Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Security Start-Up CrowdStrike Hires Former FBI Cyber Cop

Crowdstrike, a new computer security start-up launched earlier this year with a $26 million investment from private equity fund Warburg Pincus, said today it had made its first major management hire.

The company has signed Shawn Henry, the FBI’s former executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Service Branch, as the new president of its services subsidiary, CrowdStrike Services. Henry is a 24-year FBI veteran who led some of the Bureau’s biggest cybercrime cases.

Crowdstrike was launched by two veterans of McAfee, the security software concern that’s now a unit of chip giant Intel: George Kurtz, McAfee’s former CTO, and Dmitri Alperovitch, its former Vice President of Threat Research.

Not a great deal has yet been disclosed about Crowdstrike’s approach to security, but in the February 22 blog post announcing the launch of the company, Kurtz explained that, having seen the results of investigations into several high-profile cyber attacks, the current state of security practice is akin to the old French Maginot Line that was intended to keep out the Germans.

Kurtz argued that once you know your enemy — the party that’s attacking you — the key to success in stopping their attacks on your digital assets is to raise the cost of the human-powered portions of their attacks. “The only way to accomplish that is by forcing them to change the way they conduct the human-led parts of their intrusions, such as reconnaissance, lateral movement, identification of valuable assets, and exfiltration,” Kurtz wrote.

Henry did a short video announcing his move, and I embedded it below.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work