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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.

Threat Actors Leverage “Phonecord” Bot to Harass Victims

Blog
May 10, 2017

Although the majority of cyber threat actors are fueled by the desire for financial or political gain, some actors lack traditional motivations altogether. Often referred to as “attention-seekers”, these actors’ malicious activities are driven typically by nothing more than a desire to attract attention by causing chaos for their own amusement. Despite their reputation for nonsensical campaigns, erratic targeting, and low technical sophistication, attention-seekers’ schemes can yield anything from mild nuisances to economic or even psychological distress. In fact, Flashpoint analysts recently observed groups of attention-seekers launch a series of vicious attacks that subject victims to an age-old and universally-despised form of abuse: telephone harassment.

Since this particular form of telephone harassment first emerged in late April 2017, groups of attention-seeking actors have harassed a wide range of individuals and organizations via a telephone bot known as “Phonecord”. Although telephone bots in and of themselves are nothing new, Phonecord is relatively unique because it utilizes the social and communication application Discord, which enables users to make international calls directly and easily from the app’s voice chat functionality. And because those seeking to use the Phonecord bot have the option to pay for the service in Bitcoin, most users remain relatively anonymous. While Discord has long been popular among the gaming community, the app’s ease of use and ability to withstand distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks has given rise to its heavy usage among cyber threat actor communities.

Thus far, victims of Phonecord harassment schemes include:

   • United Kingdom National Crime Agency (NCA)
   • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
   • Various popular pizza chain restaurants
   • Hotels
   • Individuals whose personally identifiable information (PII) has been exposed previously

Many of these victims have been harassed in a manner that resembles a common tactic known as “Swatting”, which occurs when a threat actor makes numerous “prank calls” to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch a large number of law enforcement officers to a specific address. Indeed, Flashpoint analysts observed various threat actors utilize Phonecord in similar yet more lighthearted manner: rather than dispatch emergency services, they ordered a large number of pizzas from multiple restaurants to be delivered to the same address. Not only does this leave the unsuspecting victim with an unusually large amount of pizza, it burdens them with the high cost of paying for such pizzas upon delivery. While these types of schemes yield no financial reward for the threat actors involved, they do satisfy these actors’ cravings for attention and amusement at the cost of victims’ discomfort.

In fact, multiple threat actors have even been known to utilize the Phonecord bot to harass certain individuals and law enforcement agencies on repeat occasions. Unfortunately for many threat actors, their multiple attempts to call numbers including “911”, the suicide hotline, and other emergency services hotlines were unsuccessful because Phonecord’s configuration blocks calls to such numbers.

Image 1: Actors attempt to make calls to “911” and make implications about using the service for “swatting,” in which threat actors place calls to the police with the intent of directing police SWAT teams to victims' addresses.
Image 1: Actors attempt to make calls to “911” and make implications about using the service for “swatting,” in which threat actors place calls to the police with the intent of directing police SWAT teams to victims’ addresses.
Image 2: In an April 25, 2017 post, an actor attempts to make a call to the suicide hotline.
Image 2: In an April 25, 2017 post, an actor attempts to make a call to the suicide hotline.

Assessment & Mitigation

One administrator of the Phonecord bot service most notably took credit for a DDoS attack that took down servers for the popular game Minecraft for an extended period in June 2014. Although this actor and the other administrators have not advertised Phonecord explicitly as a criminal service, numerous instances of abuse have evidently become present.

Flashpoint analysts assess with high confidence that threat actors will likely continue to use the Phonecord bot to carry out harassment campaigns against various individuals and organizations unless the administrators of the service institute additional controls and countermeasures.

The most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of Phonecord and other telephone bot harassment schemes is to exercise extreme caution in safeguarding personal information such as telephone numbers and home addresses. For those whose personal information has already been exposed, taking additional measures by changing telephone numbers and opting to use a P.O. box as opposed to a residential address on all correspondence will serve as additional barriers that may help deter the efforts of some actors.

Victims of telephone bot harassment and/or other malicious schemes are encouraged to report such incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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