Barrett Lyon

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Barrett Lyon
Born (1978-03-18) 18 March 1978 (age 43)
Known forOpte Project
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsProlexic Technologies
Opte Project

Barrett Gibson Lyon (born March 18, 1978) is an American Internet entrepreneur, pilot, and artist.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The son of a lawyer, Lyon was raised in Auburn, California.[2] Although he initially struggled in school due to dyslexia, in middle school he became fascinated with computers. He soon found that the methods he used to overcome dyslexia allowed him to quickly gain an expert knowledge of computers.[3] While in high school, he set up Linux servers to host webpages for friends and also managed his school's computer network.[4] In 1995, while investigating a possible vulnerability in Network Solutions he accidentally caused AOL's website to go down for three days.[5] After high school, Lyon enrolled at California State University, Sacramento and studied philosophy and photography. Now that he is 42 he has a daughter named Isabella Lyon and a wife named Simone Lyon.[6]

Opte Project[edit]

Lyon is the creator of the Opte Project, which is an Internet mapping project that seeks to make an accurate representation of the extent of the Internet using visual graphics. The project was started in October 2003 in an effort to provide a useful Internet map with open source code. The project has gathered support worldwide and is part of the catalogs of the Boston Museum of Science[7] and The Museum of Modern Art.[8]


While working part-time in college for a small network security company, Lyon worked on defending websites against Denial of Service attacks.[9] He soon decided to start Prolexic Technologies to specifically focus on defending websites against such attacks.[10] His initial customers were online casinos which were facing extortionist threats from operators of Denial of Service attacks. After helping bring a Russian hacker to justice, Lyon's publicity allowed him to gain many new clients from outside of the gambling industry.[11] He soon began giving talks about botnets and DoS attacks at industry meetings.[12] Lyon eventually left Prolexic to start BitGravity.[13] Prolexic was later sold to Akamai Technologies, a Content Delivery Network based in the Boston for $370 million.[14]

DoS investigation[edit]

Lyon has been called a hero[15] for his work tracking Russian denial of service attack extortion groups. His work has been featured around the globe[16] and is featured in the cyber thriller Fatal System Error.[17] He provided details and helped coordinate with multinational law enforcement groups which resulted in the capture of Ivan Maksakov, Alexander Petrov, and Denis Stepanov.[18] The three men were at the heart of an extortion ring which was extorting money from banks, Internet casinos, and other web based businesses. Reported damages caused by Maksakov, Petrov, and Stenanov range in the tens of millions of dollars. On October 8, 2007, Maksakov, Petrov, Stenanov were found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison in the Russian Federation with a 100,000 ruble penalty.[19]

Business interests[edit]

After leaving Prolexic, Lyon co-founded of BitGravity, a content delivery network and served as its chief technology officer. BitGravity focuses on providing content delivery for rich media sources.[20] While at BitGravity, to lessen billing confusion regarding the definition of a GigaByte, Lyon defined an accepted billing amount, coined as the BarretByte.[21] Lyon left BitGravity in June 2009. BitGravity was acquired in January 2011 by Tata Communications.[22]

In 2009 with funding from Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose, he founded XDN. XDN's first products provide businesses with greater control over existing Content Delivery Networks by allowing them to use CDN's based on factors like price and service.[23] In November 2012, XDN was acquired by Fortinet.[24]

Lyon then founded Defense.Net in December 2012 to build a DDoS defense network for the modern Internet.[25] In 2014, the company was named one of the 100 Hottest Private Companies in North America by Red Herring[26] and acquired shortly after by F5 Networks purportedly for between $50 and $100 million.[27]

Lyon formerly worked as Head of Security Research and Development for Neustar.[28] He has operated a Laser Production company[29] along with designing camping equipment for Alien Buffalo.[30] Recently he announced a new venture Netography,[31] with seed funding from Andreesson Horowitz and Mango Capital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stiennon, Richard (2006-06-26). "Barrett Lyon: Internet Influencer". Zdnet. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 14. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  3. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 15. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  4. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 16. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  5. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 17. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  6. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 19. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  7. ^ "Mapping the World Around Us". Museum of Science.
  8. ^ "The Collection". Museum of Modern Art.
  9. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 20. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  10. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 23. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  11. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 67. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  12. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010). Fatal System Error. New York: Public Affairs Books. pp. 70. ISBN 978-1-58648-748-5.
  13. ^ Marshall, Matt. "BitGravity to shake up video delivery". VentureBeat.
  14. ^ "Akamai buying Prolexic for about $370 million". AP. Associated Press. 2013-12-02.
  15. ^ "Fighting Cybercrime, One Digital Thug At A Time". Fresh Air. NPR.
  16. ^ Ratliff, Evan (2005-10-10). "The Zombie Hunters". The New Yorker.
  17. ^ Menn, Joseph (2010-01-26). "Fatal System Error". PublicAffairs Books. Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Berinato, Scott (2005-05-01). "How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On a DDOS-based Online Extortion Attack". CSO Magazine.
  19. ^ "Eight Years for Extorting Millions". Kommersant. 2006-10-04. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ BitGravity challenges Akamai and Limelight ZDNet, Dan Farber. September 30, 2007
  21. ^ "The Baretbyte". Archived from the original on 2010-07-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Tata Acquires BitGravity for Content Delivery
  23. ^ Cloud computing startup 3Crowd raises $6.6 million Reuters, Alastair Goldfisher. April 23, 2010
  24. ^ Fortinet Acquires CDN and App Delivery Platform Provider XDN
  25. ^ Start-up Defense.Net debuts with anti-DDoS service Archived October 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "2014 Red Herring North America: Winners". Red Herring. 20 April 2014.
  27. ^ Novet, Jordan (22 May 2014). "Network company F5 buys DDoS prevention startup". VentureBeat.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-02. Retrieved 2019-10-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Netography Emerges with $2.6M Funding from Andreessen Horowitz to Make Network Security Self Governing". 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-20.

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