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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 / Chief Product Officer
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.
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.
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 Solutions 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 Marketing and Revenue Operations
Justin Rogers leads the Marketing and Revenue Operations teams 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.
Peter Partyka
VP Engineering
Peter Partyka leads Flashpoint’s engineering teams. Peter previously worked in the quantitative hedge fund space in New York City, implementing security and administrative solutions around proprietary trading platforms, high-availability cloud deployments, and hardening of applications and infrastructure. Peter leverages more than 16 years of experience in technology specializing in application security, red-teaming, penetration testing, exploit development, as well as blue-teaming. Peter has a long track record of managing tech teams and implementing engineering security best practices. Recently Peter led Flashpoint toward GDPR and CCPA compliance and has been a key architect of Flashpoint’s robust compliance programs. Peter has taught advanced cybersecurity courses at New York University and consulted at various tech startups during his career.
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.
Matthew Howell
VP of Product
Matthew Howell leads the Product Management and Product Marketing teams for Flashpoint. He is responsible for developing a strong team that drives product adoption and user engagement through outcome based prioritization, continuous process improvement, and metrics driven development. Matthew brings a passion for diverse ideas, experience launching B2B SaaS products, building integration ecosystems, supporting five 9s SLAs, and leading distributed teams. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Virginia
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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.
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.
Matt Devost
Currently, Devost serves as CEO & Co-Founder of OODA LLC as well as a review board member for Black Hat. In 2010, he co-founded the cybersecurity consultancy FusionX LLC which was acquired by Accenture in August 2015, where he went on to lead Accenture's Global Cyber Defense practice. Devost also founded the Terrorism Research Center in 1996 where he served as President and CEO until November 2008 and held founding or leadership roles at iDefense, iSIGHT Partners, Total Intel, SDI, Tulco Holdings, and Technical Defense.
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Live Panel Discussion: Ask Our Analysts Anything

By Accident or Design? Supply Chain Risks of Chinese-made Devices

BRI
November 18, 2016

Key Takeaways

• On November 15, 2016, American media outlets reported that Android devices in the United States were found to be transmitting sensitive user information back to a server in Shanghai, China. The total number of known affected devices is 120,000, which were manufactured by Florida-based BLU Products.

• The incident was caused by a third party firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) update service owned by a Chinese company, Shanghai Adups Technology Co., Ltd. The company has stated that the data collection capability was initially created for a mainland China device manufacturer client for the purposes of screening spam texts and phone calls, but it was accidentally deployed on devices that made their way to the United States. The company has since updated the software and claims that the issue has been remedied and the collected data destroyed.

• Flashpoint analysts believe Shanghai Adups’ explanation to be plausible; spam SMS text messages and phone calls are rampant within mainland China, and major efforts have been undertaken to crack down on such activity.

• At this time, Flashpoint cannot link this activity to any known Chinese cyber espionage activity. Analysts assess that China would be unlikely to utilize its international technology companies in such a brazen fashion given the potential consequences (device blacklisting, declined revenues) for their firms and thus the Chinese economy.

Background

On November 15, 2016, numerous media outlets reported the discovery of a “backdoor” in certain Android devices that facilitated the exfiltration of user data to a server in Shanghai, China. The reports cite the findings of U.S.-based security firm Kryptowire, which found that specific devices made by BLU Products utilized a third-party wireless update/firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) application made by Shanghai Adups Technology Co. Ltd. Shanghai Adups’ software was discovered to be transmitting a wide range of user data, such as “full-body text messages, contact lists, call history with full telephone numbers, unique device identifiers including the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).”

According to Kryptowire, the software was designed to bypass various security features within the Android OS; it then delivered the collected data in an encrypted fashion to a remote server in China. The software was reportedly capable of targeting “specific users and text messages matching remotely defined keywords.” According to Shanghai Adups, however, this capability was initially designed at the request of an unnamed Chinese manufacturer for use in mainland China for the purposes of identifying and filtering “junk text and calls by keyword and phone number” and was accidentally deployed on devices later sent to the United States.

