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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 leads the company’s client engagement and development team, which includes customer success, business development, strategic integrations and the 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.
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, Client Engagement & Development
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
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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Threat-Actor Opportunism at Peak During Holiday Season

Blog
December 4, 2018

Attackers’ opportunism is never higher during the year than in the holiday shopping season. As a result, businesses must be aware of the potential for increases in malware attacks against point-of-sale (PoS) systems, the possibility of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against popular web-based services, and attempts to bypass fraud-detection systems, to name just a few seasonal risks.

All of these are heightened by a month-long increase in online shopping and spikes in usage of gaming and streaming services precipitated by people having downtime away from their jobs and school.

The answer isn’t a complicated one: businesses must maintain a mix of basic vigilance around patching of critical systems, awareness of attackers’ tactics and targeting, and reinforce education among users to potential risks to the business and threats specific to the holiday season.

In the meantime, here’s a review of some of the holiday gifts your organization would rather avoid:

Point-of-Sale Systems Always a Lucrative Target

Americans are expected to spend more than $120 billion in retail ecommerce during 2018’s 32-day holiday shopping season—up $17 billion from last year, and $53 billion from 2014. That enormous volume of shopping during a relatively short period time puts stress on the security of PoS systems in the U.S. These are lucrative targets, and they’ve been exploited in the past through attacks against giant retailers and hospitality providers, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of payment card records and the personal data of victims.

Researchers have studied particular PoS malware families in the recent past and saw demonstrable spikes in data exfiltration from these systems, in particular on Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Black Friday. And while it should be noted that these types of attacks are not limited to the holiday shopping season, there is a pattern of heightened activity that figures to continue.

DDoS Attacks More than a Holiday Nuisance

Some attackers still crave attention and what better way for some than to ruin Christmas morning by carrying out DDoS attacks against popular gaming networks, or New Year’s Day, one of the busiest days of the year for video streaming services.

The Lizard Squad’s infamous 2014 Christmas-Day takedown of the Xbox and PlayStation networks put organizations across industries on notice. Many fearing similar action during what is supposed to be a quiet period ramped up in subsequent years by putting aggressive defenses in place internally and cooperating with law enforcement.

Similarly, financial institutions have been largely spared since a series of DDoS attacks against high-profile banks and organizations in late 2012 and early 2013 triggered a similar run of investments in DDoS mitigation tools and in intelligence services seeking advance knowledge of the planning of such attacks.

Refund Fraud, Phishing, and Fraud-Detection Bypasses for the Holidays

Attacks during the holiday shopping season don’t have to be as bombastic as a major DDoS attack or pilfering tens of millions of payment cards from an unprotected PoS system. Threat actors can also chip away at profits during the holidays through refund fraud schemes, phishing pages, and attempts to circumvent fraud-detection systems.

  • Refund fraud peaks during the holidays according to Flashpoint’s dataset; it involves a threat actor making online purchases that are shipped to a drop site, for example, and then the actor claims to have never received the purchase. They are issued a refund and get the product at no cost. Analysts evaluated seasonality effects on refund-related chatter across Flashpoint’s DDW dataset; the lowest amount of chatter surrounding refund fraud occurred in September, before steadily increasing through the holiday season, after which it began to decline again in late January.
  • Phishing is certainly a year-round threat, but during the holidays, threat actors looking to capitalize on high volumes of consumer shopping will create fraudulent shopping sites that look legitimate. While appearing legitimate, these sites often falsely advertise discounted products hoping to entice unsuspecting victims. Without further training and user awareness, these attacks, which take advantage of the human factor instead of technological vulnerabilities, are likely to continue.
  • Fraud-detection systems are also stressed during peak holiday shopping days, and threat actors have been known to try to exploit this scenario. Discussions on underground forums in the past have centered around the use of stolen payment card information during the holidays and the types of activities that may trigger a fraud-detection system.
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Assessment

Fraud is not a just seasonal threat to retailers by any means. Many vendors try to capitalize on the holiday season by spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt in their marketing, which only compounds what is already an especially busy season for those administrators and managers defending retail networks.

Some threats to businesses, however, do have their peaks during the holidays. Flashpoint analysts assess that threat actors are likely to recycle many of the same—or variations of—attacks. It is recommended that organizations maintain a high level of alertness and awareness during this time period and they educate their workforce and customers so they are less vulnerable to targeting during the holiday season.

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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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