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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.
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The Great Cyber Exit: Why the Number of Illicit Marketplaces Is Dwindling

Blog
February 1, 2022

Shutdowns, takedowns, retirements, and resignations

2021 was a strange year for cybercrime marketplaces—those illicit venues that mimic the e-commerce experience, but for drugs, fraud guides, and other strange oddities and curiosities. While exit scams and sudden closures are ordinarily the norm, this past year was full of planned closures and announced retirements, as well as arrests and graceful shutdowns.

Cybercrime-related threat intelligence should inform the ways security practitioners detect, prioritize, and mitigate cyber risks. In this article we detail the so-called Great Cyber Exit, outlining the most notable closures, takedowns, arrests, and retirements of 2021, plus what this will mean for the threat ecosystem in the year ahead.

Arrests

REVIL, UniCC, and Russia’s Cybercrime Uey

January was a big month for Russian law enforcement with the arrests of representatives from two cyber crime collectives.

  • On January 14, 2022, the FSB announced that it had conducted a special operation against members of the REvil ransomware collective at the request of US authorities, which, according to the Russian authorities, eradicated the collective. This appeared to be a reminder to the US government that Russia regards cybersecurity as a part of wider security talks focusing on Ukraine and has leverage in the field by having access to Russia-based cyber criminals targeting the US.
  • On January 22, 2022, the FSB arrested four Infraud Organization members. The authorities arrested Kirill Samokutiev, as well as Mark and Konstantin Bergmanov who were put under house arrest. Andrey Novak, a Russian citizen and the group’s founder—who is wanted by the FBI—is in detention.

These arrests call into question what was previously self-evident to cyber criminals operating on the territory of the Russian Federation – you are safe as long as you are not targeting Russian entities or Russian interests. Now, however, the presumption of safety is shifting. Cyber criminals can become an important chess piece in Russia’s geopolitical ventures and their safety can no longer be taken for granted.

Planned closures and shutdowns

What is an illicit market shutdown?

A shutdown is a voluntary closure of an illicit marketplace that is planned and executed by the administrators of the venue. These closures have often intersected with exit scams, which refer to when an established marketplace halts the fulfillment of existing orders while continuing to accept new orders, eventually disappearing with customers’ money.

However, 2021 saw an unusual number of communicated shutdowns that gave threat actors the opportunity to withdraw funds from their accounts and settle any final tickets or disputes with the venue.

Joker’s Stash

Illicit marketplace Joker’s Stash (operated by threat actor “JokerStash”) was well-known among cybercriminals as the most reliable source of stolen payment card information. 

However, on January 15, 2021, JokerStash posted an update in English and Russian (below) on the announcements page of their shop, as well as on various forums, stating that it would be closing for unspecified reasons. In its post, “Finale,” JokerStash stated that they will leave the shop open for 30 days to allow users to spend any remaining account balances, before it wiped all of its servers and backups on February 15. 

Heavy is the head that wears that cap ‘n bells. 

The Canadian HeadQuarters

On June 28, 2021, The Canadian HeadQuarters (CHQ) purged their subdread, deleted their accounts, and removed their links from the social news site Dread. Several users were perplexed by the exit. As one customer described, “The site was working perfectly one sec and boom next sec offline.” 

Typically, when markets shut down, withdrawals are disabled and customers are locked out of their accounts, but that was not the case here. CHQ had also just added new site functionality, including the creation of a v3 Tor link, cleaned-up categories, and other additional site upgrades, making this a strange closure. CHQ emerged as a popular venue for fraud and drugs in 2019, following the shutdowns of other major marketplaces such as Dream and Wall Street Marketplace.

On January 26, 2022, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) highlighted that CHQ was taken offline as part of a law enforcement operation. The CRTC issued penalties to four individuals, including the administrator of the marketplace. 

White House Market

On October 1, White House Market (WHM) announced that it was voluntarily shutting down, but kept its operations running for a week to allow customers to transition their funds to other markets. White House Market had been running since August 2019. It had a full range of offerings but was focused primarily on illicit drugs. The market had enforced numerous security protections, such as requiring users to use PGP, processing payments in Monero (XMR), and supporting escrow services. Vendors also had to pay a $1,000 bond to list with the site, which reduced the number of low-quality vendors and scammers on the market. 

Related reading: The Fall of Empire Market

The administrator closed by recommending that customers go to Versus and Monopoly market, as opposed to other marketplaces like AlphaBay. AlphaBay relaunched in August 2021 and has drawn mixed feelings from the fraud community. As of this publishing, Monopoly appears to have exited, not passing go, not collecting $200.

Cannazon gets DDoSed

The administrators of Cannazon, a large marketplace for cannabis sales, announced on November 23 that they would be shutting down on November 28 following a massive DDoS attack. 

