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Meet the Security Experts

Cristina Vatamanu

Cristina Vatamanu

Senior Team Lead, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab

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Cristina Vatamanu is Senior Team Lead in the Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab at Bitdefender. She has more than 10 years of forensic work, being involved in malware analysis, cybercrime investigations and research projects for antimalware tools optimization. Cristina leads one of the cybercrime investigation team in Romania with highly skilled researchers and threat analysts. This unit handles sensitive cases of targeted attacks, working side-by-side with law enforcement agencies for gathering evidences against cyber-criminal groups. She graduated Computer Sciences and she has a PhD degree in machine learning used in hybrid models dedicated in detecting malicious programs.

Alexandru Balan

Alexandru Balan

Director, Security Research

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Alex "Jay" Balan is the Director of Security Research and Spokesperson for Bitdefender. His career is focused on Information Security, Innovation and Product Strategy, fields in which he has so far accumulated over 15 years of experience. He drove the vision for Bitdefender's UNIX-based security solutions before kickstarting an ambitious project that would advance the company's R&D department and steer a good part of the company's focus towards technology and innovation. He is now furthering security and privacy research and has been actively involved in creating awareness by speaking at a number of conferences including DEF CON, DerbyCon, RSA Conference, BSides, ISC China, Interpol's meetings on Cyber Crime for Heads of Units, DefCamp, IMWorld, Future of Media and many others.

Razvan Benchea

Razvan Benchea

Manager, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab | DRACO Team Board Member

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With over 14 years at Bitdefender, Razvan Benchea started his career as a malware researcher and participated in many investigations involving high-profile victims and state-sponsored attacks. As a senior manager in the Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab, he is now responsible for the engineering team analysing, detecting and publishing about targeted attacks as well as for the research and development of new technologies used to protect Bitdefender users.
With A Bachelor's degree in Informatics, MSc in Information Security and a PHD in Computer Science, Razvan Benchea is always working with his team in researching and developing new machine learning models that provide proactive detection while minimizing performance impact on users' systems. Although his main research interest is in classification using deep learning models, he also uses reinforcement learning and outlier detection methods to optimize the detection process.

Bogdan Botezatu

Bogdan Botezatu

Director, Threat Research and Report

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Bogdan Botezatu has spent the past 12 years as Director of Threat Research at Bitdefender. His areas of expertise include malware deobfuscation, detection, removal and prevention. Bogdan is the author of A History of Malware and Botnets 101. Before joining Bitdefender, he worked at one of Romania's largest and oldest universities as network administrator in charge of SecOps and policies.

Alexandru Catalin Cosoi

Alexandru Catalin Cosoi

Chief Security Strategist | DRACO Team Board Member

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Catalin Cosoi leads Bitdefender’s cyber-intelligence team tasked with helping local and international law enforcement agencies fight cybercrime. Cosoi has been instrumental in Bitdefender’s work fighting ransomware and his team has assisted law enforcement with the apprehension of some of the most notorious ransomware actors. Cosoi is a frequent speaker at conferences and within the security industry on security topics and investigations. With a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and machine learning, and a PhD in natural language processing, he specializes in pattern extraction and recognition technologies, with a focus on neural networks and machine learning. He’s been granted six patents and a series of classification technologies that have been implemented into Bitdefender software.

Sorin Dudea

Sorin Dudea

Vice President, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab | DRACO Team Board Member

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Sorin Dudea joined Bitdefender 20 years ago, while attending the CSIE faculty at the Economic Studies Academy in Bucharest, as Bitdefender’s first dedicated security researcher. After creating the initial training program for security researchers inside the company, he was tasked with opening 3 new research offices in Romania’s top university centers, training ,scaling up the research teams and help automate the processes that allowed Bitdefender to become a top security company. Currently he is leading multiple teams that research and deliver top technologies integrated in Bitdefender products and solutions.

