Manchester cyber security firm wins work worth millions
Management team for the Red Sky Alliance and Wapack Labs at the Waumbec Mill includes, from the left, Richard Gamache, chief information officer, Chris Hall, technical director, and Jeffery Stutzman, founder and CEO. (/Union Leader)
The financial services center acts as a clearing house of information for banks and other financial institutions on cyber threats and solutions, while CBTS is the technology services division of the "Baby Bell" that serves a large swatch of the Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Just as hackers have online communities that share information, tools and software, organizations like Red Sky and the FS-ISAC have created networks of their own to combat the threat, with varying results.
"We wanted to be able to work with the FBI on that, because that's not something you just want to sit on," Stutzman said.
Wapack services are billed at $300 an hour, with a minimum retainer of $180,000 a year, Stutzman said.
If the Wapack pricing seems high, Stutzman says it's because the company offers something few other agencies can provide - genuine "human intelligence" gathered from shoe-leather investigations, not just deep dives into the Internet.
On New Year's Eve, the night before the contract with the financial services collaborative was about to take effect, Wapack learned of a major breach that was about to take place affecting some of the largest banks in the Hong Kong area.
"We had very specific information from some of our sources that this was going to happen."
'Gold doesn't float'
While Stutzman's organization has technical analysts skilled in malware coding and cyberthreat analysis from an online perspective, the key to his business are the contacts and sources he and his closest associates have built up over the years.
"So it's a very unique perspective on the threats. We don't get any access to government data in what we do. The good stuff comes from open sources anyway, knowing the people and knowing who to ask."
Languages spoken from the Wapack office include Mandarin, Serbo-Croatian, French, Romanian, Japanese, Portugese and Austrian.
"They like to brag; they like to show their wares, just like regular criminals," he said.
"Even the worst of the worst will talk about it, to a friend, in a blog entry, or something else," he said.
Wapack issued its own report on the Target breach, which apparently was shared by some Red Sky members.
The company appears to be well-poised to take advantage of a demand for cyber security that grows stronger by the day. "Timing is everything," Stutzman said.
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