Top cybersecurity firm 'hacked by govt'

AAP
FireEye says hackers stole tools it uses to test its customers' security.
Camera IconFireEye says hackers stole tools it uses to test its customers' security.

Prominent US cybersecurity firm FireEye says it was hacked by what it believes was a national government.

The attacker targeted and stole assessment tools that FireEye uses to test its customers' security and which mimic the methods used by hackers, the company says.

"I've concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities," FireEye chief executive Kevin Mandia said on Tuesday.

"This attack is different from the tens of thousands of incidents we have responded to throughout the years."

The company did not identify who it thought was responsible. The stolen "Red Team" tools could be dangerous in the wrong hands, though FireEye said there was no indication they had been used.

The company said it has developed countermeasures to protect its customers and others.

Based in Milpitas, California, the publicly traded cybersecurity company has been on the front lines of investigating sophisticated hacking groups, including attempts tied to Russian groups to break into state and local governments in the US that administer elections.

It said it was investigating the attack in co-ordination with the FBI and other partners such as Microsoft, which has its own cybersecurity team.

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