Cybersecurity Firm FireEye Hacked; Data Stolen

Foreign government hackers with “world-class capabilities” breached major cybersecurity firm FireEye and stole its defense testing tools used for its thousands of customers, chief executive Kevin Mandia said on Dec. 8.

Foreign government hackers with “world-class capabilities” breached major cybersecurity firm FireEye and stole its defense testing tools used for its thousands of customers, chief executive Kevin Mandia said on Dec. 8.

“I’ve concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities,” Mandia said in a statement, adding that the hackers “primarily sought into information related to certain government customers.”

Mandia said that the hackers behind the “state-sponsored attack,” and whom he called a “highly sophisticated threat actor,” specifically targeted FireEye and accessed “Red Team” assessment tools, which are used to test the security of its customers by mimicking hacking behavior to detect weaknesses.

“We are not sure if the attacker intends to use our Red Team tools or to publicly disclose them,” Mandia wrote, adding that no evidence has yet to be found to show that the tools have been used or that data from their primary systems was exfiltrated.

“The hack of a premier cybersecurity firm demonstrates that even the most sophisticated companies are vulnerable to cyber-attacks,” Democratic vice chairman Mark Warner of the Senate select committee on intelligence said.

FireEye has coordinated with the Federal Bureau Investigation and Microsoft to investigate on the attack.

“This incident demonstrates why the security industry must work together to defend against and respond to threats posed by well-funded adversaries using novel and sophisticated attack techniques,” Microsoft spokesperson Jeff Jones said.

When the attack initially took place has not been made clear. Mandia also did not specify which government was behind the attack.


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