Close
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.
image/svg+xml image/svg+xml
Meet us at Infosec Europe 04-06 June 2019. Learn More

Encrypted Messaging Apps Facilitating Cybercrime in Latin America

Blog
March 12, 2019

As Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets continue to drop off the Deep & Dark Web (DDW), criminals are migrating more and more to encrypted chat-services platforms for communication and commerce.

Markets operating in either language have been scarce and have been shutting down due to poor sales and/or management. Buyers and sellers who bypassed markets and used underground forums to meet, were finalizing negotiations or communicating directly instead over encrypted platforms.

While this is a stark contrast to operators in Eastern Europe and North America who still heavily trade on the DDW, criminals in Latin America prefer the convenience and relatively high levels of baseline security found in encrypted chat apps. Some of this is due to a relative lack of technological sophistication within the region.

Socioeconomic Reasons to Choose Chat over DDW

To fully understand the migration to chat services as it begins to replace the role of the DDW in Latin America, one must consider a number of factors. Mobile networking has a high adoption rate in the region, largely because of relatively low costs compared to computers, for example. Regional adoption of mobile apps for daily communication is also relatively high in the region, as is the availability and uptime of the major applications.

There’s also a perceived lack of law enforcement action affecting cybercrime in the region; Mexico, for example, has no formal cybercrime laws on its books. A 2017 IDG Connect article points out that Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru had yet to sign aboard the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, the first international treaty addressing cybercrime, inaugurated in 2001. Despite hosting workshops and establishing CERTs in the region, countries have failed to ratify their participation in the convention or enact their own cybercrime laws.

The same holds somewhat true for Brazil, a Portuguese-speaking nation in Latin America. Despite an emerging economy and heavy investment in technology and connectivity, Brazil has also done relatively little to address cybercrime via legislation.

Portuguese-Speaking Communities Seeing Similar Trends

For many of the same reasons as other LatAm countries, there is also a limited presence of Portuguese-language communities on the DDW, many of whom have also flocked to encrypted chat applications for daily communication. Brazil has highest global daily use of messaging platforms. Last October, one of the few Portuguese-speaking markets in the region shut down and in a notice to its users, it said customers’ insistence on using a particular encrypted chat application for business as a big reason for the shutdown.

While for criminals there are numerous advantages to using encrypted chat for communication, it’s not an ideal platform for commerce. Unlike markets or forums where prospective buyers may be vetted and identities are verified, chat applications lack the same type of mechanism. In addition, there are no multisig wallets bringing added security to the use of cryptocurrency in transactions; also if cryptocurrency is used, there is no recommended or available cryptocurrency tumblers part and parcel to a chat app. In fact, in Latin American communities, cryptocurrency is often secondary to traditional payment processors, further indicating a lack of law enforcement oversight and the ability for criminals to choose convenience over security in these instances. Finally, many markets also offer buyers and sellers the ability to provide feedback or recourse for negative experiences, which is lacking on chat apps.

It appears that encrypted messaging applications serve two purposes within the Latin American cybercrime community. They serve as alternate communication channels to supplement DDW forums, and in some instances, they entirely replace DDW communications. Multiple threat actors choose to have Channels or Chats that serve a similar function of a room or thread, within a forum. Some actors will additionally choose to progressively share advertisements within a chat channel, similar to how one would advertise on a forum or marketplace. As a result, this migration to encrypted chat in Latin America figures to continue for the time being as these secure messaging applications continue to supersede DDW markets in the regions for criminals wishing to finalize transactions.

avatar

Ian W. Gray

Senior Intelligence Analyst

Ian W. Gray is a Senior Intelligence Analyst at Flashpoint, where he focuses on producing strategic and business risk intelligence reports on emerging cybercrime and hacktivist threats. Ian is a military reservist with extensive knowledge of the maritime domain and regional expertise on the Middle East, Europe, and South America. As a Veteran Volunteer, Ian supports The Homefront Foundation, a non-profit that helps veterans and first responders share their experiences through focused story-telling workshops. His insights and commentary have been featured in publications including Wired, Christian Science Monitor Passcode, ThreatPost, TechTarget, The Washington Examiner, Cyberscoop, The Diplomat, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Fordham University and a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our latest research, news, and events