Alexander J. Urbelis







1201 Broadway
9th Floor
New York, NY 10001
P: +1 (212) 779 3070 x 101

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New College, Oxford University, B.C.L., 2008, Editor, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal

Vermont Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2005, Technology Editor, Vermont     Law Review

Stony Brook University, B.A., Philosophy, summa cum laude, 2002



Chief Judge Andrew Effron,     US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 2005–2007

Justice Denise R. Johnson,     Vermont Supreme Court,       2004 (judicial extern)



New York

District of Columbia

US District Court for the Eastern District of New York

US District Court for the Southern District of New York

US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Mr. Alexander J. Urbelis is an experienced attorney who has also been part of the information security community for more than 20 years and who has truly varied experience as a C-level officer, in-house counsel, private practice litigator, and a federal attorney.

Based in both New York and London, Alex was the Chief Compliance Officer of one of the world’s largest luxury conglomerates. As such, Alex handled all aspects of worldwide legal compliance, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption efforts, whistle-blowing matters, internal and external investigations, and ensured that employees and partners adhered to strict standards of business conduct and corporate social responsibility. Prior to his role as CCO, Alex was in-house information security counsel, charged with responsibility for mitigating information security risk, managing incident response scenarios, and developing procedures beyond industry standard best practices.

Alex is the principal architect of our firm's unique DNS monitoring and intelligence platform, OMNI (Open-source Multidisciplinary Network Intelligence). Designed to identify hallmarks of impending attacks, cybersquatters, counterfeiters, and other malicious actors, using our OMNI platform Alex has assisted companies worldwide with the early detection, investigation, and termination of sophisticated cybersecurity threats before a breach or reputational damage occurs.

At Steptoe & Johnson LLP in New York and Washington, DC, Alex’s practice centered around issues at the intersection of law and technology. Counseling companies both domestically and abroad, Alex provided data security and privacy advice, and assisted the world’s largest technology companies and non-profit organizations with issues of Internet governance and the expansion of the DNS through ICANN’s new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Alex personally worked on the drafting and submission of over 200 gTLD applications during the first application round.  In addition, Alex has considerable experience with Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings, Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) proceedings, and national Dispute Resolution Proceedings (DRPs) to reclaim domain names from cybersquatters. 

An active member of several privacy and security-related organizations, Alex frequently lectures on the subject of cyber security and open source intelligence (OSINT) collection, and provides strategic legal and technical advice in domestic and cross-border proceedings involving privacy, national security, data forensics, spoliation of electronic evidence, and disputes pertaining to technology-related contracts and patents.  

In recognition of his technical and legal acumen, Alex was recently selected as a Member of the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Security Council for the 2017 - 2020 term.  In addition, Alex was elected to the Board of Directors of the Internet Society NY Chapter for the 2018 - 2019 term.

As an appellate lawyer, Alex has represented US service members and civilians in claims for compensation for torture before the US Supreme Court and has successfully argued for Convention Against Torture protection for potential deportees in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Alex’s federal service includes working for the Office of General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Army JAG Corps, and as a Research Associate in the Technical Analysis Group of Dartmouth College’s Institute for Security Technology Studies, a national center for information security and counterterrorism research and analysis. Alex also served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge Effron of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and as a judicial extern to Justice Denise Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Alex is regularly called upon by the media to opine on matters both legal and technical, and his published writings range from scholarly works, to bar journals, to op-editorials for CNN and The Intercept.  Alex is a correspondent for the Oxford Martin Cybersecurity Capacity Portal, a pioneering and interdisciplinary research center of the University of Oxford, and also a producer for the weekly radio show and podcast, Off The Hook, broadcast on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York.

Public interest work is of great importance to Alex. His pro bono matters have included appellate representation in immigration and death penalty proceedings, and extensive litigation on behalf of indigent tenants in New York. 

