The Syndis team

Valdimar Óskarsson
Valdimar Óskarsson
CEO of Syndis

Globetrotting CEO

Valdimar Óskarsson is the CEO of Syndis. He holds an M.Sc. in Information Technology/Security and has extensive experience in the field of security and information security management. Another native Icelander, Valdimar has been living abroad since 2002, spending a decade in Denmark where he worked for Betware (now Novomatic) as an operational manager, Sensa as a consultant, and nSense as a PCI Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). Valdimar was appointed as CSO of the Betsson Group in Malta in 2012. In 2015, he became CISO at Transfast, which is a US based money transfer company with offices across the globe.

Theódór R. Gíslason
Theódór R. Gíslason
Co-founder & CTO

Information Security Professional, With Decades of Experience in Information Security

Theódór has decades of experience of working professionally in the space of offensive information security with his interests focusing on penetration testing, exploit development, offensive tooling and vulnerability research. Theódór has performed security assessments, penetration testing, incident response, and security consulting for many of large global organizations, including financial, government, and other technology oriented companies. Theódór currently leads the operations team at Syndis and is helping to drive the Syndis vision forward.

He is a popular instructor and speaker in Iceland, having for instance taught university-level technical computer security courses at both the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University between 2012-2015. Theódór has also presented at various conferences on state-of-the-art topics relating to information security.

Prior to co-founding Syndis, Theódór worked for Capacent, TERIS, and KPMG, where he performed technical offensive security consulting and assessments.

Björn Orri Guðmundsson
Björn Orri Guðmundsson
Head Of Business Development

Bossman

Björn Orri has over a decade of experience in international software development.

He was one of the first employees at Tempo and most recently in the role of Lead Architect having previously performed in roles as a DevOps, Backend, Frontend engineer to leading multiple cross functional and cross discipline teams and projects ranging from software development to merges and acquisitions.

Björn has a B.Sc degree from the University of Iceland.

Hjalti Magnússon
Hjalti Magnússon
Senior Security Engineer & Chief Carbonation Officer

Coding Genius

Hjalti’s background is both in academia and software development. After completing his B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Reykjavík University, he went on to become adjunct lecturer at the university. As an educator his focus was mainly on improving students’ problem solving skills by developing automated grading and feedback systems.

Prior to joining Syndis, Hjalti worked as a developer for two software companies.

Jóhann Þór Kristþórsson
Jóhann Þór Kristþórsson
Senior Security Engineer

Engineering & Hardware Nut

Jóhann joined Syndis after a 5 year career in software development where he held positions as both a senior developer and an engineering lead. He completed his BSc degree in Software Engineering from Reykavík University in 2012 and in 2016 he graduated with distinction from UCLs MSc program in Software Systems Engineering. He is an avid hardware nerd and in his spare time he builds things ranging from automated gardening systems and keyboards to remote control airplanes.

Ebenezer Böðvarsson
Ebenezer Böðvarsson
Senior Security Consultant

Security Management & Culture Advocate

Ebenezer is a seasoned Information security leader with academic and hands-on experience in information security including software development, Information security consultation and a decade as a Chief Information Security Officer of a European financial company.

He is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and has many years as a PCI Internal Security Assessor (PCI-ISA) and ISO/IEC 27001 information security manager under his belt and has given many lectures on information security at various public events.

Ebenezer places particular emphasis on security culture and security as an enabler, aligned with business goals.

Níels Ingi Jónasson
Níels Ingi Jónasson
Security Engineer

Professional Tinkerer

Níels has been surrounded by computers since birth and amazed by their capabilities since the age of five. At fourteen years old, he taught himself programming, tinkered a bit too much and accidentally destroyed his first computer. He went on to study more programming and eventually won himself a scholarship at Reykjavík University where he got a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Discrete Mathematics. Whilst attending Reykjavík University he found a passion for both automation and security.

Alex Már Gunnarsson
Alex Már Gunnarsson
Security Engineer

Web Cracker

Alex completed his B.Sc degree in Computer Science at Reykjavik University. His final project in Reykjavik University was done in collaboration with Syndis, where he, Niels and Sindri explored the potential of the data from Syndis’ preliminary research project Heimdallur. In Reykjavik University Alex became a Teaching Assistant in various courses as well as working for a startup to teach children how to code. On his way to the goal of becoming a Security Engineer he built a good foundation in web development.

