Governments and organisations around the world are steeling themselves for what appears to be an ever-escalating increase in state-sponsored cyber attacks. The US cybersecurity firm FireEye recently announced it has attacked by a “highly sophisticated threat actor”, believing the hacking was nation stated sponsored with evidence pointing to Russia..
In a blog post, CEO of FireEye Kevin Mandia said company tools used for “testing” customers’ security had been stolen.
What does this mean? It means that a toolbox of hacking utilities is now in the hands of criminals (whether state sponsored or not).
FireEye is a well respected firm in the world of secuirty and so the tools it has developed for finding security vulnerabilities in customer systems is likely to be sophisticated and designed to run “under the radar”.
In addition to the tools, Mandla also said that “the attacker primarily sought information related to certain government customers,”, reinforcing the premise that this was nation state backed.
The internet is awash with statements such as “no one is safe!” which – while true – is a little misleading. It has always been the case that no-one is safe of immune (im possible while humans are still “in the mix”) and any firm with valuable and sought after technology or intellectual property is significant target. Defences just need to be scaled proportionally (to the point of paranoia and beyond) and then, unfortuantely, you have done all you can do.