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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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Cybercriminal Abuse of Rewards Points

Blog
November 20, 2017

Cybercriminal interest in stolen data is not solely limited to financial or personally identifiable information. In fact, Flashpoint analysts have observed Deep & Dark Web chatter pertaining to the exploitation of rewards points programs, especially those associated with travel. This chatter aligns with cybercriminals’ interest in fraudulent booking services for hotels, airline tickets, and car rentals—all of which have proliferated in various underground communities over the past several years.

Actors who offer these illicit “booking services” first obtain access to various types of travel rewards points. This typically occurs via compromised user accounts—particularly those associated with rewards points credit cards. Actors then use these points to purchase hotel rooms, flights, and car rentals through online booking services.

These services have become so widespread on one lower-tier Russian-language forum that the community has established its own group of members dedicated to cybercrime targeting hotels. One such member has been advertising their travel “booking service” on two lower-tier forums since December 2014. Through their service, users can order tickets to anywhere in the world; the only restriction is no domestic flights within Russia. Grateful customers regularly post photos taken on trips purchased through the actor’s offerings.

Image 1: A picture taken by a customer on a trip booked through a Russian-language “booking agency,” featuring a note referencing the vendor’s illicit services.
Image 1: A picture taken by a customer on a trip booked through a Russian-language “booking agency,” featuring a note referencing the vendor’s illicit services.

Beyond the Russian-language underground, rewards points abuse also occurs among English and Spanish-speaking cybercriminals. Similar Illicit booking services had been listed on the now-defunct AlphaBay Market since at least March 2015. These listings drove high demand—3,601 customers purchased one actor’s illicit hotel and car rental services between March 2015 and December 2016. To cash in on this trend, at least one vendor who was active on lower-tier Russian-language forums is known to have expanded their operations to AlphaBay Market in September 2016.

Today, similar services are available on various other English-language marketplaces.

 

Image 2: An English-language vendor offering both carded and non-carded flights for 25 percent of the total cost of the flight.
Image 2: An English-language vendor offering both carded and non-carded flights for 25 percent of the total cost of the flight.

Although now-defunct, the most prolific rewards point fraud service on the Spanish-language underground was an illicit “travel agency” that offered discounted tickets and reservations for flights, five-star hotels, car rentals, cruises, and other vacation activities such as tours. Clients were allowed and even encouraged to make these reservations in their own names, and reservations were able to be made anywhere from a month to only hours in advance. Much like the aforementioned Russian-language vendor, this Spanish-language “agency” would not book any domestic flights, stating that there was little money to be made there. Moreover, they would only book hotel reservations if the total cost was to be more than $200 USD. Interestingly, their prices were largely based on comparable hotel room listings advertised on surface web travel sites.

It should be noted that travel arrangements aren’t the only illicit use of stolen rewards points, which can often be used to purchase gift cards. One actor on AlphaBay Market was observed selling $100 USD gift cards for various retail and restaurant chains.

Cybercriminal abuse of rewards points has also been facilitated by the development of brute forcing software, which can be used to systematically check a large number of possible password combinations until the correct one is determined. After obtaining a user’s password through brute forcing, cybercriminals can potentially access any rewards points associated with the compromised accounts. A symbiotic relationship exists between the expanding presence of these tools and the marketplace for compromised credentials.

Image 3: The control panel of a brute forcing tool. Though rewards points are not the tool’s main focus, cybercriminals still showed interest in the tool for that purpose.
Image 3: The control panel of a brute forcing tool. Though rewards points are not the tool’s main focus, cybercriminals still showed interest in the tool for that purpose.
Image 4: Flashpoint has tracked mentions of "rewards points" (green line) and "non-carded"/"not carded" items (blue line) on Deep & Dark Web forums over the past five years. February 2017 saw the second highest number of mentions of "rewards points," while March 2017 saw the highest level of chatter for "non carded"/"not carded" items.
Image 4: Flashpoint has tracked mentions of “rewards points” (green line) and “non-carded”/”not carded” items (blue line) on Deep & Dark Web forums over the past five years. February 2017 saw the second highest number of mentions of “rewards points,” while March 2017 saw the highest level of chatter for “non carded”/”not carded” items.

Flashpoint analysts assess with a moderate degree of confidence that rewards points abuse will likely continue. That being said, businesses and everyday consumers alike can reduce the likelihood of their rewards points being stolen by practicing stringent password hygiene. Since brute forcing tools often used to access rewards points automatically test countless combinations of characters with the goal of identifying and entering the correct password, the difficulty of guessing a password increases exponentially along with its character length and complexity.

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Luke Rodeheffer

Cybercrime Intelligence Analyst

Luke is a Cybercrime Intelligence Analyst at Flashpoint, where he specializes in analyzing cyber and physical threats and actors originating in Turkey, the former Soviet Union, The Middle East, and North Africa. He has extensive previous experience as a freelance due diligence and political risk analyst covering post-Soviet Eurasia and Turkey utilizing extensive public record and open source research. Luke has been published by The Diplomat, Business Insider, Middle East Monitor and George Washington’s International Affairs Review, and his research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal. Luke speaks Turkish, Russian, German, and Persian, and holds a Master’s Degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University.

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