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.

Mirai and IoT: Understanding DDoS Impact Means Accurately Analyzing the Past

Cybercrime, Forums, & Fraud
December 15, 2016

Mirai has been making headlines over the past couple of months, but this family of malware is a very new part in the larger history of the abuse of vulnerable Internet of Things (IoT) devices. When the record-breaking DDoS attacks happened against Brian Krebs and OVH in September 2016, this was seen as a major moment, but the factors that made this possible had been quietly building up for years before this.

Given our in-depth research on Mirai, and since we, with Akamai, helped Dyn identify this malware in its October 2016 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, we want to ensure that our customers and the broader security community have the most accurate information possible. IoT malware is no longer controlled by amateurs and attention seekers; Mirai is in the hands of professionals now.

The Hacking Scene

Before Mirai was public, IoT devices such as routers, IP cameras, and digital video recorders (DVRs) were typically abused by a variety of similar malware, which went by a number of different names. Some variants were superior and more private, but most were copied off public source code dumps.

Some of the names given to the malware by researchers and threat actors were gafgyt, bashlite, torlus, ballpit, Darkrai, Palkia, Lizkebab, and more private variants existed such as Remaiten. This malware will be referred to generically as gafgyt, since they are so similar.

Many spread as Telnet worms initially, but some branched out to new exploits. We also saw attempts at botkilling, custom packing, new exploits, echo loaders, device patching, and other tactics. It was (and continues to be) a petri dish of experimentation and evolution, and the fittest specimens grew largest.

And even before this, much of this Telnet worm activity came to the forefront after the Lizard Squad DDoS attacks against gaming companies throughout 2014. In January of 2015, the nature of their botnet was exposed to the public as a Telnet worm that used low end IoT devices for a DDoS botnet. Soon afterwards, the source code was dumped (under the name Lizkebab), and once the source code could be modified by many people, the variety of malware abusing Telnet default passwords exploded.

Natural Selection in the IoT World

Every iteration and new development in the IoT malware space involved some change that made one species fitter than the older, dominant species. The malware behind the Lizard Squad DDoS attacks was itself not new at the time, but a couple of innovations allowed it to become dominant and spread far beyond its predecessors; specifically, it had a worm function and a function that killed duplicate instances of itself. But it was not going to remain dominant for long — it was soon replaced by successors with vital modifications that killed rivals and spread to new devices that were immune to infection from old variants. The use of the “echo loader” was not unique to Mirai nor was it the first family of malware to use it. Pnscan.2 and Remaiten and others made use of the echo loader because it allowed for infection of machines that didn’t have “wget” installed.

Mirai is different because it was truly designed from the ground up by someone who most likely had a formal education or coding experience. It was likely written by people who had prior experience with the gafgyt malware family because it contained design solutions that addressed the major problems that gafgyt operators had to face. It incorporated many of the design features that the fittest malware species in the IoT space were already using. It also incorporated anti-analysis tricks against the techniques used by defenders at the time, which showed an awareness of how IoT botnets were being fought against.

When the owner of this botnet wrote a July 2016 Hackforums thread named “Killing all Telnets”, he was right. Our intelligence around that time reflected a massive shift away from the traditional gafgyt infection patterns and towards a different pattern that refused to properly execute on analysts’ machines. This new species choked out all the others.

In September, when the massive DDoS attacks hit Krebs and OVH, the primary suspect was this mystery monster which had so completely dominated this space for months. In collaboration with trusted research partners and victims, we realized that these suspicions were right.

Shortly afterwards, the individual(s) behind this action released the source code. The download link they provided was the same domain they had used for command & control of their botnet.

The aftermath of this Mirai source code release mostly mirrored the aftermath of the gafgyt source code release. A large number of copycats sprung up, turf wars ensued, and more sophisticated actors have built upon the source code to improve the fitness and functionality of their malware.

From Amateur to Professional

We have observed the evolution of these botnets for some time and have noticed a clear trend. Based on the infection techniques, malware complexity, and choice of DDoS targets, we have historically seen IoT malware as a space controlled mostly by amateurs, gamers, young people, and attention seekers. Some of these groups attempt to profit from their botnets, but this area of cybercrime generally doesn’t have stable profitability as do more established areas such as fraud. That is, it’s good for pocket change, but it won’t support a family. Even the original Mirai operators were most likely amateurs; despite their claims of profits and a couple of advertisements, there was little evidence to support the claim of a large customer base for Mirai. On top of that, the original botnet only ran for a few months before the operator(s) destroyed it through their own actions. Professional cybercriminals tend to keep a low profile and do not self destruct.

Since the source code release, different operators have upgraded their malware of choice to Mirai. Some of these are former gafgyt users, and some of them are more professional DDoSers. One particular variant of Mirai, nicknamed “Annie” by its creators, appears to be linked to a large botnet. This operation employs a number of anti-defender countermeasures which are more advanced than what has been seen before this. This group appears to be the most professional group so far to become involved in infecting IoT devices.

As this space continues to march forward to increasing heights of sophistication, we will see larger attacks — issued by botnets that are harder to take down — with faster turnaround time between IoT exploit release and IoT exploit abuse. While this space has traditionally been associated with petty takedowns of rival gamers, we need to start taking this problem more seriously. The people taking over this space are not young amateurs, and they’re not going to choose small-time targets.

As we begin 2017, we must look at this problem with fresh eyes and a sober mind, and ask ourselves what the Internet is going to look like when the professionals muscle out the amateurs and take control of extremely large attack power that already threatens our largest networks.

Flashpoint Intelligence Brief

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