One of the top cybersecurity firms in the U.S. revealed Tuesday that it has been hacked—likely by Russian intelligence. The firm, FireEye, said the hackers stole crucial tools used to investigate security breaches. The company—which investigates security breaches for government agencies and other high-profile customers, including Equifax and Sony—said “a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities” was behind the hack and used “novel techniques.” The FBI’s Russia specialists are now investigating the theft, which was likely aimed at stealing the company’s “Red Team tools,” which help FireEye pinpoint weaknesses in their clients’ systems.
Now, these hackers could use the technology they stole to invade other systems without leaving their usual traces. It’s possible Russia planned the timing of this hack, knowing they could take advantage of America’s focus on election security and voting systems. Attacks on cybersecurity companies are relatively common—Russia stole code from the security firms McAfee, Symantec, and others just last year.