Category: Threat Seeker
Name: Vitali Kremez
Title: Director of Research, Hunt Team
Why nominated: For his work with Flashpoint in investigating and researching cyberattacks, along with his previous experience helping put cybercriminals behind bars as a Cybercrime Investigative Analyst for the New York County District Attorney's Office. And being credited with tying the cybercriminal known as “thedarkoverlord” to various acts.
Profile: With a degree from the prestigious City of New York-John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Economics: Fraud Examination and Digital Forensics it's no wonder Vitali Kremez spent several years helping put cybercriminals in jail prior to moving on to the private sector.
With Flashpoint Kremez, who speaks fluent Russian, proactively works to protect people with a special focus on healthcare and HAS fraud. Particularly from attacks originating in Eastern Europe. He finds the information to properly do his job by trolling the Dark Web, along with the other members of Flashpoint's Hunt Team.
The highest profile result of his tireless efforts was uncovering the cybercriminal, or cybercrime group, known as “thedarkoverlord”. This hacker has been credited with stealing hundreds of thousands of medical records, and more recently attempting to blackmail several Hollywood studios by threatening to release shows like Orange is the New Black and Steve Harvey's Funderdome early unless a payment was made. In both cases the studios refused to pay and the shows were released.
What colleagues say: "Mr. Kremez's extensive knowledge and passion for criminal justice has led to earning several very reputable certifications and unique skills in computer science and networking which are rare for a person of his age. I can personally attest that these certifications earned by Mr. Kremez illustrate his extensive training in computer network systems and unique investigative skills proved to be a phenomenal asset for the New York County District Attorney's Office and have led to the successful indictments of Grand Jury cases involving data breaches, email compromises, computer hacking, credit card fraud, child exploitation, money laundering, and large-scale data breaches."
- Jonathan Simmons, M.A International Crime & Justice 2015