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FireEye Data Breach: Hackers Leak Mandiant Researcher’s Sensitive Info

FireEye, which specializes in cybersecurity and malware protection solutions, says the account of one of its security researchers was hacked by unknown attackers, according to Reuters. The news broke the day before FireEye's scheduled release of its earnings report for the second quarter of 2017.

As part of a recent hack dubbed "Operation #LeakTheAnalyst," hackers released a zip file containing roughly 370 megabytes of compromised personal and professional data belonging to Adi Peretz, a ‎senior threat intelligence analyst for FireEye cyber forensic consulting unit Mandiant, according to The Next Web.

In addition, cybercriminals defaced Peretz's LinkedIn page, The Hacker News indicated; the LinkedIn page has since been deleted.

A FireEye spokesperson told Fortune that there is no evidence that the company's systems were affected by the data breach. However, hackers claimed they had access to Mandiant's internal networks since 2016.

FireEye immediately took steps to address the data breach and will continue to investigate the incident, a company spokesperson told Reuters.

How Will the Data Breach Impact FireEye's Bottom Line?

Although FireEye is evaluating the data breach and taking steps to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future, the incident appears likely to put a dent in the business' bottom line.

Reuters reported FireEye shares traded 4.2 percent lower after news broke about the data breach. Furthermore, several stock analysts are projecting financial losses for FireEye in 2Q17.

FireEye experienced many ups and downs to start 2017, which is reflected in the following financial results from the company's 1Q17 earnings report:

  • Revenue of $173.7 million, up 3 percent year over year.
  • Billings of $152.4 million, down 18 percent from 1Q16.
  • Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) net loss per share of $0.48, compared to $0.98 one year earlier.

FireEye has projected total revenue of $173 million to $179 million in 2Q17, according to a prepared statement. Overall, the company is predicting total revenue of $724 million to $736 million for full-year 2017.

What Is the True Cost of a Data Breach?

On average, data breaches cost organizations worldwide $141 per lost or stolen record, according to the "12th Annual Cost of Data Breach" study conducted by cybersecurity solutions provider IBM Security and research firm Ponemon Institute. The study also showed the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $7.35 million.

Meanwhile, organizations must consider all possible options to mitigate the effects of a data breach, Ponemon Institute founder Dr. Larry Ponemon stated.

"As companies create, develop and execute their business resiliency strategies going forward, they must ... keep IT infrastructures secure and available for themselves and their clients," Ponemon said in a prepared statement.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.