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Josh Lefkowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Josh Lefkowitz executes the company’s strategic vision to empower organizations with the fastest, most comprehensive coverage of threatening activity on the internet. 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 Revenue Officer
As Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Camacho leads the company’s global sales team, which includes solution architecture, business development, strategic integrations, partnerships, and revenue operations; he is also the architect of Flashpoint’s 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.
Donald Saelinger
President
Donald Saelinger is responsible for driving strategic and operational initiatives to accelerate Flashpoint’s growth and scale. In this role, Donald leads a broad portfolio including Marketing, Customer Success, Revenue Operations, Legal and related functions, and is focused on helping the company execute on a go-to-market approach that maximizes value to our customers. Prior to Flashpoint, Donald served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Endgame, Inc., an endpoint detection and response company acquired by Elastic N.V. in 2019, and where he led a range of teams focused on growth, scale, and legal and compliance matters. Donald also previously served as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Opower, Inc. (NYSE: OPWR), a global provider of SaaS solutions to electric and gas utilities that was acquired by Oracle, Inc. in 2016. Donald graduated from Columbia University in 2000 and received his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2006.
Rob Reznick
SVP 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
SVP 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
SVP 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
SVP Strategy and 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 sales, marketing, partnerships, customer success, and finance 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.
Paul Farley
VP APAC Sales
Paul Farley is responsible for the Asia-Pacific region of Flashpoint's international business, including Australia, Japan, and Singapore. In his role at Flashpoint, Paul is executing growth-oriented sales strategies across multiple countries and vertical markets, including both Government and Commercial. Paul has extensive experience leading regional sales for both pre-IPO growth businesses and large organizations such as RSA, EMC and DELL.
Steven Cooperman
VP Public Sector Sales
Steven Cooperman is responsible for Flashpoint’s strategy and sales growth of its public sector business. He also supports the development of a robust partner ecosystem for public sector business to deliver value added offerings and innovation focused to the mission of government. Steven has an established and diverse career in the Public Sector, holding leadership positions at a number of successful enterprise software companies and Federal System Integrators, including ServiceNow, HP, Oracle and Northrop Grumman. He holds an MA in Analytic Geography from the State University of New York - Binghamton, and received his BS in Geology from the State University - Oneonta.
Matthew Howell
VP 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
Glenn Lemons
Executive Director Strategic Accounts Engagement
Glenn Lemons is Executive Director, Strategic Accounts Engagement 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.
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.

Facing Five Types of Ransomware and Cyber Extortion

Blog
June 22, 2021

Specialized Ransomware and Cyber Extortion on the Rise

With every passing day, ransomware operators and cyber extortion syndicates grow increasingly emboldened. Look no further than to the recent DarkSide ransomware attack that effectively took down Colonial Pipeline systems and its 5,500 miles of gas supply lines for close to a week. Historically, ransomware groups targeted smaller organizations and those with less mature security programs. But their ambitions have expanded dramatically in recent years, setting their sights on increasingly larger organizations with more lucrative ransom returns.

“The novel fact is 10% of breaches now involve ransomware.”

—2021 Verizon DBIR

At the same time, extortion and ransomware groups continue to mature themselves. Not only do they improve their attack tools, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), but also other components of their operations advance, like adding well-run marketing and public relations functions. 

10 Ransomware Groups Add Nearly Six New Victims Every Day 

Each successful extortion campaign further incentivizes cybercriminals to pursue new attacks and form new extortion gangs to coordinate and carry out their attacks. In the past 90 days alone, the 10 most active ransomware groups amassed a total of 535 new victim postings, according to Flashpoint threat data. In other words, these 10 groups alone executed an average of 5.94 successful ransomware attacks per day over the last 90 days—at a minimum. 

Why at a minimum? Because this data only accounts for the victim organizations that ransomware groups list and shame publicly from their ransomware sites. Many more victim organizations negotiate their omissions from these ransomware shame lists as a condition of their ransomware payment.

Figure 1: Top Ransomware Groups by Number of Victim Posts Over Past 90 Days

Top 10 Ransomware Groups by Victim, Past 90 Days

If at First Ransomware Doesn’t Succeed, Try, Try Again (with Other Cyber Extortion Methods)

Even though ransomware has become a tried and true tactic, it doesn’t always work. For some organizations, the threat of extended operational downtime is not as worrisome as it is to many others. In other cases, organizations have robust backup and recovery contingency plans, minimizing the downtime of any successful attack.

Unfortunately for these better-prepared organizations, however, ransomware is only one tool in the expanding cybercriminal extortion toolkit. Cybercriminals increasingly pursue multi-pronged ransomware attacks that add contingency extortion methods (e.g., threaten to publicly release sensitive or strategic data captured as part of the initial attack) should the threat of encryption lockout and downtime fail to appropriately intimidate the intended target.

Today, Flashpoint sees five types of ransomware and cyber extortion—which organizations often face more than one at a time. We explore these types and their effects in the following sections below.

