FireEye, a Top Cybersecurity Firm, Says It Was Hacked by a Nation-State

David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth report:

For years, the cybersecurity firm FireEye has been the first call for government agencies and companies around the world who have been hacked by the most sophisticated attackers, or fear they might be.

Now it looks like the hackers — in this case, evidence points to Russia’s intelligence agencies — may be exacting their revenge.

FireEye revealed on Tuesday that its own systems were pierced by what it called “a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.” The company said hackers used “novel techniques” to make off with its own tool kit, which could be useful in mounting new attacks around the world.

Read more on the New York Times.

You can read FireEye’s statement on their site.  Whether or not their assessment that this was a nation state actor is correct (and it probably is), there is a risk to others because of the theft of FireEye’s “Red Team” tools.  Kevin Mandia states:

During our investigation to date, we have found that the attacker targeted and accessed certain Red Team assessment tools that we use to test our customers’ security. These tools mimic the behavior of many cyber threat actors and enable FireEye to provide essential diagnostic security services to our customers. None of the tools contain zero-day exploits. Consistent with our goal to protect the community, we are proactively releasing methods and means to detect the use of our stolen Red Team tools.

We are not sure if the attacker intends to use our Red Team tools or to publicly disclose them. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, we have developed more than 300 countermeasures for our customers, and the community at large, to use in order to minimize the potential impact of the theft of these tools.

Those countermeasures can be found on their GitHub repository.

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