false.

Likely Ties to Hacking Forum Community

In its investigation of Dyn DDoS attacks, Flashpoint discovered that the infrastructure used in the attack also targeted a well-known video game company. While there does not appear to have been any disruption of service, the targeting of a video game company is less indicative of hacktivists, state-actors, or social justice communities, and aligns more with the hackers that frequent online hacking forums. These hackers exist in their own tier, sometimes called “script kiddies,” and are separate and distinct from hacktivists, organized crime, state-actors, and terrorist groups. They can be motivated by financial gain, but just as often will execute attacks such as these to show off, or to cause disruption and chaos for sport.

Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that the most recent Mirai attacks are likely connected to the English-language hacking forum community, specifically users and readers of the forum “hackforums[.]net.” The personalities involved in these communities are known for creating and using commercial DDoS tools called “booters” or “stressers.” The hackers offer these services online for pay, essentially operating a “DDoS-for-hire” service. One of the few known personalities that have been associated with Mirai malware and botnets is known to frequent these forums. A hacker operating under the handle “Anna-Senpai” released the source code for Mirai in early October, and is believed to have operated the original Mirai botnet that was used in the attack against “Krebs on Security” and hosting provider OVH earlier this month. The hackers that frequent this forum have been previously known to launch these types of attacks, though at a much smaller scale.

Attack Motivations

Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that these attacks were not financially or politically motivated. Typically, financially motivated DDoS attacks will target business competitors, online gambling sites, or Bitcoin exchanges. Attackers can also use DDoS attacks or threats to extort money from businesses that would be affected by an outage. Despite various groups claiming responsibility for the attack, there have been no publicly available indicators of extortion — attempted or not — against Dyn DNS or any of the sites affected by the attack.

Similarly, Flashpoint discounts many of the claimed political motivations for this attack. Dyn DNS is a central target whose outage would affect a wide variety of website and online services, and does not disproportionately affect any one political entity. Such a broad scope of targeting does not lend itself to a politically motivated attack. Additionally, the indicators that we do have point to specific communities that have historically been apolitical.

Final Notes

The technical and social indicators of this attack align more closely with attacks from the Hackforums community than the other type of actors that may be involved, such as higher-tier criminal actors, hacktivists, nation-states, and terrorist groups. These other types of threat actors are unlikely to launch such an attack without a clear financial, political, or strategic objective, and they are very unlikely to launch an attack against a video game company. Participants in the Hackforums community have been known to launch DDoS attacks against video game companies to show off their credentials as hackers of skill, or to “troll” and gain attention by causing disruption to popular services.

 

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