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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.

Tax Season is Prime Time for Business Email Compromise

Blog
February 15, 2018

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is somewhere north of a $5 billion annual global criminal enterprise, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), dwarfing most other threats in terms of dollar losses, including ransomware and prolific banking malware such as GameOver Zeus. And right now, we’re in one of the criminals’ most lucrative periods on the calendar: tax season.

Like clockwork, BEC campaigns shift gears once January arrives, as fraudsters move away from solely targeting executives with the goal of committing wire fraud to include an expanded focus on stealing W2 information from organizations. W2s are a one-stop shop for those who sell and trade personally identifiable information (PII), and the ability to steal them at scale from an enterprise, tax-preparer or tax-processing company is a major coup for a criminal.

As Americans scramble to file tax returns, what works in the favor of defenders is that BEC remains a decidedly low-tech crime. For most of the year, the goal of these schemes is to commit wire fraud by impersonating an executive such as a CEO or chief financial officer. Through expansive social engineering, the fraudster learns who is responsible for authorizing a wire transfer and attempts to compromise their email account in order to authorize fraudulent transfers.

Now that we’ve hit tax season, BEC is also very much about W2s. An attacker who is able to spoof the email of a senior manager and order the targeted organization’s human resources department or payroll provider to send them all employees’ W2 forms in bulk has hit the jackpot. Left in their wake are hundreds of innocent employees who have phony tax returns filed on their behalf and refunds often issued to fraudsters rather than the rightful person, forcing victims to attempt to recover their refunds.

In 2016, the FBI warned organizations about a wave of PII theft where emails purporting to be from business executives requested all employee W2 forms for tax or audit purposes. Email compromise, however, is only one part of the puzzle; fraudsters also require the assistance of a money mule who willingly or unknowingly helps in cashing out. These attacks usually start with a convincing interaction over email, dating sites, or social networks that can include enticing a potential victim romantically, or through phony lottery or real estate scams, for example.

Law enforcement, meanwhile, faces an uphill battle in trying to prosecute these crimes given that many originate outside the United States; attackers based in Western Africa have long been particularly adept at BEC. A May 2017 FBI alert pointed out that Asian banks in China and Hong Kong, as well as the United Kingdom, are landing spots for fraudulent funds. As of last May, the FBI was aware of more than 22,000 victims of BEC accounting for nearly $1.6 billion in losses.

New controls implemented by the Internal Revenue Service, the government agency responsible for tax collection, aim to make it more difficult for criminals to commit fraud. One such control, the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) has reduced the efficacy of being in possession of fullz, or full packages of personally identifiable information. IP PINs are six-digit PINs assigned by the IRS to certain taxpayers in order to prevent misuse of their tax information. Fraudsters must now gather additional tax-specific information to pull off this type of fraud, researchers at Flashpoint said.

Flashpoint analysts said that criminals continue to advertise the availability of compromised tax forms and personal data culled from W2 and 1040 forms, sometimes selling it for less than $20 USD, a relatively low price indicating serious competition among criminals. Analysts said tax preparers are attractive targets for attackers and are the source of many breaches. Attackers have adapted their tactics and are now also seeking access to compromised Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers containing tax processing software because of the PII stored on the server and the ability they may afford to file fraudulent returns.

BEC, meanwhile, remains a primary means for obtaining this valuable data in a relatively short time frame, and tax organizations should remain vigilant of social engineering and resultant phishing attacks until the April 17 tax-filing deadline.

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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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