Some of the best heads in IT


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
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.


Charlie Eriksen
Principal Security Engineer

Information security professional with focus on development, coding genius.

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.


Ýmir Vigfússon, PhD
Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer

Professor in residence, security educator and 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

Rich Smith

Rich Smith

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.


Bergsteinn Karlsson
Security Engineer

Law Enforcement Professional

Bergsteinn has worked in law enforcement for the past decade both as a patrol officer and as a detective. His experience ranges from local to internationally cooperative cases in fields such as narcotics, cyber and organized crime. 

He has in recent times been more involved cybercrime investigations. His work for the police has given him a valuable insight into the workings of the legal administration and judicial system in addition to a comprehensive understanding of criminal mentality. As a first responder he learned to deal with critical situations and work under pressure whilst having to keep his composure.

Bergsteinn has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Reykjavik University where he was first introduced to Syndis through their security course TOOR.


Heiðar Karl Ragnarsson
Security Engineer

Offensive information security frontrunner

Heiðar has completed his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science at Reykjavik University. He is a part of the Adversary team that is developing an educational platform for training developers to adopt a richer security mindset while designing systems and writing code. 

Heiðar has been heavily involved in offensive information security community over the past few years. His focus is on the offensive side of security, ranging from penetration testing to code reviews to participating, playing and organizing security competitions, including IceCTF.


Steindór S. Guðmundsson
Chief Product Officer

Product enthusiast

Steindór has worked in Information Technology for longer than he cares to admit. His first assignment post graduation was going to a library and research a new thing called the "World Wide Web" from a CD.  He started out as a programmer and system architect, later head of development before moving on to driving product management for the past 10 years.

Prior to Syndis, Steindór worked at Margmiðlun then Betware (later Novomatic Lottery Solutions) where he was a part of the executive management team taking part in growing the company from a few person startup to over 300 in 5 countries.


James Elías Sigurðarson
Lead Developer

Iceland's CTF co-grand master

James has a wide range of experience in computer science stemming from over 8 years of experience in IT and Web Development, ranging from roles as a Systems Administrator to managing and developing critical systems. One of his passions is investigating how things break, and how to fix them. James has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Discrete Mathematics from Reykjavik University.
He is one of the founders and organizers of the highly successful hacking competition, IceCTF that is hosted annually. He creates interesting security challenges to get people excited about Computer Security and develops a safe environment for people to explore
software and how it breaks. James is currently developing an educational platform that
teaches developers to be more security aware.


Hlynur Óskar Guðmundsson
Senior Developer

Iceland's CTF co-grand master

Hlynur is a Research-based Computer Science student at Reykjavík University and a Full Stack Developer. He is one of the founders and organizers of the highly successful hacking competition, IceCTF that is hosted annually. He creates interesting security challenges to get people excited about Computer Security and develops a safe environment for people to explore software and how it breaks. Hlynur is currently developing an educational platform that teaches developers to be more security aware.

Prior to joining Syndis, Hlynur worked as a System Administrator for Governmental Agencies and as a Web Developer at a Telecommunications company.


Agnes Jóhannesdóttir
Senior Developer

Security Developer

Agnes is a full stack developer and has B. Sc in software engineering. Her interest in mathematics and taking on challenging problems led her to computer security.  Her skill set includes reverse engineering, application security and teaching security based thinking.

She has worked in the field of engineering and IT for the past 3 years. Prior to joining Adversary Agnes worked as a teacher, civil engineering programmer and a security researcher. Now she is a part of the Adversary team that is developing an educational platform that teaches developers to be more security aware.


Aðalsteinn Eggertsson
Senior Developer

Security Developer

Aðalsteinn has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Iceland. As an aficionado of software development he thinks of React and GraphQL more like friends than frameworks. Having once considered the nickname Algorithmic Aðalsteinn he now also has love for all things frontend related, CSS included.

These days he gets giddy when there is a new animation to implement, a CSS problem to tackle or a new JS framework to study. Aðalsteinn is currently developing Adversary, an educational platform that teaches developers to be more security aware.


Alex William Cregten

Security Developer

Alex is a Computer Science graduate from Reykjavik University and a junior developer. He is a new member on the Adversary team where his role includes developing security challenges that educate people and test their skills. These challenges involve breaking into a multitude of different systems by exploiting different vulnerabilities.

Alex was born in New Zealand and brings his strong interest for Computer Security to the team. Prior to joining Syndis Alex studied Computer Science in Australia and has since moved to Iceland to progress his career in the Computer Security industry.


Árni S. Pétursson
Head of Business Development

International Biz Dev & Marketing and sports fanatic

Árni has been working in Business Development, Sales and Marketing for over 20 years in Iceland and in Europe. When he is not in the office or travelling for work he likes to spend his time watching football and handball or playing sports with his kids.

He has extensive experience from the gaming industry as Chief Marketing Officer & Business Development, and Deputy CEO at Betware (later Novomatic Lottery Solutions). He also worked as a consultant for Greenstone Consulting, which he established in 2015, focusing on M&A advisory and consultancy to Icelandic IT companies and international gaming companies. He held Senior positions in the financial industry in Luxembourg for Credit Suisse and Landsbanki in 2005 to 2010. In 1998 to 2005 prior to moving to Europe he was Marketing Director for Landsbréf (Asset Management division of Landsbanki) and VÍS (Insurance company).

Árni holds a Cand.oecon. degree in Business from University of Iceland in 1998 and Degree in Securities Brokerage.


Bjarki Ágúst Guðmundsson
Security Engineer

Competitive Programmer, Coding Extraordinaire

Bjarki has a strong technical background in computer science, having started at an early age developing websites. He holds an M.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.Sc. in Discrete Mathematics, with a short academic career resulting in several peer-reviewed publications and talks on international conferences, both in the field of Computer Science and Mathematics. One of Bjarki's main hobbies for the past close to a decade has been Competitive Programming, where he has taken part in international training camps and competitions, ranking top-150 out of 60.000 participants in competitions such as Google Code Jam.

At Syndis, Bjarki applies his technical skills and problem-solving abilities to perform penetration testing, application assessment, code review and security analysis.


Hjalti Magnússon
Security Engineer

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.