Scott Scheferman: Is Ransomware about Money, Power or Leverage?


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-- Photo credit: Huss Harden

When you lived on the wrong side of the law, information, however vague or apparently meaningless, was everything. It gave you leverage. And leverage was power

-- Top Dog; 2014, written by Dougie Brimson

Ransomware is the biggest buzzword in the news right now, and rightfully so. You can’t turn on a network police procedural without someone getting extorted for $100,000 in Bitcoin. But are the news agencies getting the story completely accurate? Yes, the money is always a nice prize to take home, but there is a larger looming question out there… What are these ransomware attacks really all about?

Matt Stephenson welcomes Eclypsium Chief Strategist Scott Scheferman to the No Name Security podcast for a long overdue discussion on the impact of ransomware on the overall approach of the cybersecurity industry and those who rely on us for defense, protection and prevention. After fighting the good fight together at Cylance, Scott finally joins Matt for a chat about all the bad things the bad guys are getting up to… the mistakes the good guys tend to make… and how we can fix them in order to protect those who really need it.

About Scott Scheferman

Scott Scheferman (@transhackerism) is the founder of Armanda Intelligence, LLC, with a mission of providing CxO/board advisement, strategy and threat intelligence. He is also Principal Strategist for Eclypsium, Inc.

Scott keeps a hyper-current beat on the threat landscape and how it continues to fundamentally change business and mission cyber risk dynamics. Battle-hardened from years of red-teaming, incident response and cyber consulting, as well as having served as the technical lead and final security risk determination for the Navy’s Certification Authority (thousands of systems per year, with over 800 validators and 30 risk analysts feeding these risk determinations), Scott draws his perspective from significant real-world high-stakes (multi-billion dollar programs and Fortune 10 enterprise) experience. If you want the truth about what is happening in the world of cybersecurity, Scott is a voice you want to be listening to. If you can’t handle the truth… he may not be your guy… but that doesn’t mean he won’t keep telling it.

About Matt Stephenson

Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the Social Media team at Forescout, which puts me in front of people all over the world. Prior to joining Forescout, I hosted podcasts, videos and live events all over the world which put me with experts on every corner of the cybersecurity landscape. The new No Name Security Podcast will continue and expand upon that tradition as we seak out the leading minds in the security industry as well as those may break things every now again. And… just for fun, there will be some wildcard guests as well.

In 10 years in the ecosystem of Data Protection and Cybersecurity I have toured the world extolling the virtues of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and how, when applied to information security, these technologies can wrong-foot the bad guys. Prior to the COVID shutdown, I was on the road over 100 days a year doing live malware demonstrations for audiences from San Diego to DC to London to Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Sydney. One of the funniest things I've ever been a part of was blowing up a live instance of NotPetya 6 hours after the news broke... in Washington DC... directly across the street from FBI HQ... as soon as we activated it a parade of police cars with sirens blaring roared past the building we were in. I'm pretty sure they weren't there for us, but you never know...

Whether at in person events, live virtual events or podcasting, I get to interview interesting people doing interesting things all over the world of cybersecurity and the extended world of hacking. Sometimes, that means hacking elections or the coffee supply chain... other times that means social manipulation or the sovereign wealth fund of a national economy.

Wherever I go, my job is all about talking with the people who build, manage or wreck the systems that we have put in place to make the world go round...

If you tuned in to any of my previous podcasts, there’s great news! The No Name Security Podcast is here! I will be bringing the same kind of energy and array of guests you know and love. Best part? We’re still at the same spot. You can find it at Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music & Audible as well as, GooglePlay, Gaana, Himalaya, I Heart Radio and wherever you get your podcasts!

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