Cybersecurity firm FireEye hit by state-sponsored attack

Recently FireEye was attacked by a highly sophisticated threat actor, one whose discipline, operational security, and techniques lead them to believe it was a state-sponsored attack. 

This attack is different from the tens of thousands of incidents they have responded to throughout the years. The attackers tailored their world-class capabilities specifically to target and attack FireEye. They are highly trained in operational security and executed with discipline and focus. They operated clandestinely, using methods that counter security tools and forensic examination. They used a novel combination of techniques not witnessed by them or their partners in the past.

A statement on the FireEye blog went on to say “We are actively investigating in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other key partners, including Microsoft. Their initial analysis supports our conclusion that this was the work of a highly sophisticated state-sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques. “

“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.  

We have seen no evidence to date that any attacker has used the stolen Red Team tools. We, as well as others in the security community, will continue to monitor for any such activity. At this time, we want to ensure that the entire security community is both aware and protected against the attempted use of these Red Team tools.”

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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