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Maiffret Starts New Security Venture

Former co-founder, CTO, and chief hacking officer of eEye Digital Security will provide consulting, training, and vulnerability research

Legendary hacker Marc Maiffret, who started eEye Digital Security when he was 17, has launched a new security company. Maiffret’s new venture, Invenio Security, will provide security consulting, training, and other security services.

Maiffret, 27, who quietly left eEye last fall, says his startup will fill what he sees as a critical gap -- the lack of investment in security expertise in organizations. “I have spent the last ten years of my life building security products to help protect organizations and consumers,” Maiffret says. "These products and others are without a doubt vital to an organization's security. However, I could not help but notice that the number one thing companies continued to under-invest in, to dire results, was not products or process but simply, their people." (See Maiffret Says Bye to eEye.)

Invenio, which Maiffret describes as a boutique consulting firm, will provide security consulting and training to medium to large businesses, and also provide penetration testing, application security assessments, insider threat assessment, incident response, malware analysis, and even personal security services for individuals who are the target of online stalking or harassment, for example -- think Paris Hilton. [Ed. note: No, thank you.]

Maiffret says his firm offers a wide variety of training topics and levels. “We train everyone from your average IT administrator to your spooky three-letter government agencies,” he says. “We have training that covers a wide area of topics ranging from teaching IT administrators the fundamentals of security and how to defend their organization, to classes that in the course of five days will typically result in our students discovering a zero-day vulnerability in software products used by millions of people.”

Maiffret and his team -- one of whom is a former key eEye researcher he won’t yet name -- will also conduct security research, something Maiffret says he’s itching to get back into after a bit of a sabbatical. “Our research will really be driven by what our customers are interested in. Currently that has a lot to do with advancements in black box testing and, of course it goes without saying, Web application security.”

Maiffret practically overnight went from a teen hacker/phone phreaker who was raided by the FBI in 1998 to co-founder of eEye, where he discovered several critical Windows vulnerabilities in the late 1990s and later was part of the team of researchers at eEye that was one of the first to detect (and later name) the first major Microsoft worm, Code Red. (See From Script Kiddie to CTO.)

Invenio, meanwhile, is a departure from Maiffret's software roots at eEye. “It is a complete change for me as I have been on the product side of security since I was 17,” Maiffret says.

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