 Select Appearances and Publications

  • NPR News, Cybersecurity Lawyer Who Flagged The WHO Hack Warns Of 'Massive' Remote Work Risks (interview with Mr. Urbelis regarding his identification of state-sponsored hacking attempts on the World Health Organization) (30 March 2020)
  • Reuters, Exclusive: Elite Hackers Target WHO as Coronavirus Cyberattacks Spike (reporting on Mr. Urbelis' identification of state-sponsored hacking attempts on the World Health Organization) (23 March 2020)
  • New York University, Lecture on Cybersecurity Threats to IGOs and International Relations (scheduled for 15 April 2020, but postponed)
  • King's College, London, Lecture on Cybersecurity Investigations and Legal Remedies (scheduled for 30 March 2020, but postponed)
  • NY Daily News, NYPD Kicks Homeless Woman, Hero Dog Off Chelsea Streets (quoting Mr. Urbelis about Corey Johnson's abuse of the police power to harass and remove his homeless client) (30 December 2019)
  • NY Post, Homeless Woman Reunited with Beloved Dog Thanks to West Village Neighbor (reporting on Mr. Urbelis' successful fight to reunite an heroic dog with its homeless owner) (11 December 2019)
  • NY Daily News, Hero Dog Reunited with Owner After Saving Her from Creep on NYC Streets (reporting on Mr. Urbelis' successful fight to reunite an heroic dog with its homeless owner) (11 December 2019)
  • National Intelligence University, Minding Blind Spots & Hunting Threat Actors (ICC-B Campus, Bethesda, Maryland) (17 November 2019) (Mr. Urbelis will be briefing members of the US intelligence community on his work collecting DNS intelligence and tracking active threats)
  • CNN Opinion, US Will be Judged by How it Treats the Trump-Ukraine Whistleblowers (9 October 2019)
  • Financial Times, The Internet: Regulators Struggle to Balance Freedom with Risk (9 July 2019) (quoting Mr. Urbelis' about the use of digital tools to combat malicious activity online)
  • The Canary, A Lawyer Explains How the Persecution of Julian Assange Could Spectacularly Backfire (1 June 2019) (referencing Mr. Urbelis' CNN Opinion arguments)
  • KPFK (Pacifica Radio), Background Briefing (30 May 2019) (interviewing Mr. Urbelis about his CNN Opinion piece)
  • Rolling Stone, Julian Assange Must Never Be Extradited (29 May 2019) (referencing Mr. Urbelis' CNN Opinion arguments)
  • CNN Opinion, New Assange Indictment is Legally Idiotic but Politically Shrewd (28 May 2019)
  • Threat Intelligence from a Law Firm, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Security Council (Mr. Urbelis demonstrated our firm's innovative DNS intelligence methodologies, showcasing threat intel and APT-related data) (7 May 2019)
  • CNN Opinion, What the Mueller Report Tells Us About Assange's Case (27 April 2019)
  • The New Yorker, Is the Strand a Landmark? (quoting Mr. Urbelis about his representation of the Strand Book Store) (4 March 2019)
  • World Intellectual Property Review, A Shield and a Sword: When IP and Insurance Combine (featuring Mr. Urbelis' analyses of the utility of patent insurance policies) (February 2019)
  • New York's Changing Retail Scene, NYCity Woman (quoting Mr. Urbelis concerning the authority of the NY City Council and the Small Business Jobs Survival Act) (21 February 2019)
  • WLIW, The Strand Book Store Continues to Resist Landmark Status (discussing Mr. Urbelis' proposals to NY City that would avoid landmark designation) (20 February 2019)
  •, Strand Book Store Will 'Fight to End' Against Landmarking (quoting Mr. Urbelis' remarks to the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission) (19 February 2019)
  • Gothamist, To Avoid Landmark Status, Strand Owner Offers Up a Compromise (quoting Mr. Urbelis concerning his proposal to NYC for a preservation easement as opposed to landmark designation) (19 February 2019)
  • CNBC, Nightly Business Report (quoting Mr. Urbelis concerning inherent problems with privacy policies, social media, the sale and transfer of data, and the erosion of user trust) (06 February 2019)
  • NY Times, The Battle to Make the Strand a Landmark Is About More Than a Building (quoting Mr. Urbelis' remarks to the Landmarks Preservation Commission as counsel to the Strand) (30 January 2019)
  • CNN Opinion, Facebook Faces Major Repercussions if it Continues to Resist Government Scrutiny (8 December 2018)
  • World Intellectual Property Review, Judge Orders Bloomberg to Face Social Media Trade Secret Suit (quoting Mr. Urbelis about a theft of trade secrets matter active in the SDNY) (21 November 2018)
  • Associated Press, Mystery: Who Bought Websites Implying US Senators for Sale (Mr. Urbelis identified hundreds of mysterious domain registrations targeting politicians on both sides of the political spectrum, repub'd by NY Times and other major news outlets) (23 July 2018)
