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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.
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Attack of Things!

BRI
September 17, 2016

This post was written in collaboration with Level 3 Threat Research Labs and was originally published to Beyond Bandwidth on August 25, 2016.

The rush to connect everything to the internet is leaving millions of everyday products vulnerable and ripe for abuse. We’ve seen internet connectivity added to appliances, athletic clothing, pill bottles and even forks. Security, if it’s considered at all, is often an afterthought for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Everyone is more susceptible to attack because of this, whether they own one of these devices or not.

Level 3 Threat Research Labs has been working with Flashpoint to track a family of malware that targets these devices for the purpose of creating Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) botnets. The impacts of these botnets can affect anyone on the internet, not just the IoT device owners.

The malware behind these DDoS botnets goes by many names, including Lizkebab, BASHLITE, Torlus and gafgyt. In this post, we’ll highlight the devices commonly co-opted into these botnets, the command-and-control servers (C2s) used to control them, the types of attacks employed, and describe the victims of these attacks.

Malware

The source code for this malware was leaked in early 2015 and has been spun off into more than a dozen variants. Written in C, it was designed to be easily cross-compiled for multiple architectures running the Linux operating system. This makes it a good option for running on IoT devices and other embedded systems which often use different processor architectures to minimize cost and power requirements. The malware implements a standard client/server architecture modeled loosely on an IRC chatroom.

Each botnet spreads to new hosts by scanning for vulnerable devices in order to install the malware. Two primary models for scanning exist. The first instructs bots to port scan for telnet servers and attempts to brute force the username and password to gain access to the device. The other model, which is becoming increasingly common, uses external scanners to find and harvest new bots, in some cases scanning from the C2 servers themselves. The latter model adds a wide variety of infection methods, including brute forcing login credentials on SSH servers and exploiting known security weaknesses in other services.

We have seen a variety of implementations from different actors taking advantage of access to the leaked source code. We expect the infection vectors, scanning methods and overall sophistication to continue to evolve.

Bots

Groups like Lizard Squad and Poodle Corp are increasingly targeting IoT devices to build botnets to conduct DDoS attacks. They use these botnets either for their own purposes or to rent to individuals as booter or stresser services (i.e. DDoS-as-a-Service).  Security camera DVRs, used to collect video from security cameras, are among the devices currently favored by these bot herders. These devices often come configured with telnet and web interfaces enabled, allowing users to configure the devices and view their security footage over the internet.  Unfortunately, many are left configured with default credentials, making them low-hanging fruit for bot herders. Most of these devices run some flavor of embedded Linux. When combined with the bandwidth required to stream video, they provide a potent class of DDoS bots.

After the attacker has gained access to the device, their tools do not bother to identify the architecture of the device they have compromised. Instead, they immediately execute both the “busybox wget” and “wget” commands to retrieve their DDoS bot payloads. Then they attempt to run multiple versions of the malware compiled for different architectures (as many as 12), until one executes.

Of the bots we’ve observed participating in attacks, peaking at more than 1 million devices, a large percentage are located in Taiwan, Brazil and Colombia. A large majority of these bots were using white-labeled DVRs generically described as “H.264 DVRs” and DVRs manufactured by the company Dahua Technology. We have contacted Dahua Technology to make them aware of this issue. Our investigation shows more than one million of these two types of devices are accessible on the internet, providing a large pool of potential bots.

Figure 1 – Global Distribution of gafgyt Bots (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)
Figure 1 – Global Distribution of gafgyt Bots (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)

Of the identifiable devices participating in these botnets, almost 96 percent were IoT devices (of which 95 percent were cameras and DVRs), roughly 4 percent were home routers and less than 1 percent were compromised Linux servers. This represents a drastic shift in the composition of botnets compared to the compromised server- and home router-based DDoS botnets we’ve seen in the past.

C2s

Level 3 Threat Research Labs in collaboration with Flashpoint has been tracking more than 200 C2s for this malware family. These C2 IPs are hard-coded in to the malware, most often specifying only a single IP address. This is in contrast with more sophisticated malware, which utilizes a variety of techniques to provide higher resiliency, and leaves this botnet no immediate defense against takedowns. This does not appear to be a concern for these bot herders, as it is easy to create a new C2 and re-compromise their bots. When bot herders want to migrate bots to a new C2, a new version of the malware is required. Despite this overall lack of sophistication, many of these botnets are capable of producing powerful attacks. Level 3 Threat Research Labs has seen attacks as large as hundreds of gigabits per second launched from these botnets.

The size of these botnets and the number of attacks they conduct varies substantially. In the month of July, we see the median C2 communicating with only 74 bots, with the largest observed C2 communicating with nearly 120,000 bots. These estimates are on the conservative side, based on an incomplete view of the infrastructure, and we expect the number of bots to actually be higher.

The number of attacks per C2 also varies. The figure below shows the top six C2s by number of unique victims, with some C2s exceeding 100 attacks a day. This graph demonstrates that C2 activity phases in and out. While the median active time for a C2 is around 13 days, it is often not contiguous. We see C2s go days, sometimes weeks, without activity before becoming active again.

Figure 2 – Top 6 C2s by Unique Victim Volume (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)
Figure 2 – Top 6 C2s by Unique Victim Volume (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)

Victims

DDoS victims of these botnets are mostly residential users, which is consistent with booter service clientele. We also see many popular gaming platforms and sites being attacked, which is typical of the public claims made by multiple well-known DDoS groups.

Figure 3 – Volume of Attacks by Type (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)
Figure 3 – Volume of Attacks by Type (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)

The majority of the attacks launched are simple UDP and TCP floods. High bandwidth attacks more often used UDP floods, while high packets-per-second attacks used TCP floods. UDP attacks are more common, and we’ve seen TCP attacks decrease in popularity over the last month. While this malware supports spoofing of source addresses, we rarely see it employed. Some variants also support HTTP attacks, which make full connections to the victim webservers.

In fact, reflected attacks are noticeably absent from this family of malware. As a result, we’ve noticed some threat actor groups use multiple families of malware to supplement their arsenal.

Figure 4 – Duration of Attacks by Type (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)
Figure 4 – Duration of Attacks by Type (Source: Level 3 Threat Research Labs)

Most attacks are short-lived, with the median duration just over 2 minutes, and 75 percent of attacks shorter than 5 minutes.

Conclusion

The security of IoT devices poses a significant threat. Vendors of these devices must work to improve their security to combat this growing threat. However, as a consumer of these devices, you do have options to improve your security. If you have one of these devices, standard security best practices advice applies. However, many IoT devices don’t allow you to configure what services are exposed, and some use hardcoded credentials that can’t be changed, leaving some owners with few options. This makes researching the capabilities of these devices before purchase just as important as their operation after they are plugged in.

The use of IoT devices in botnets is not new, but as they become more common, we expect these types of botnets to increase in number and power. While compromised hosts and home routers continue to be targeted, bot herders will follow the path of least resistance. Before spending more energy on traditional bot hosts, they’ll take advantage of the abundance of insecure IoT devices. Until IoT device manufacturers start attending to security and device owners stop connecting them insecurely to the internet, we can expect this trend to continue.

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