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FireEye is a publicly traded cybersecurity company. (Photo: Guardian)

FireEye - What is it and what does it sell?

FireEye is a publicly traded cybersecurity company headquartered in Milpitas, California. It was founded in 2004 by Ashar Aziz, a former Sun Microsystems engineer to provide hardware, software, and services to investigate cybersecurity attacks, protect against malicious software, and analyze IT security risks. FireEye was founded in 2004. FireEye went public in 2013. USAToday says FireEye "has been called in to investigate high-profile attacks against Target, JP Morgan Chase, Sony Pictures, Anthem, and others". Yahoo Finance says FireEye is again the fastest-growing cybersecurity firm

In 2017, FireEye transitioned from primarily selling appliances, to a software-as-a-service model. FireEye sells technology products including network, email, and endpoint security, a platform for managing security operations centers called Helix, consulting services primarily based on incident response, and threat intelligence products.

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Since its formation, FireEye has been involved in several well-known cybersecurity issues and events. (Photo: Verge)

Why FireEye got its fame as "One of the US’s leading cybersecurity firms"?

Since its formation, FireEye has been involved in several well-known cybersecurity issues and events. In 2014, FireEye released a report focused on a threat group it refers to as APT28. APT28 focuses on collecting intelligence that would be most useful to a government. Specifically, FireEye found that since at least 2007, APT28 has been targeting privileged information related to governments, militaries, and security organizations that would likely benefit the Russian government, said Guardian.

In 2016, FireEye announced that it has been tracking a pair of cybercriminals referred to as the “Vendetta Brothers.” The company said that the enterprising duo uses various strategies to compromise point-of-sale systems, steal payment card information, and sell it on their underground marketplace “Vendetta World.”

In mid-2016, FireEye released a report on the impact of the 2015 agreement between former U.S. President Barack Obama and China's paramount leader Xi Jinping that neither government would “conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property” for economic advantage. The security firm reviewed the activity of 72 groups that it suspects are operating in China or otherwise support Chinese state interests and determined that, as of mid-2014, there was an overall decrease in successful network compromises by China-based groups against organizations in the U.S. and 25 other countries, Fortune cited.

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FireEye compromised in a state-sponsored attack. (Photo: Getty)

FireEye compromised in state-sponsored attack

FireEye on Tuesday says it’s been hacked by a state-sponsored attacker. Hackers targeted and accessed the firm’s so-called Red Team tools, which it uses to test customer security and find vulnerabilities. There’s concern that the hackers could release these tools publicly or use them to attack others, though there is no evidence that this has happened yet. FireEye says that it does not believe any customer information was taken.

The hack of FireEye is among the most significant breaches in recent memory, said Reuters. Beyond the tool theft, the hackers also appeared to be interested in a subset of FireEye customers: government agencies.

Although the blog post, authored by FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, does not say who is responsible, it says that the attacking nation has “top-tier offensive capabilities.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia is a suspect, specifically its foreign-intelligence service known as the SVR. However, the investigation into who is responsible is ongoing.

In response to the attack, FireEye said it has developed over 300 countermeasures to help its customers and the cybersecurity community defend against the stolen tools. It’s implemented these countermeasures into its own security products, shared them with “colleagues in the security community,” and is making them publicly available. FireEye intends to share further countermeasures as they become available.

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