1) Corporate Doxxing and Victim Shaming Sites

Once a novelty, ransomware websites that publicly shame and expose sensitive data of the new, non-paying victims are now the norm. Ransomware groups—including Clop, Conti, and many others—regularly list new ransomware victims on their websites in an effort to receive payment. Starting with a simple post of the organization’s name, and often a small amount of sample data to prove the breach is legitimate, these groups gradually release more and more information until a victim either pays, or all of the data is released, as seen below with DoppelPaymer’s site.

The data released in these dumps may vary, but in many cases, they attempt to reveal information such as third party data, PII, financial information, and potentially even access information like credentials. Information leaked in these breaches may help other attackers or cyber criminals further target a victim.

Figure 2: Victim Shaming Post from “DoppelPaymer” Ransomware Site

Ransomware and cyber extortion victim shaming site.

2) Data Sell-Off Auctions 

Depending on the type and expected financial value of the data stolen during the initial attacks, ransomware groups may choose alternate methods to ensure they maximize their returns. Data sell-off auctions are one such option that ensures the data stolen during the ransomware attack isn’t left un-monetized. 

Rather than negotiating with only one victim buyer, ransomware groups open up the bidding to all interested buyers by holding public, online auctions to sell off various portions of the data to highest bidders. One of the first ransomware groups to pilot this approach was Sodinokibi (aka “REvil”), known for a few of their sell-off ransomware auctions after amassing stolen data associated with high-profile celebrities, like Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Trump.

These sell-off auctions introduce new and higher degrees of risk. While general data dumps certainly expose victim organizations, they’re likely to get commoditized quickly as the data acts as the fuel of high-volume automated attacks (e.g., credential stuffing). With sell-off auctions, organizations lose both business-critical information and are at higher-risk of more sophisticated and strategic attacks since their data remains semi-private, exclusively for the cybercriminal purchaser to use at their sole discretion.

Learn more about Flashpoint Threat Response and Readiness to prepare and manage your response to ransomware attacks whenever they strike.

3) Multistage Cyber Extortion with DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks add layers of confusion and complexity to ransomware attacks, typically as an additional attack tactic on top of the standard ransomware file encryption. Organizations that might otherwise focus all attention on the ransomware attacks themselves, now face the added burden of simultaneously addressing system lockouts from the ransomware alongside with worsening network and system uptimes stemming from the DDoS attacks. 

Knowing the enhanced stress DDoS attacks add to DDoS attacks, certain ransomware groups—including Sodinokibi, SunCrypt, and RagnarLocker—increasingly launch these multi-stage ransomware and DDoS attacks against their targets. Even after systems are restored, these combined attacks often leave victim organizations scrambling to restore full system functionality and address frustrated customers.

4) Media Amplification and Cold Calling

If initial ransomware attacks aren’t menacing enough to coax victim organizations into paying out their ransoms, then ransomware groups turn to techniques that further ratchet up the heat on the victim organization. In particular, groups like Sodinokibi, Conti, and Ryuk, take to VOIP cold calling to connect with high-profile journalists and media outlets that may cover the breach in the news. Cybercriminals may also reach out to other concerned stakeholders, such as the victim’s third-party vendors, suppliers, and strategic business partners—all of whom may be affected and may question why they’re hearing the news first from ransomware groups instead of their trusted partner. 

5) Customer Calls to Action

Lastly, ransomware groups even attempt to contact the victim organization’s own clients and customers to apply pressure and push the victim into action. In a recent breach by the now-defunct ransomware group, Cl0p, the ransomware collective used some of the customer contact information that it stole as a part of the ransomware attack to reach out to the customers directly and urge the victim organization to pay the ransom to ensure their personal and account data remained secure.

Figure 3: Ransomware Group Sends Message Directly to Victim’s Customers

Ransomware and cyber extortion tactic targeting victim's customers

Turn Threat Intelligence into Threat Mitigation

As ransomware and other cyber extortion threats continue to escalate, so too do the mitigation capabilities that organizations have at their disposal to minimize the impact of ransomware attacks and, in some cases, even avert them altogether. Flashpoint Threat Response and Readiness solutions offer organizations ways to reinforce and simulate their preparations, along with leveraging advanced analytics, automation, and industry-leading technical collections, organizations can stay on top of their threat environments, continuously assess their ransomware risk postures, and take immediate and informed action whenever new attacks emerge.

Track Evolving Cyber Extortion Activity with the Flashpoint Ransomware Dashboard

The Flashpoint Ransomware Dashboard, 2021

Prepare for Ransomware and Cyber Extortion with Flashpoint

Request a demo and see firsthand how Flashpoint’s Threat Response and Readiness offerings ensure your entire team is prepped and able to respond to any ransomware attack. When equipped with Flashpoint’s dedicated ransomware dashboards, you move ahead of ransomware and the cybercriminal groups who deploy it.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

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