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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.

Rocket.Chat Remains One of the Most Resilient Platforms for Jihadists

Blog
December 20, 2020

Update January 21, 2021: Statement from Rocket.Chat

“Rocket.Chat absolutely condemns the usage of our software by terrorists. It’s true that our open-source software enables everyone to set up and manage their own private Rocket.Chat servers. The vast majority of our hundreds of thousands of Rocket.Chat deployments are managed by legitimate, small communities and businesses seeking to provide their users with secure, encrypted, and private communications—including many NGOs, NPOs, and independent journalists.

We welcome tips and information from the security and threat research community to identify servers using Rocket.Chat software for illegal purposes. Once identified, we work directly with the appropriate law enforcement bodies and officials to shut down these servers. In collaboration with law enforcement, we created detailed guidelines on how agencies can reach out to us effectively. Rocket.Chat is in direct contact with Flashpoint and we look forward to future joint efforts to build a safer cyberspace.”

For more information, please visit the Rocket.Chat website.

Rocket.Chat: Why It’s Important

Since its adoption by ISIS in December 2018 and by al-Qaeda about a year later, Rocket.Chat has remained one of the most reliable platforms for online jihadist communications. The Slack-like platform enables jihadist groups to converse with their supporters and to disseminate both official and unofficial propaganda via servers they control and operate. Privately-managed holistic platforms, such as Rocket.Chat, may represent the future of jihadist communications and propaganda dissemination, as their open-source architecture and owner-operated servers enable unfettered and persistent access for extremists.

Reliable and Persistent

Since their launch, the ISIS and al-Qaeda Rocket.Chat servers have been reliable and persistent sources of jihadist propaganda with only minor service interruptions. Over the past two years:

  • ISIS Rocket.Chat has only suffered from one major shutdown lasting for a few days in April 2019 (due to technical issues). 
  • Al-Qaeda Rocket.Chat has yet to suffer any significant outage. 
  • Compared to other encrypted messaging platforms, like Telegram, individual users themselves are less likely to have their accounts suspended due to the way in which Rocket.Chat is set up.

Content and Scalability 

The ISIS and al-Qaeda servers each have thousands of users and hundreds of channels and groups. They broadcast a wide range of content throughout their communities, from official propaganda to “lone wolf” how-to guides. Languages observed on these servers include Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Italian, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Uighur, and Urdu.

Deep Dive: Rocket.Chat for ISIS and Al Qaeda

In comparison to the frequent removal of jihadist accounts and groups on other messaging platforms—such as Telegram, Hoop, and TamTam—Rocket.Chat remains one of the few platforms able to provide jihadists with a consistent way to communicate and distribute propaganda. 

Launched in December 2018 following a Telegram crackdown, the ISIS Rocket.Chat instance currently boasts more than 200 channels and groups, and over 3,700 registered users. To register for ISIS Rocket.Chat, users are required to send sign-up requests through Telegram bots or WhatsApp accounts. The server features content in multiple languages, including  Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.  

ISIS maintains at least one channel on the platform for releasing official ISIS propaganda. Many prominent pro-ISIS media units also maintain an active presence in multiple languages—including the Qimam Electronic Foundation, al-Battar Media, al-Taqwa Media, Greenb1rds, Jihad Fisabilillah (JSF), Sarh al-Khilafah, and al-Mutarjim.

These channels produce content ranging from operational security tips to guides on chemicals and explosives. Some of this content appears to be aimed specifically at potential terrorist recruits living inside Western countries.

Figure 1: Pro-ISIS Italian-language group, “RomaLibera,” provides guides on explosives and chemicals

Figure 2: Pro-ISIS group, “Fursan Uploads” provides updated links to ISIS propaganda

Geo News (Al-Qaeda)

On December 5, 2019—roughly one year after ISIS announced its adoption of Rocket.Chat—the al-Qaeda-affiliated Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) announced the launch of its own Rocket.Chat instance. GIMF is an al-Qaeda-affiliated media logistics unit that supports the group and its affiliates’ media units, disseminating official propaganda and often providing translations. 

Unlike ISIS—which has been able to maintain its presence on Telegram in the face of continual suspensions—Al-Qaeda and its supporters have struggled to achieve comparable representation on Telegram. As such, al-Qaeda’s Rocket.Chat server may now be the group’s single-most reliable and consistent source for its global propaganda dissemination efforts. 

Based on Flashpoint Intelligence, the Al-Qaeda Rocket.Chat community currently boasts more than 1,870 registered users and more than 95 channels—which is particularly noteworthy considering that new registration is currently closed. Content is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Bengali, English, Farsi, French, Pashto, Uighur, and Urdu. Almost all of Al-Qaeda’s affiliates—and both the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban—are active and maintain channels on Rocket.Chat, as well as all of their media units, including Al-Qaeda Central, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Shabaab al-Mujahideen in Somalia (aka al-Shabaab), Jama’at Nuṣrat al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda in the Subcontinent (India).

Figure 3: JNIM’s az-Zallaqa media unit releases a claim of responsibility for attacks against French forces in the Sahel on Rocket.Chat

Assassination of Al-Qaeda Leader First Mentioned on Rocket.Chat

To illustrate the importance of Rocket.Chat for jihadist groups today, we can see the increasing frequency of relevant breaking news and headlines on these servers these, oftentimes occurring weeks or months before they appear in mainstream media.

For instance, news of the alleged assassination of top Al-Qaeda leader Abu Mohammed al-Masri in Tehran by an Israeli hit squad was reported by The New York Times on November 13, 2020. However, a user on al-Qaeda’s Rocket.Chat server made the same claim regarding al-Masri’s demise close to a full month earlier. 

On October 19th, an actor posted on Rocket.Chat claiming that al-Masri had been killed in Tehran sometime in August 2020. According to the message posted on Rocket.Chat, the two individuals who were assassinated in Tehran in August were al-Masri and his daughter, which are the facts that the New York Times ultimately published. At the time of the Rocket.Chat post, however, this ran counter to many Iranian and Arabic media organizations that were inaccurately claiming were a Hezbollah member and his daughter. This Rocket.Chat user claims to have been informed of al-Masri’s death from “exclusive sources who lived through the Afghan jihad period.”

Screenshot of a Rocket.Chat post by Pro-ISIS Italian-language group, "RomaLibera," providing guides on explosives and chemicals.
Figure 4: On October 19, 2020, a post on Al-Qaeda Rocket.Chat claims al-Masri was killed in Tehran

Contact Flashpoint for More In-Depth Data and Analysis

Get in touch with Flashpoint for more information on how intelligence from Rocket.Chat has become an essential asset for physical threat analysts and the many ways Flashpoint can support your mission. 

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