The full scope of affected devices is still unclear. Although Shanghai Adups claims to service some 700 million users globally, and many media reports suggest that this many devices may be affected, the true impact is unknown. As of this writing, it is only known that some 120,000 BLU Products Android devices in the United States were affected. Given that Shanghai Adups offers services to a variety of other manufacturers, it is likely that other brands are also affected — although specifics remain unknown. Currently, Flashpoint is unable to independently estimate the full scope and scale of devices affected.

Security incidents follow historical trends; state sponsorship unlikely

Despite widespread speculation that these activities may be linked to Chinese state-sponsored cyber espionage efforts, Flashpoint analysts are skeptical of such a connection. Flashpoint analysts believe Shanghai Adups’ explanation for the initial origin and intent of the software capabilities (identifying and filtering spam texts/calls within China) to be plausible. Spam SMS text messages and phone calls, as well as telephony fraud of all sorts, is rampant within China, and major efforts have been made over the last few years to crack down on such activities. It is also worth noting that many Western technology companies collect similar user data in one fashion or another in order to flag suspicious activity. These efforts aim to protect users from malicious activity such as spear phishing campaigns, enable targeted advertising, enhance user experience, and improve machine-learning algorithms.

This is not the first time such behavior has been discovered in Chinese-manufactured devices. In 2014, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi was similarly accused of siphoning user data to China. Additionally, Lenovo — like many other device manufacturers — has previously been found to install “bloatware” on devices prior to shipping. In 2015, Lenovo found itself under fire for pre-installing software dubbed “Superfish”. While Superfish was intended to inject advertisements onto websites browsed by users of the devices, security vulnerabilities within the software enabled would-be attackers to read encrypted browsing data including passwords and other sensitive items. Lenovo apologized for using the software but still faces residual lawsuits. In addition, another vulnerability was discovered pertaining to the “Lenovo Service Engine” in which the service would reinstall itself even after uninstallation. This vulnerability potentially exposed users to “buffer overflow attack and an attempted connection to a Lenovo test server.”

Mounting concerns over electronics supply chain amid China-U.S. tensions

These security incidents, as well as the tense relationship between China and the United States, have renewed concerns over the electronics supply chain. Many fear that Chinese-made devices and/or manufacturers may be compromised or otherwise leveraged by Beijing for the purposes of facilitating cyber espionage efforts.

Yet while Beijing certainly possesses considerable authority to compel individuals and firms operating within China to cooperate, the exploitation of otherwise legitimate Chinese technology firms (especially those present in and reliant on the international market) for cyber espionage purposes would likely pose too great a risk for the potential reward, especially when conducted in a somewhat blatant and target agnostic manner. Moreover, with many Chinese technology companies currently struggling to break into the Western market amid already-high levels of suspicion on both sides, leveraging such companies as a vehicle for cyber espionage would further undermine the Chinese case for acceptance into Western markets. This practice could potentially lead to device blacklists, which may considerably drive down profits for major Chinese technology firms that bring considerable revenue into the People’s Republic of China.

The data leakage and so-called “backdoors” discovered in such incidents may be explained by insufficient security awareness and standards, a lack of effective regulation, and a different conception of personal privacy between the Western world and China. Malicious intent is unlikely. For instance, in both the Lenovo and Adups cases, the lack of a robust, systemic security program may be at fault. This remains an issue for many electronic devices manufactured in China — not just for the mobile market. The Mirai botnet, which was recently involved in record-breaking DDoS attacks against French ISP and hosting provider OVH and U.S.-based DNS provider Dyn, exploited poorly-secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices manufactured in China. Lax default security settings allowed hackers to enslave the devices into massive botnets.

Final Notes

Although these particular cases arose most likely due to manufacturer oversight rather than malicious intent, significant risks remain. Despite the incentive against abusing their supply-chain dominance for intelligence purposes, the Chinese government possesses considerable powers to compel companies and manufacturers to do so. The recent passing of China’s new Cybersecurity Law only expands these powers.

However, these risks are not exclusive to Chinese-based manufacturers. Many non-Chinese firms manufacture and/or assemble their components and devices in the PRC; hence, the threat to the supply chain remains even if using non-Chinese devices. As such, malicious hardware, firmware, or software could be injected at any stage of the process, although the ease with which this is done may differ considerably.

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