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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.

Russian hacker Q&A: An Interview With REvil-Affiliated Ransomware Contractor

Blog
September 29, 2021

A Different Mindset and Approach

A threat actor—who claims to work with REvil and other sophisticated ransomware collectives—recently spoke with Russian-language website Lenta[.]ru on the condition of anonymity. 

This interview is a marked departure from a typical Q&A with a threat actor. Discussions between media and Russian-speaking ransomware operatives are generally filled with braggadocio emanating from the threat actor. To them, what they do is luxurious, anarcho-capitalist, cool, and lucrative; they may think of themselves as invincible.

Here, however, the anonymous threat actor does not exhibit the same sentiments as their colleagues. Instead, the anonymous interviewee talks of sleepless nights, living in fear, and the general mindset and business of a modern-day ransomware contractor.

The following interview, originally published on September 20, has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Lenta.ru: Our conversation today will center on reports of the resurrection of the REvil group, which is categorically linked with Russia in Western media. The ransomware collective is credited with attacks on large American companies, and, with this, cooperation with Russian special services. Have you collaborated with REvil? Are these accusations justified?

“Antivirus”: In the normal world, I was called a contractor—doing some tasks for many ransomware collectives that journalists consider to be famous. The very fact that I am giving an interview is unlikely to please my clients, which is why I hide behind an alias that means nothing. Among my customers once was the REvil group.

When doing this kind of work, you do not always know who is actually setting the task. But the practice of the US authorities to appoint culprits amuses many [inside my circle]. There are Chinese groups that for years have been labeled in all media as connected with the authorities of the country, who allegedly work out of the Chinese version of Lubyanka [headquarters of the FSB]. But inside the community, everyone guesses that these are simple guys scattered all over the world who even have difficulty communicating among themselves, let alone the government.

Of course, nothing can be ruled out. But personally, I have no feeling that the Russian special services are planning any attacks.

Another source of mine believes that REvil has disappeared from the radar due to increased interest from the US authorities.

Many in one way or another came across the user Unknown, who was the official spokesperson of the group on the dark web. He disappeared this summer and it is not known what happened to him. There is a version that the Americans managed to find out his identity, after which this information was passed to the Russian security forces. It is possible.

But sometimes a banana is just a banana. A person could have fallen ill with coronavirus, gotten into a traffic accident, or simply left the business.

Is [Unknown] leaving the business?

This is not the mafia. Plus you’re anonymous. When you want to leave the business, you simply press the shutdown button on your laptop.

Let’s figure it out: how profitable is cybercrime and what must happen in a person’s life for them to decide to leave it?

Let’s put it this way: this is a very time-consuming job. And if you’ve earned enough, then you can quit the game. Chronic fatigue, burnout, deadlines—all these words from the life of ordinary office workers are also relevant for malware developers.

There are two factors at play. On the one hand, you are afraid all the time. You wake up in fear, you go to bed in fear, you hide behind a mask and a hood in a store, you even hide from your wife or girlfriend. I’m younger than you, but I’ve already earned for the rest of my life. Not millions, but enough to live in peace and never work. Here is also a second factor: how to quit a job that brings such earnings in a country where you are not much sought after?

LockBit representatives said in an interview that they cannot sleep properly. Is it true?

Yes, you don’t sleep well. I’ve been sleeping four to five hours consistently for years. The problem here is more that you have a family during the day and all work is at night, plus you have to take different time zones into consideration.

Before COVID, did you have any desire to move to Europe or somewhere else?

If there comes a moment when I need to pack my backpack and leave the country on the first flight, I will. But now I’m comfortable.

Is patriotism a common story among cybercriminals?

This is not a community to survey. It is clear that there are some platforms for hiring freelancers and exchanging opinions, where news is also posted. But every person in my profession lives without any connection with the community. I don’t know what’s in my employer’s mind, just as he doesn’t know what’s in mine.

But if you try to answer globally, then I see that in the interviews of many associates, even from the one with the LockBit group, there is rather a discussion of social equality. If you go to the Italian forums on the darknet, they write more about socialism than about hacks.

