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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 partners with Flashpoint’s executive team to develop, communicate, and execute strategic initiatives pertaining to Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). 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.
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 Customer Success
Jake Wells leads the company’s customer success team, serving 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.

Business Email Compromise: The Oft-Overlooked Costly Dark Horse of Attacks

Cybercrime
February 23, 2017

Business Email Compromise (BEC), also known as “free money scams”, is a constant threat to organizations, their employees, and their users. Although little sophistication is needed to carry out a successful BEC, these types of attacks continue to occur more frequently and inflict greater damage than ever before. Unfortunately, this means that many of us have either observed and/or been directly targeted by BEC at one time or another. Typically, these attacks work as follows:

1. The attacker spoofs an email so it appears as if sent from a high-level executive to an employee in an organization,

2. The spoofed email orders the employee to wire a large sum of money to a foreign account,

3. The employee complies and wires money to the account,

4. The money is lost.

In fact, after one attacker’s recent and amateurish attempt to scam Flashpoint’s CEO in this very manner, the incident motivated me to take a closer look at who is really to blame for the successful attacks. Many feel that the banks should be held accountable for allowing the attackers’ mule accounts to be opened and the illicit funds transferred and laundered. Others place blame on the organization because, after all, it’s their money and their employee who wired that money. While some may argue that it’s best to make the employee pay, the employee will likely claim that he or she was simply following orders.

Despite the common, persistent, and often-costly nature of BEC, it seems that few of us can agree on exactly who is at fault when an organization loses money — not to mention time and resources. Although working to identify the culpable parties in the aftermath of an attack can raise awareness and help prevent the same fate from recurring in the future, many organizations still choose not to do so. Even worse, I’ve observed that some organizations pretend that BEC is not a problem all — but rather, just “the cost of doing business”. Unfortunately, ignoring a problem will not make it go away. Indeed, the only result to emerge from this type of response is an elephant in the room.

So why do some organizations not recognize BEC as the serious threat it has long proven itself to be? This may be especially surprising in today’s day and age, as organizations are becoming more invested in bolstering cybersecurity, cybersecurity teams are growing more skilled at addressing complex cyber threats, and complex cyber threats are developing faster and appearing more frequently than ever before. What if I said that all of this hype and rush to invest in cybersecurity was actually part of the problem? Indeed, as this culture of all things cyber continues to be driven and even sensationalized by attention-seeking cybercriminals and media-headline-worthy cyber attacks, it can be easy to lose sight of unsophisticated, familiar threats like BEC. When a new and dangerous strain of malware is what’s exciting journalists and causing executives to expand their budgets and grow their cybersecurity teams, threats like BEC suddenly don’t appear so scary or even significant after all. 

In short, BEC is often overlooked because, well, it’s not malware. To further illustrate my point, let’s take a look at the numbers. First, Evgeniy Bogachev, a cybercriminal currently wanted for his involvement with GameOver Zeus (GOZ) malware, caused a whopping $100 million dollars in financial losses during the two years he was involved with the project. Successful BEC attacks, on the other hand, have racked up $3.1 billion dollars over 3 years, which is over 20 times the financial damage caused by Bogachev. And yet, we aren’t talking about this because no malware or advanced cybercrime tactics are involved.

On the malware front, however, ransomware is shaping up to be a billion dollar market that security teams and executives around the world are paying close attention to. Meanwhile, BEC is already a billion dollar market — it just doesn’t receive the same level of attention. Even worse, there are numerous integral yet understated components of BEC that many organizations do not see.  For instance, these attackers are also using romance, lottery, employment, and rental scams to exploit their victims. Much lesser-known is the fact that W2 scams are part of BEC as well — the IRS issues warnings every year about more people being affected. Once the W2 data is stolen, attackers usually sell it it on the Deep & Dark Web at anywhere from $4-20 dollars per W2. With a single return allowing an attacker to extract thousands of dollars from the IRS — not to mention the serious damage to the victim organization and stolen identities for employees — everyone is affected.

As I mentioned, Flashpoint’s CEO was recently the target of a BEC attack. The attacker’s spoofed email from and to our CEO told our CEO that he needed to make an urgent wire payment to a vendor.

Image 1. Wire transfer request
Image 1. Wire transfer request

After initiating contact with the attacker, they wanted Flashpoint to wire $37k to a banking account.

Image 2. Wire request
Image 2. Wire request

In another email correspondence, the attackers wanted Flashpoint to wire $96k to a foreign organization based in Shanghai, China.

Image 3. Wire request for $96k
Image 3. Wire request for $96k

After we told the attackers that Flashpoint does not have any vendors in China and that the transactions must be US-based, they were able to provide a new account number for transfer in less than 1 hour.

Image 4: Second wire transfer request for $96k to a U.S. account number
Image 4: Second wire transfer request for $96k to a U.S. account number

While these attacks may not always be extremely effective, many attackers have shown the ability to quickly adapt and wire money outside of an organization. Unfortunately, organizations fall victim to BEC daily, with an average of $2.8 million dollars stolen every day — which is less than 18 days to what GOZ did in 2 years. BEC is a problem for all of us, and no single individual or organization is solely to blame.

The sooner we acknowledge BEC as the elephant in the room, the sooner we’ll be able to address it, protect ourselves from it, and move along.

If you have witnessed and/or fallen victim to these types of scams, contact IC3 as well as your local FBI field office. Information can be submitted to IC3 here: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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