Dragos Gavrilut

Dragos Gavrilut

Director, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab

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Dragos Gavrilut is a threat research director at Bitdefender, managing a team of 180+ people that develop machine learning algorithms design for threat detection, event correlation and post-breach threat hunting rules, anomaly detection and user analytics , all of them in the context of NTA/EPP/EDR/XDR space. His team is also specialized in risk analytics, forensics and IOT analysis. He is also an associate professor at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, where he received his Ph.D. in 2012, with the thesis entitled Meta-heuristics for Anti-Malware Systems. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in computer science from the same university, in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Andrei Vlad Lutas

Andrei Vlad Lutas

Senior Researcher

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Andrei joined Bitdefender in October 2008 as a junior virus researcher. Initial responsibilities included reverse engineering of malicious samples, adding signatures for malicious files, developing disinfection routines and developing code-similarity methods and systems. He joined the R&D team in November 2011 as an Introspection Research Lead, and he laid the foundation for today's cutting edge Hypervisor Memory Introspection technology. During his work on this project, he authored several academic papers, spoke at several industry-leading conferences, including BlackHat, demoed the HVMI technology at events such as Citrix Synergy and VMworld, and worked on more than 10 patent applications. Currently, Andrei is a PhD student and an associate teacher at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, and he leads the team responsible for developing the open-source HVI technology. His main interests are everything low-level related, such as reverse-engineering, kernel security, hypervisors and hardware-based security (especially side-channels and speculative execution attacks), and security-oriented ISA extensions.

Dan Horea Lutas

Dan Horea Lutas

Senior Technical Manager

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In 15+ years of experience in Information Security, all with Bitdefender, Dan has sought to gain a holistic view of this complex topic through exploration of multiple aspects – technical (operating systems internals, networking, hypervisor technologies), non-technical (auditing of information systems, security management), defensive (malware analysis, development of advanced detection and prevention technologies) and offensive (penetration testing, vulnerability analysis).
He obtained several InfoSec certifications (CISSP, CEH, CISA, OSCP, OSCE) and, since 2016, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUCN). His current role with Bitdefender involves managing a team of security researchers and software engineers that develop run-time behvior-based malware detection and dynamic exploit detection techniques. He teaches Information Systems Auditing and Incident Response & Forensics courses at a Master-level program in TUCN. He is the author / co-author of five scientific papers and five US patents regarding low-level hypervisor security.

Silviu Sofronie

Silviu Sofronie

Cybersecurity Technology Research Manager

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Silviu Sofronie is leading the gathering and analysis of Threat Intelligence feeds, from Honeypot deployments to Law Enforcement & CERT collaborations. He owns 500+ honeypots, providing real-time feeds on threats that are emerging, as well as monitoring known threats to observe any changes in behavior from good old hacks and hackers. Darknet and emerging underground threats are a new opportunity to research the way hackers operate and anticipate their moves.

Marius Tivadar

Marius Tivadar

Senior Manager, Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab | DRACO Team Board Member

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Marius Tivadar is an Antimalware senior manager at Bitdefender, heading the research laboratory in Timișoara, Romania. The team of 20+ well-chosen and highly skilled malware researchers he leads develops innovative security technologies meant to detect and prevent advanced threats. With 10+ years of experience in the security industry, he is personally responsible for team growth and setting new trends in the sector. His core abilities involve research into kernel mode malware, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and Android malware. The team's technologies earned the Best Android Product of the year for three years in a row. The awards, as well as many other distinctions, have been granted by an independent comparative testing company, AV-TEST. He is a graduate of the Polytechnic University of Timișoara, where he’s also a guest lecturer on security, as well as the author of several APT research papers and articles.

Raul Tosa

Raul Tosa

Senior Manager, Cyber Threat Proactive Defense Lab

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Raul Tosa has been working with Bitdefender since 2005, building a strong technical background in fields like malware research, kernel driver development, hypervisor development and security research. As an engineering manager, he's led several teams in researching and developing innovative technologies like Hypervisor Memory Introspection and Napoca Hypervisor. He's also a PhD student and lab attendant at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, and has been granted over 10 US patents.