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Acquisition at home: Halifax man's 'workplace' changes dramatically while he works from same server-filled home basement

Jason Hopper poses for a photo in his Halifax home on Wednesday. Hopper's company Hyperion Gray was recently acquired by QOMPLX, a U.S.-based company. Hopper took the position of Director of Internet Research with QOMPLX.
Jason Hopper in his Halifax home on Wednesday. Hyperion Gray, the company for whom Hopper has been Chief Technology Officer, was recently acquired by QOMPLX, a Virginia company. Hopper will be Director of Internet Research with QOMPLX. - Ryan Taplin

Jason Hopper has gone from having five colleagues to five hundred, but he still doesn’t get to eat lunch in a big cafeteria. 

Hopper, 35, an independent contractor in cybersecurity, has been working out of his server-filled Halifax basement since he joined Hyperion Gray, a security research and development company. 

Now, that company has been acquired by QOMPLX (pronounced complex), based in Tysons, Virginia, in a deal that took several months to finalize. 

“It was a very smooth process, no hiccups of any kind,” Hopper said. 

“We agreed on the terms of the deal pretty early, then it was just a matter of the lawyers going back and forth.” 

Terms of the deal have not been released, but “it was definitely a meaningful amount of money; I think it was a very fair price and we were happy with it.” 

Hopper is now director of internet research for QOMPLX. He was the chief technology officer for Hyperion Gray, where he ran a project called Omnisense, where his servers watched internet traffic around the world to detect cybersecurity threats. 

“That was my project but I was using Hyperion Gray as a way to get it into some markets, and that was one of the things that QOMPLX was interested in,” said Hopper. 

“My particular part of the deal was selling that product to QOMPLX.” 

Hopper said QOMPLX initially became interested in the acquisition through a project Hyperion Gray had called SCYLLA, which involved a large online collection of breached data sets. 

“That just kicked off the conversation, and it was discovered that the two companies had quite a lot in common. They were interested in a lot of the things we were interested in, and it just seemed like a good fit.” 

The U.S. company hired the whole team, brought into QOMPLX, which also recently acquired two other companies, as its research division. Hopper, who has led research projects for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and the Intelligence Advanced Research Agency, is the only team member from Nova Scotia. 

“In a lot of ways, it’s a lot of the same work but in a much bigger pool. QOMPLX has access to much bigger clients . . . lots of resources in terms of engineering, sales people, marketing people, a lot of things that we at Hyperion Gray really struggled with, just being a small company,” he said. 

“They want us to keep doing what we’re interested in, but at the same time there’s a lot of interesting things that can come from being part of a large company and having access to more interesting clients.” 

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