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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.
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Ghosts in the Credit System Machine

Cybercrime
April 5, 2018

A low and slow means of fraud is costing banks hundreds of millions of dollars in losses typified by a frustrating game where investigators are literally chasing shadows in an effort to collect debt from individuals who don’t really exist.

Criminals with time, resources, and patience are cashing out after using existing or unassigned Social Security or credit profile numbers (CPNs) to create fraudulent credit profiles and slowly build up credit–and debt–in those accounts.

“It’s not a quick form of fraud,” said Ian Gray, cyber intelligence analyst at Flashpoint. “It’s slow and requires a certain amount of work, but if you’re able to build up $15,000 in credit tied to a Social Security number, it will benefit you [as a criminal].”

Noteworthy is recent activity on popular cybercrime forums advertising the availability of ghost profiles, which Gray said could be just a rebranding of a relatively new label given to this type of fraud called synthetic identity theft. Ghost profiles are established using real Social Security numbers, likely belonging to adolescents or elderly people who are less likely to have active credit profiles. It’s unknown how criminals are in possession of the SSNs, especially unassigned numbers created by the Social Security Administration.

Massive Debt Belonging to Non-Existent Individuals

Synthetic identity theft and the creation or purchase of ghost profiles is a departure for criminals proficient in identity theft, who have for years purchased personally identifiable information stolen in breaches, including payment card data, from Deep & Dark Web (DDW) markets.

“This is likely reserved for more experienced cybercriminals, who would be required to maintain the account for a time until it’s profitable,” Gray said. “They would have to be knowledgeable in fraudulent schemes like this and the ancillary things necessary to make it viable. You would have to know how to build up credit with these accounts. I’m not sure a criminal with lesser sophistication would have the savvy to execute this.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article said that consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion estimates that last year alone, $355 million in outstanding credit card balances are linked to non-existent individuals. Banks, meanwhile, have extended credit to millions of synthetic identities, the Journal reported. Forbes, for its part, reported that analysts believe 5 percent of uncollected debt and 20 percent of credit losses, may be linked to synthetic identity theft.

KYC Standards Falling Down

Synthetic identity theft may have also exposed a glaring gap in the credit industry around Know Your Customer (KYC) security standards which require that individuals present several forms of identification upon opening accounts or lines of credit. Excessive trust and lax KYC standards allow criminals to get away with a certain amount of fraud, analysts said.  

The growing interest in ghost profiles and synthetic identity theft could also be a reaction to the success of robust fraud-detection systems which are adept and proficient at spotting stolen PII and phony identities created with breached data, for example.

Ghost profiles differ from types of fraud where credit profile numbers are used. CPNs are nine-digit identifiers, issued for example to high profile individuals such as celebrities as an alternative to their Social Security number. Fraudsters use them in order to avoid triggering delinquency alerts, for example but get away with it if banks and credit bureaus fail to verify and therefore allow for the creation of a new credit profile. In both schemes, the criminal builds up credit history on that profile, amasses thousands in debt and lenders are unable to collect.

Flashpoint analysts, meanwhile, remain unclear on the recent spike in interest in ghost profiles on underground crime forums, especially since last summer’s AlphaBay shutdown. They assess, however, that buyers have enough interest in them, and actors will continue to advertise their availability.

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Mike Mimoso

Editorial Director

Michael Mimoso brings over a decade of experience in IT security news reporting to Flashpoint. As Editorial Director, he collaborates with marketing, analyst, and leadership teams to share the company’s story. Prior to Flashpoint, Mike was as an Editor of Threatpost, where he covered security issues and cybercrime affecting businesses and end-users.
Prior to joining Threatpost, Mike was Editorial Director of the Security Media Group at TechTarget and Editor of Information Security magazine where he won several ASBPE national and regional writing awards. In addition, Information Security was a two-time finalist for national magazine of the year. He has been writing for business-to-business IT publications for 11 years, with a primary focus on information security.
Earlier in his career, Mike was an editor and reporter at several Boston-area newspapers. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. 

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