It’s kind of embarrassing. One of the world’s top commercial cybersecurity operations got hacked recently. To make it worse, the cyber hackers were able to make off with the software the company uses to make sure customers' cyber systems are secure.

Executives of FireEye say the hack was pulled off by what could only be described as a hostile government possessing “world-class capabilities”.

CNET reports FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia has issued a statement about the attack. “I’ve concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities. This attack is different from the tens of thousands of incidents we have responded to throughout the years.”

The hackers were able to steal what FireEye refers to as its “red team” tools. That’s a package of software it uses to run tests on internet-connected data systems to ensure necessary protections are in place and working as planned. But now, FireEye concedes the tools could be dangerous in the wrong hands. And now, they clearly are.

FireEye does a lot of consulting with governments around the world to help ensure the safety of their data systems.  The hackers were apparently looking for specific software in the FireEye system that relates to some of its customers. But the FireEye CEO says there is no indication that the hackers were able to obtain information about any specific customers.

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FireEye has been in the forefront of some high-profile cybersecurity breaches over the years, including the massive hack of Equifax which that company is still dealing with. The FBI and several other US law enforcement agencies are now working with FireEye to attempt to track down the perpetrators. FireEye says they’re good, but they did leave some tracks behind. Other cybersecurity firms have been hit with similar attacks in the past, including Trend Micro, Symantec, and Kaspersky.

So when the top cyber protection experts in the free world can get hit, what can you do to save your data? The basics always apply. The US Federal Trade Commission lists the more important ones.

Be Alert to Impersonators
Safely Dispose of Personal Information
Encrypt Your Data
Keep Passwords Private
Change Passwords Often
Don't Overshare on Social Networking Sites
Use Security Software
Avoid Phishing Emails
Be Wise About Wi-Fi

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