This idea is close to me. The world is unfair to the weak, everything is built on financial gain. There are people who lead the largest corporations by birthright. At best, they throw off hundredths of a percent of their super profits to charity, for which they are deified by the hands of their personal PR specialists. At worst, they hide their billions from the tax authorities. This should not be so, but this is happening not only in the USA and Europe, but also in Russia.

Do you feel like Robin Hood?

Honestly? No. I am against romanticizing my work. Money is being stolen or extorted with my hands. But I’m not ashamed of what I do. I sincerely try to find at least something bad in this and cannot. Probably, my concepts of what is good and what is bad are somehow shifted. But in this case, they are shifted for many in this profession.

Many groups declare on their blogs that they do not attack social objects. Have your developments ever been used for such purposes?

As far as I know, no.

You, like many of your colleagues, have a bright socialist rhetoric. Can we assume that, even if not always, but at least occasionally, American companies attack precisely because they are capitalists?

First, they are attacked because they are rich and have a lot of money. It’s hard for me to imagine an ideologically motivated attack. Second, cybercrime is an international phenomenon and the communities themselves are international. This year I worked with code snippets commissioned by the community, with whom I corresponded in Russian. The code itself contained comments in French.

If we go a little deeper into the specifics of attacks, what areas are now considered the most promising and what protective tools cause the greatest inconvenience to malware developers?

It seems to me that I will not tell you anything new here. Most of the attacks can be compared to automated spam mailing. Whoever gets hooked will be “milked.” That is why each group has such a geography of defeat: from strong European companies to Vietnamese or Cambodian medium and even small businesses.

Sometimes a specific company is attacked. Here, tactics change depending on the goal. I read somewhere a story about the guys who could not get inside the security perimeter (the conditional border between the outside world and the internal systems of the company) of a large corporation for several years and came up with an elegant solution. They began tossing flash drives with the company’s logos to its office so that one of the employees thought that his colleague had lost important documents, and inserted the flash drive into the computer in an attempt to find out whose it was. After that, malicious code should have been launched, which would instantly spread over the internal network. I don’t remember how the story ended.

In such situations, in the modern world, it is not the company itself that is attacked, but small organizations from its supply chain. For example, it is not a bank that is attacked but a manufacturer of minor software that covers a minor problem. It is now the most popular point-to-point attack method that bypasses traditional defenses and penetrates the security perimeter.

The strategy of our conditional adversaries—information security departments—network segmentation according to the principle of zero trust. All the security forces now talk about this, but the tactics have not yet been brought to the ideal.

Does the service model of malware development as a service already dominate the dark web?

Not yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Convenient approach.

BlackMatter hit the Japanese giant Olympus a few days ago. Before that, they said that they considered themselves the leaders of the hacking community. Will the revival of REvil interfere with their plans?

To be honest, I don’t make those [leadership] ratings for myself. And no one is. How do you imagine it?

Together with REvil, the DarkSide ransomware collective, responsible for the attack on the Colonial Pipeline, disappeared from the Dark Web. There is a theory that BlackMatter and DarkSide are one and the same community. This is true?

I think yes. Although I am not sure that for someone other than journalists and security officials, this is of principle.

Many noticed that in the very first interview, BlackMatter promised not to attack American infrastructure facilities. It looked like a white flag—they say, guys, we won’t be like this anymore.

Perhaps so, but it doesn’t matter. BlackMatter is just making money and they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. You can hit the jackpot once, but provoke such a geopolitical conflict that you will be quickly found. It is better to quietly receive stable small sums from mid-sized companies, only occasionally entering corporations such as Olympus.

Reduce ransomware risk and see Flashpoint intelligence in action 

When organizations, such as financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, gain insight into the operational dynamics of malicious cybercriminal communities, they can better understand threat actor TTPs; access potentially vital observations in real-time; leverage that information to thwart a ransomware attack. 

Sign up for your risk-free 90-day trial and see how Flashpoint can provide you with the actionable threat intelligence you and your entire team need to identify and respond to threats targeting your organization. When equipped with Flashpoint Intelligence, your team has immediate access to collections across illicit online communities ranging from private forums and illicit marketplaces to encrypted chat services channels to gain insight into threat-actor activity on a global scale.

 

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