U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye discovers Russia hacked their system

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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Russian hackers break into and steal programs developed by FireEye, a company that the United States relies on for cybersecurity. The hack is discovered and reported on Tuesday but might have been carried through as far back as March.

According to the specifics about the hack, the company said in a statement that their systems were penetrated by “a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities” using “novel techniques” to steal their cybersecurity toolkit. That would mean that those hackers could use those tools to then hack into anyone using the FireEye systems, including the American government.


Data suggests the attack came from Russia. A broad government infiltration by Russian hackers discovered days later supports that theory.

The $3.5 billion company, which partly makes a living by identifying the culprits in some of the world’s boldest breaches — its clients have included Sony and Equifax — declined to say explicitly who was responsible. But its description, and the fact that the F.B.I. has turned the case over to its Russia specialists, left little doubt who the lead suspects were and that they were after what the company calls “Red Team tools.”

These are essentially digital tools that replicate the most sophisticated hacking tools in the world. FireEye uses the tools — with the permission of a client company or government agency — to look for vulnerabilities in their systems. Most of the tools are based in a digital vault that FireEye closely guards.

The New York Times






Photo: Muhannad Ajjan

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