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 partners with Flashpoint’s executive team to develop, communicate, and execute strategic initiatives pertaining to Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). 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.
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 Customer Success
Jake Wells leads the company’s customer success team, serving 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.

Mobile Overlay Attacks a Hot Underground Commodity

Blog
November 7, 2018

Mobile overlay attacks are a highly trafficked commodity on the underground today as attackers, stunted by improvements in browser protections on the desktop, are swaying toward stealing credentials, banking information, and other personal information primarily from Android devices.

Some Russian-speaking marketplaces sell hundreds of overlays—which are sometimes conflated with injection attacks—that are configured to run on top of legitimate applications and steal user inputs for anything including banking apps, social media, email, e-commerce, and payment applications and websites.

Overlays differ from webinjects in that a malicious application is drawn over other applications. This is in contrast to an injection attack where a threat actor supplies additional information, such as a piece of code, query, or an object, to secretly change the outcome of the legitimate process.

In either case, the user believes they are interacting with a legitimate application, while in fact they could be, for example, granting excessive device permissions to third-party applications, or entering credentials and personal data that is stolen by the attacker.

Android devices are particularly at risk for overlay attacks because of a permission called SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW, a system privilege that permits apps to draw over others. In later versions of Android, overlays are known as Toasts, which are objects that can be used to display brief alerts from legitimate applications over the home screen or running applications.

Attackers have found Toasts useful, most notably in 2017’s so-called Cloak and Dagger attacks uncovered by Palo Alto Networks; the attacks were also based upon academic research conducted by researchers at Georgia Tech University and UC Santa Barbara. The Cloak and Dagger attacks were used to trick users into enabling the Android Accessibility Service, granting the malicious app carrying out the attack administrator privileges. With such powerful privileges on the device, an attacker can launch a number of different attacks including mobile ransomware or the installation of other malicious apps.

Overlay attacks are also exacerbated by a relatively new methodology known as tapjacking, which uses the Android Toast functionality. Unlike traditional Android malware, tapjacking malware does not need to request any elevated system privileges, making it particularly dangerous. Tapjacking masks the requests behind the user’s ordinary interaction with the device by presenting itself as a legitimate app and tricking users into granting it various system privileges and providing user information. As such, a user could be granting privileges by simply clicking on apps they believe to be legitimate.

Bolstered by this and other similar attacks, threat actors on the underground appear motivated to develop more overlay attacks and feed this market. One highly trafficked Russian-language forum includes posts from a pair of actors offering close to 200 overlays for legitimate banking, payment and other similar types of applications. A recent post included a fresh set of overlays that can be run using a Toast overlay to trick victims into providing attackers with sensitive login and financial credentials.

While later versions of Android include patches that mitigate the risk posed by malicious use of Toasts for overlay attacks, the overall Android ecosystem isn’t conducive to timely updating of devices. According to the Android Developers Dashboard, only 7.5 percent of Android devices are running version 8.1 of the operating system, which is the latest version of Android “Oreo.” The majority of users (45.6 percent) are running devices between versions 5.1 (Android “Lollipop”) through 7.0 (Android “Nougat”)—a full three versions in arrears in some cases. This contributes to a wildly erratic and insecure Android ecosystem in many cases, beyond its susceptibility to overlay attacks.

Assessment

Threat actors’ migration toward targeting mobile devices is being accelerated by the effectiveness of overlay attacks. This is being reflected in an increasing number of posts on the subject in underground forums offering new overlays on a regular cadence. It’s also being enabled by a continually out-of-date Android ecosystem running older versions of the operating systems that lack mitigations that impede overlay attacks. Overlay attacks are particularly effective because they don’t require a vulnerability in a banking application, for example; instead, the attacker exploits the victim’s device. Whereas applications containing sensitive financial information such as banking or e-commerce applications are generally highly secure and updated to defend against the latest security vulnerabilities, if a victim downloads a malicious application capable of conducting an overlay injection attack, the attacker will have negated the security protections in place on the targeted application. To help mitigate against threat actors using Android injection attacks, Flashpoint recommends updating all Android devices to the latest Android release (Pie as of this writing), as all Android devices running versions earlier than Oreo (version number 8.0) are susceptible to this attack methodology. Furthermore, Flashpoint suggests changing the Android setting “filterTouchesWhenObscured” to “true,” as this setting will then disregard any user input or activity when the system detects that an overlay is running.

avatar

Mike Mimoso

Editorial Director

Michael Mimoso brings over a decade of experience in IT security news reporting to Flashpoint. As Editorial Director, he collaborates with marketing, analyst, and leadership teams to share the company’s story. Prior to Flashpoint, Mike was as an Editor of Threatpost, where he covered security issues and cybercrime affecting businesses and end-users.
Prior to joining Threatpost, Mike was Editorial Director of the Security Media Group at TechTarget and Editor of Information Security magazine where he won several ASBPE national and regional writing awards. In addition, Information Security was a two-time finalist for national magazine of the year. He has been writing for business-to-business IT publications for 11 years, with a primary focus on information security.
Earlier in his career, Mike was an editor and reporter at several Boston-area newspapers. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts. 

avatar

Nikita Mokhov

Russian Cybercrime Analyst

Nikita Mokhov is a Russian Cybercrime Analyst at Flashpoint.

avatar

Yelisey Boguslavkskiy

Intelligence Analyst

Yelisey Boguslaskiy is an Intelligence Analyst at Flashpoint.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

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