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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.
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RDP Access to Hacked Servers Still a Thriving Business on Deep & Dark Web

Blog
September 17, 2018

Deep & Dark Web markets selling remote desktop protocol (RDP) access to hacked servers or tools that scan for and brute-force these instances continue to thrive for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the money, time and effort RDP access spares a criminal entity from having to develop more complex attacks.

RDP is a Microsoft protocol and client interface supported on a number of platforms beyond Windows, where it’s been a native feature since XP. It is most often used for legitimate remote administration, but criminals can also use it to remotely access targeted machines for a number of malicious purposes including credential harvesting, account takeover, spam delivery, and as of late, cryptocurrency mining.

Scanning and brute-forcing tools automate attempts to gain access by looking for exposed RDP instances and then trying every possible password combination; poorly configured RDP instances are no match for these tools.

They continue to gain interest on dark web markets—mainly Russian-speaking markets—as does software that scrubs logs clean for attackers wishing to hide their tracks once a campaign is terminated. Knock-off versions of some popular tools proliferate as well once the original developers decide to no longer support their tools.

RDP access to servers is a powerful tool for a malicious actor. In addition to account takeover and spam delivery, attackers may use illicit RDP access to protect their identities from law enforcement and security researchers.

Illegal activity such as carding and fraud, can be carried out from a compromised computer, leading investigators down the wrong path in trying to determine who may be behind a campaign. RDP access can also be less expensive for a threat actor than using anonymizing technology including some that are commercially available that could be leveraged for activities such as carding. Attackers can also use RDP access to drop destructive malware such as ransomware at scale on a number of machines under their control, or more benignly, install cryptocurrency mining malware on machines. For example, some markets have begun advertising mining botnets that come with RDP scanners and lists of IP addresses to be targeted in brute-forcing attacks.

The clear trend toward automation is gaining steam. Software that scans for exposed RDP connections on standard and non-standard ports is getting better as well, with some tracking system information such as location, and software is for sale allowing hackers to maintain access via RDP when new broadcast IP addresses are assigned to hacked servers.

RDP security has improved on Windows in recent iterations of the operating system; admins may now specify permissions and signify which accounts are able to access systems over RDP, or deny remote access to systems unless network authentication is used. Nonetheless, attackers can still find success using automated tools or, in a few cases, the Shodan search engine to find systems connected to the internet configured for RDP access. Using a brute-force password tool, attackers may obtain access and carry out operations on the newly compromised system.

With direct access to a machine via RDP, attackers are spared the need to buy or develop malware and exploits, or put together and execute phishing campaigns, just to name two things. This direct line to compromised machines is coveted, and something that Flashpoint analysts believe will continue to be an area of interest and investment for threat actors with clear trends toward the automation of target detection and brute forcing.

The most infamous RDP-specific market, xDedic, was exposed in 2016, shining a bright light on this type of activity and unveiling its scope and the types of targets involved. Attackers could purchase access to a hacked server or its contents for fewer than $10 USD, and at one point, xDedic had access to more than 70,000 servers for sale. Hacked servers from more than 170 countries in most industries were available on xDedic in 2016; that market acted as a platform for sellers and buyers to convene and access to these servers could enable any manner of data theft and fraud.

Despite heightened security measures, breaching networks and servers via RDP remains a major source of interest for the cybercriminal underground, with clear trends toward the automation of target detection and brute forcing. The best countermeasure is to deploy complicated passwords in front of an RDP instance, and avoid relying on known default or weak credentials.

Flashpoint assesses with high confidence that cybercriminals will likely continue to use such automated technology to obtain illicit RDP access, breach servers, and remove traces of their activity. Additionally, Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that the burgeoning potential for use of RDP access tools in cryptomining campaigns may further increase their popularity among cybercriminals.

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Luke Rodeheffer

Cybercrime Intelligence Analyst

Luke is a Cybercrime Intelligence Analyst at Flashpoint, where he specializes in analyzing cyber and physical threats and actors originating in Turkey, the former Soviet Union, The Middle East, and North Africa. He has extensive previous experience as a freelance due diligence and political risk analyst covering post-Soviet Eurasia and Turkey utilizing extensive public record and open source research. Luke has been published by The Diplomat, Business Insider, Middle East Monitor and George Washington’s International Affairs Review, and his research has been cited in the Wall Street Journal. Luke speaks Turkish, Russian, German, and Persian, and holds a Master’s Degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford University.

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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. 

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