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
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
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.
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.
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The Promise of Open Source Code and the Paradox of ‘ProtestWare’

March 28, 2022

The Open Source Software (OSS) community has been split in two after an OSS author repurposed his own library to protest the Ukrainian-Russian war. On March 7, RIAEvangelist released several versions of his “node-ipc” software package—which has been downloaded millions of times—with some versions reportedly overwriting code on machines presumably located in Russia and Belarus.

About one module, called peacenotwar, RIAEvangallist, wrote:

This code serves as a non-destructive example of why controlling your node modules is important. It also serves as a non-violent protest against Russia’s aggression that threatens the world right now. This module will add a message of peace on your users’ desktops, and it will only do it if it does not already exist just to be polite.

His actions—i.e. “deliberately sabotaging his own code”—have sparked a massive controversy while giving birth to a new surge of “protestware,” where other hacktivist  developers may target Russian-based machines. 

The Open Source community was formed on the ideals of improving software, skills, and empowering change. By that definition, you can argue that RIAEvangelist, whose given name is Brandon Nozaki Miller, is pushing for change. At the same time, however, the community does not tolerate bad actors. Does node-ipc’s changes fulfill or neglect the ideals that led to the creation of the Open Source community? That is up to the community to decide.

Potential fallout of protestware 

The node-ipc event has led to the coining of “protestware” and its aftermath may inspire other developers to follow suit. Russia’s largest bank in particular is wary of this as they have advised its customers to avoid updating computer programs, or insisting them to manually check the source code of any open source project.

If this trend continues it can lead to a slippery slope as OSS is supposed to help. Nearly every industry has adopted technology so therefore, the foundations of countless organizations’ systems and products run on OSS. If other authors, owners, and maintainers choose to morph their projects into protestware there is a high chance that many organizations will become collateral damage. And if people cannot trust Open Source, then theoretically the community could fall apart.

A community split in two

Were RIAEvanglist’s actions malicious? Depending on who you ask, some might say that there was nothing wrong about his intentions:

Some like the GitHub user above, as well as RIAEvangelist himself, stand by his decision. However, the opinion that most in the community have is that his actions are a massive blow to the credibility and trust of OSS:

A few have also come forward claiming that RIAEvangelist’s actions have had direct consequences on their businesses. On March 17, a user claiming to represent an American Non-Government Organization stated that node-ipc allegedly wiped over 30,000 of their messages and files detailing Russian war crimes committed against Ukraine.

While the authenticity of this claim is disputed, it does highlight that IP-based attribution is not reliable. Just because a machine’s IP is located in a certain country, it doesn’t mean that it is directly controlled by them. Initiating malware by country code could do more harm than good, impacting Russian or Belarusian organizations that are fully and publicly against the war.

Current state of open source software

When it comes to Open Source Software, everyone (seemingly) benefits. Technologists get to work on passion projects that they get to control, while also gaining status if it becomes widely used. Hobbyists gain access to code that they might not be able to write themselves, and get to learn from the best in the industry. And for corporations, they get to use (mostly) reliable and tested code for free, saving them considerable time and money.

As such, OSS has become integral to the development process for organizations, allowing development teams to push products to market faster. These days, vendors are releasing products that contain hundreds or even thousands of open source components, and nearly all of them are needed to function properly. This practice has gone on for decades, which has made nearly every industry reliant on OSS code and dependencies—creating tons of security concerns.

You are what you consume

There are risks when using OSS. For starters, many vendors and organizations aren’t keeping track of which OSS components are being used in their products. Indiscriminate consumption of OSS can lead to possible lawsuits if organizations unknowingly use licensed code. But more importantly, not knowing which libraries are bundled makes it near impossible to keep them up-to-date, or to detect the vulnerabilities inside of them.

Products can inherit vulnerabilities contained in OSS code and if exploited, these issues can give malicious actors an open door into even the largest organizations. In addition to vulnerabilities, other third-parties could attempt to add malicious updates, or try to typo-squat—tricking organizations to download fake versions of popular libraries.

Understanding node-ipc

In terms of tampering, node-ipc did two things. The first is overwriting code for Russian and Belarus-based machines, and the second is the “peacenotwar” package. For detailed information on each version, check out Risk Based Security’s original post. However, the most important takeaway is that current versions of node-ipc do not overwrite code.

What organizations can do for OSS security

If situations like the Node-ipc incident were to become common, organizations would have three options:

  • Simply accept current risk and operate as they are
  • Adopt certain OSS libraries and maintain it moving forward
  • Forego OSS entirely and write their own code

1. Operate as normal, accepting possible risk

By and large, this is the current state of Open Source security, and if you want proof, you’d only have to look at  struts-shock, heartbleed, and log4shell. All of these were OSS vulnerabilities that had major impacts on organizations. And despite some of these issues existing for years, undiscovered in open code, most organizations still choose to indiscriminately consume open source components.

Enterprises should at least create a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) to keep tabs on the various OSS components being used in their deployed software. Doing this will help their security teams track vulnerabilities affecting third-party libraries and dependencies. It can also help prevent developers falling for typo-squatting attempts.

However this won’t do much in situations in which the perpetrator is the author, owner, or maintainer for a third-party library. There are a few examples of where authors delete or sabotage their own code due to burnout or being wronged in some way. And when this happens, it can create chaos potentially giving malicious actors an opportunity to capitalize.

2. Adopt OSS libraries and self-maintain

To lessen the impact that one developer can have, organizations may want to consider forking the OSS libraries they use and maintain them internally moving forward. Although this is likely the best option in some cases, it will require a SBOM and a significant amount of resources.

One product often contains hundreds of bundled libraries so depending on how much software is deployed, this will likely be an incredible undertaking. There are few organizations that can dedicate personnel to accomplish this and even if they tried, there are too many libraries for one team to track and monitor. If some organizations are having trouble checking release notes, it is very likely that they will not be able to take the time to audit newly released code.

3. Write code independently

This method requires the most time and resources and will likely never happen for many organizations. There is a reason why organizations choose to use OSS for their products. Production cycles have become incredibly short and are very demanding. Adding more custom code that performs critical functionality makes this more difficult. As such, reliance on OSS will never cease.

Take control by understanding cost of ownership

Maybe Node-ipc will be the watershed moment that makes organizations realize the risks that OSS can introduce. That is uncertain, but what is certain is that the work done by technologists often goes unthanked. Whenever issues go wrong with third-party libraries and dependencies, those who aren’t in the know tend to place the blame directly on the project.

We don’t often think about the scope of most OSS projects. According to a report, many of the top 500 most used free and open-source software projects are listed under a single developer’s personal account. Most OSS is written and maintained by one or a small group of enthusiasts in their spare time, so is it fair to hold them accountable for the security of thousands of organizations? These are usually unpaid, passion projects and if things go wrong they have to fix it off the clock.

Like CVE wasn’t intended to be the vulnerability bible, OSS software wasn’t supposed to be massively consumed by corporations. To avoid the ramifications of a developer going rogue, organizations should take ownership of their own security. And to do that, they will need to take SBOMs seriously and use quality vulnerability intelligence to understand the cost of ownership for the products they deploy.

Detect, prioritize, and remediate risks faster

In order to detect risk in Open Source Software and dependencies, organizations need quality vulnerability intelligence. Flashpoint tracks and monitors thousands of third-party libraries. Sign up for a free trial and learn more today.

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