  • Il Manifesto, A New York al via Hope, la Conferenza Hacker (in Italian) (Describing Mr. Urbelis' HOPE presentation with regard to cybersquatting on the Trump campaign) (21 July 2018)
  • Hackaday, Oh the Fun You'll Have with a Bit of Social Engineering (Stories and techniques of social engineering set forth by Mr. Urbelis in this detailed coverage of the panel) (20 July 2018)
  • Social Engineering Panel, Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) XII (Mr. Urbelis participated in the always popular social engineering panel, explaining effective techniques together with live examples performed on stage) (20 July 2018)
  • Wall Street Journal, Businesses Blast California’s New Data-Privacy Law (Mr. Urbelis was quoted regarding privacy and compliance issues arising from the California Consumer Privacy Act) (1 July 2018)
  • Radio Popolare Conference, Milan, Italy (Mr. Urbelis spoke on several panels about security, privacy, and the impacts of these subjects on US politics) (16-18 June 2018)
  • Cybersecurity and the Law, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Security Council (Mr. Urbelis presented to colleagues on the Security Council on the crossover of information security and legal issues, with emphasis on cybersecurity blindspots relating to the domain name system) (7 May 2018)
  • VICE Motherboard, Evidence Suggests the GOP Bought at Least 17 Anti-James Comey Domains (Motherboard covered Mr. Urbelis' identification of domains targeting James Comey utilizing Blackstone Law Group's in-house DNS monitoring and threat detection engine, OMNI ) (19 April 2018)
  • The Recorder (, WHOIS - Web Tool Used by IP Attorneys, Law Enforcement In Peril (Mr. Urbelis was quoted on the subject of whether Whois data is critical to cybersecurity investigations) (17 April 2018)
  • Il Manifesto, The Cambridge Analytica Chain Reaction (in Italian) (Mr. Urbelis was interviewed concerning the privacy and security issues stemming from the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and the use of social media) (25 March 2018)
  • Hacktivism in Brooklyn, BRIC TV (Mr. Urbelis was interviewed on the subjects of hacktivism, the DNC breach, 2018 voting election concerns, and the SecureDrop whistleblowing system) (27 February 2018)
  • Il Manifesto, Where North American Digital is Going (in Italian) (Mr. Urbelis was interviewed on the subjects of net neutrality, the future of broadband, and the proposed merger of Disney and Fox) (23 December 2017)
  • Morning Show, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed net neutrality, activism, and the legal challenges that will arise from the passage of the FCC's Restore Internet Freedom Order) (30 November 2017)
  • Financial Times, Intellectual Property: Taking the Fight to the Fakers (quoting Mr. Urbelis about using smart technology to track and trace counterfeiters) (16 November 2017)
  • CNBC, Nightly Business Report (Mr. Urbelis discussed the privacy and security concerns arising from the growing online gaming industry with a particular focus on the augmented reality app 'Snatch') (2 August 2017)
  • Pacifica Radio, Nationally Syndicated Broadcast on Pacifica Radio Stations and Affiliates (Mr. Urbelis read aloud his CNN op-ed, How '1984' Can Decode Trump's First 100 Days) (27 June 2017)
  • Coast to Coast AM, Nationally Syndicated Radio with Mike Siegel  (Mr. Urbelis discussed information security, the Russian hacking investigations, politics, and his 1984 CNN op-ed.) (22 June 2017)
  • On The Money, CBC Business News (Mr. Urbelis discussed ransomware and the role that software and operating system developers should play to mitigate this threat) (16 May 2017)
  • CNN Opinion, WannaCrypt Ransomware Attack Should Make Us Wanna Cry (14 May 2017) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed ISPs' ability to monetize customer data and ongoing litigation about Bitcoin licensing requirements) (30 Mar. 2017)
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed his CNN op-ed on the parallels between 1984 and the practices of the Trump Administration) (1 February 2017)
  • CNN Opinion, How '1984' Can Decode Trump's First 100 Days (31 January 2017) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed President Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence, UCMJ procedures, and the distinctions between Manning and Snowden) (18 January 2017) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed electoral college reform and voting security implications) (16 November 2016) 
  • Hacking the Vote, BRIC TV, BK Live (Mr. Urbelis debated election information security with the Executive Director of the Board of Elections of NYC) (22 September 2016) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis was a guest speaker discussing sanctions litigation against Mossack Fonseca in the aftermath of the Panama Papers breach) (10 August 2016)