Today, we launch
, the first line of defense against phishing and account takeover attacks. Fyde represents a giant leap
forward in personal security, realizing our vision to protect everyday people from attacks that target their
hard-earned financial well-being and personal reputation.
This is an important milestone on our journey that started in 2017 with a tight-knit group of serial entrepreneurs and seasoned
engineers. Our wonderful team is assembled from decades of cybersecurity experience, building successful companies
and solving large-scale information security challenges in endpoints and mobile devices. Most notably, our last
venture Remotium, named Most Innovative Company at RSAC Innovation Sandbox 2013, was acquired by Avast in 2015.
Fyde is backed by top Silicon Valley venture capital firms with tremendous track records in cybersecurity and infrastructure
investments. Rio Maeda of Draper Nexus joins Fyde as its Board Director. Rio brings invaluable business development
experience and an insightful market perspective to our team. Insik Rhee of Vertex Ventures joins Fyde’s board
as observer. Insik, a successful serial entrepreneur, brings decades of proven, pragmatic tactical thinking to
help guide our strategy and growth.
Fyde started its journey back of a napkin style, first identifying a major gap in the largest cybersecurity challenge of
our time: phishing and its variants. Based on our experience defending nations, public institutions and corporations,
we observed that elements of today’s human factor attacks date back many decades. These attack vectors evolved
from social engineering in the 1990s to email-based phishing attacks in the 2000s to the current sophisticated
text and instant message-based phishing and voice-based phishing referred to as smishing and vishing respectively.
Phishing, especially for the average person, was indeed an exponentially growing problem in search of a scalable
We understood the need, but what really propelled us into action was the brazen email hacking incident involving John Podesta
of the United States Democratic National Committee. Mr. Podesta fell victim to an elaborate phishing attack that
instructed him to change his password due to an anomalous login attempt from Ukraine. The subsequent unlawful
disclosure of those emails by WikiLeaks was in retrospect a state-sponsored operation designed to disrupt our
free and fair election process. At this juncture, this problem was far more than an insufficiently addressed
market opportunity, but a call to arms to defend what we hold dear.
In that spirit while preparing for Fyde’s launch, our core values were put to test by chance. Our co-founder, Jose Pereira’s,
wonderful mother Emilia Ferraz, was targeted by a phishing scam distributed over WhatsApp. The scam leveraged
an increasingly popular tactic in which you are asked to first share a spam message with 20 of your contacts
and once that’s done you are prompted to complete an online form with a long list of personal information. The
attackers targeted TAP, the main airline in Portugal, which is also popular across Europe.
The fake site (screenshots below) leveraged scammers’ latest trick, Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), with a single almost
impossible to detect letter difference from the original site. In this case it was the elusive “ạ” letter, an
“a” with a single dot below. We were quick to detect, block and report it which instinctually led me to check
the site on VirusTotal and to my surprise 65 out of 67 participating services marked this pixel-perfect phishing
site as safe. The biggest let down was Google Safebrowse, with all the major antivirus vendors coming in a close
Especially on mobile, people are being sold a false sense of security by Antivirus (AV) and Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) vendors.
We are launching our
today to dismantle these fallacies and break the long standing, ineffective status-quo in mobile
and human factor security products. Our mission is to protect what we hold dearest, our family and our community,
and we are glad to say that for Emilia we have delivered on that promise.
Fyde, security for life’s events. Machine-driven. Human-enhanced.