Guðrún Valdís Jónsdóttir
Guðrún Valdís Jónsdóttir
Security Engineer

App Assassin & Hacker of the Stars

Guðrún Valdís graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Princeton University. During her time at Princeton, she spent three semesters conducting independent research regarding cybersecurity that she presented at MIT and to members of Congress at the CNSF Capitol Hill Exhibition, and was published by IEEE. Prior to joining Syndis, Guðrún was a security consultant on Aon’s Cyber Solutions’ Security Testing team in New York. There, she focused primarily on web and mobile application penetration testing and security code reviews.

Jakob Antonsson
Jakob Antonsson
Security Engineer

Lion Tamer

Jakob has decades of experience in automation, information security and open source tools. Tinkering with electronics from childhood led him into electrical engineering before he got into programming and finished a diploma in applied computing.

Before joining Syndis, Jakob’s experience includes infrastructure engineering, operations management and the DevOps alphabet where he worked on looking busy from dusk to dawn where automation is a key element (autoconfigure && make look-busy && make automatic-install).

Guðlaugur Garðar Eyþórsson
Guðlaugur Garðar Eyþórsson
Security Engineer

Cloud Defender

Gudlaugur joined Syndis from Origo where he focused mainly on securing organizations, responding to security incidents and securing and implementing cloud solutions. Gudlaugur has worked with many leading information security products and acquired multiple industry certificates from cloud vendors. He completed his B.Sc. and a M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Reykjavík University.

Tómas Þór Helgason
Tómas Þór Helgason
Security Engineer

Tómas holds an M.Sc. in Electrical engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, from a Network Services and Systems program. In his studies he focused on information and network security and his Master thesis was an implementation of TLS security for cloud connected resource constrained IoT devices at RISE SICS research institute.

Before that he completed B.Sc. degrees from University of Iceland in both Electrical and computer engineering and Computer science.

After moving back to Iceland, he joined a newly formed security department at Nýherji, later Origo. His focus over the years at Origo has mostly been on implementation and consultation around security products from IBM. In addition to his general security consultation, he also has used his programming knowledge to work on automation and custom integration between different systems.

Sigursteinn Bjarni Húbertsson
Sigursteinn Bjarni Húbertsson
Security Engineer

The Tux

Sigursteinn Bjarni holds a B.Sc degree in Computer Science from Reykjavík University. For the past years Bjarni has been working as a Linux System Administrator where his main focus was on infrastructure, devops tools and cloud technologies. Bjarni is a die-hard Linux fanatic who feels best at home in his windowless shell.

Advisors

Rich Smith
Rich Smith
Co-Founder

Information Security Expert, Leader in Offensive Research

Rich has worked professionally in the space of offensive security for over 10 years where his research has been focused on the areas offensive tooling and framework design, post-exploitation strategies along with continual vulnerability research and exploit development. In addition to his research, Rich performs consulting and attack services across a range of verticals including National Security, Financial, Technology, and the Entertainment industry.

Prior to co-founding Syndis, Rich led the Attack Technology Division at Kyrus Tech (DC), held a Vice President role at Morgan Stanley (NY) as the lead cyber-threat specialist, was a senior researcher at Immunity Inc (FL) and led the Research In Offensive Technologies and Threats group at Hewlett-Packard’s European Labs (UK). He is currently the Director of Security at DUO security Inc.

Ýmir Vigfússon, PhD
Ýmir Vigfússon, PhD
Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer

Professor in Residence, Security Educator & System Builder

Ýmir is Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Reykjavik University. He leads the research strategy of Syndis. Ýmir obtained a PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2009, where his dissertation was nominated for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation award, and worked as a research scientist at IBM Research on innovations in distributed systems.

With more than 16 years of experience in computer security, Ýmir is a pioneer in offensive exploitation of computer software. He invented various techniques to leverage security vulnerabilities in software, and wrote many of the first “Format string” and “Heap overflow” exploits. His TEDx talk on why he teaches people how to hack went viral in 2014. Ýmir has published over 30 academic articles, holds 4 patents and loves cats. His professional web site is ymsir.com.

Charlie Eriksen
Charlie Eriksen
Advisor

Information Security Professional With Focus on Development

Charlie has spent his last few years doing application security in the gaming industry, and spent countless hours doing security research against both open and closed source applications. He has worked with major vendors on vulnerabilities he has discovered during his research. He has already presented at multiple conferences, including Nordic Security Conference. He has also done work on anomaly detection in video games and related systems, which he has presented about.

He has also done work on incident response situations relating to malware attacks, system breaches, and denial of service attacks for various organizations.