Over the past few years, several marketplaces have been suffering from DDoS attacks from extortionists. Marketplaces like Dream in 2019 chose to shut down rather than have their venues disrupted. 

Related reading: From Ransomware to DDoS: Guide to Cyber Threat Actors

ToRReZ

Most recently, Torrez marketplace, a large venue for the sale of drugs, announced that they would also be closing their doors. The administrators did not give a reason but left open the possibility for a return à la AlphaBay. It is unclear where vendors will go following the latest shutdown. 

Illicit marketplace takedowns

What is a takedown of an illicit marketplace?

A takedown involves an external cause for a closure that leads to an outside party, usually law enforcement, forcing a marketplace to go offline and stop serving its customers. This may lead to arrests of involved individuals. The threat of takedowns has fueled the characteristic distrust that is present in illicit communities for fear of unknowingly dealing with undercover law enforcement or security researchers. Several prominent venues experienced takedowns in 2021.

Read more: Chatbots Say Plenty About New Threats to Data

DarkMarket

The year started out strong with one of the largest marketplaces, DarkMarket, being taken down by international law enforcement. Europol announced the takedown with DarkMarket’s logo of an insect under a flyswatter. The takedown set the tone for the year, leading to the temporary increased growth of markets like White House, and possibly the reincarnation of AlphaBay.  

Law enforcement was able to take down DarkMarket after gaining access to CyberBunker, an underground former military bunker used for illicit bulletproof hosting services, in Germany in October 2019. The takedown led to several arrests, including the Dutch operator, who was recently sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.

Operation DarkHunTor

On October 26, 2021, Europol announced the arrest of 150 alleged suspects involved in buying, selling, and coordinating the sale of illicit goods across underground marketplaces and shops. The law enforcement operation, dubbed “Operation DarkHunTor,” was part of a coordinated series of actions of nine countries. 

DarkHunTor was unusual because certain details of the investigation were leaked from the Italian Guarda Di Finanza Nucleo Speciale Frodi Tecnologiche on September 21, 2021. The information was published in the underground social news site Dread, and then later publicly announced by international law enforcement. The details were also unusual in that they detailed the law enforcement takedown of marketplaces Berlusconi and DeepSea, which shuttered in November 2019 and September 2020, respectively. They additionally included details of Televend, the Telegram based cybercrime marketplace. 

Since the DarkMarket, Europol had been compiling intelligence packages, which led to the arrests of 150 individuals. 

Monopoly

Monopoly marketplace, the recommended marketplace following White House Market’s closure, was no longer accessible in late December. In similar fashion to CHQ, the marketplace seemed to suddenly go offline without much of an explanation. On January 28, 2022, nearly a month after Monopoly went offline, the Twitter account for DarkDotFail noted that Monopoly’s servers were seized by law enforcement. At this time, there have been no official notices regarding the takedown, or any arrests. DarkDotFail also noted how Cartel Market has vanished alongside Monopoly.   

Resignations and retirements

What does it mean when the admin of an illicit marketplace resigns?

A resignation, similar to a shutdown, is the voluntary abdication of a cybercrime figure that usually leads to the closure of their marketplace. These administrators may choose to return to the world of cybercrime venues later on, which may mean either starting a new marketplace or reviving the one they resigned from. 

Retirements are resignations that normally imply that the administrator will not be returning to the cybercrime community to open a new venue. In these instances mentioned below, threat actors who operated on illicit marketplaces whose leaders have retired are usually warned not to trust copycats that may try to impersonate prominent retired figures. Retirements often come after an administrator has built a successful marketplace, although this year Flashpoint also saw figures step back before their venue had reached its full potential.

Amigos Bot Shop

Amigos is the latest shop to join a growing list of cybercriminal resignations. This is in addition to the law enforcement takedowns of account shops like Slil_PP and the Telegram messaging bot Televend. Other fraud venues have also closed due to inactivity, or mismanagement. For example, Mouse in Box bot shop unceremoniously closed in July 2021. 

Flashpoint observed the growth of “bot shops” in 2021. Bot shops have been around since approximately 2018, originating with Genesis Market, followed by Russian Market in 2019, and Amigos and Mouse in Box in 2020. Newer entrants like 2Easy Shop and Top[.]cc have added logs along with other products like compromised accounts and credit card numbers.  

Amigos was not unique in that it wasn’t. Amigos was remarkably similar to Russian Market, a shop that, like Amigos, sells compromised credit cards, SSH and RDP accesses, and malware logs. However, Amigos also sold shells, cPanels, mailers, bank login information, merchant accounts, accounting info, compromised US tax ID information, and physician leaks, as well as accounts on popular entertainment, social media, and banking sites.    

The reason for the Amigos’ administrator’s resignation is not apparently clear, though judging from the long list of retirees in 2021, sometimes it’s good to quit while you are still on top.

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