By J. Nicholas Hoover
November 18, 2009
The independent venture arm of the U.S. intelligence community,
In-Q-Tel, has invested in cybersecurity company FireEye, the company
In-Q-Tel and FireEye didn't disclose terms of the agreement, or which
intelligence agencies are particularly interested in the technology.
However, in a release, they said that the investment "will extend
FireEye's cyber security product development and stealth malware
technical capabilities to protect against cyber threats."
The intelligence community has a clear interest in cybersecurity
investment. At a conference earlier this month, deputy secretary of
defense William Lynn said that more than 100 foreign intelligence
agencies are actively trying to hack into federal government systems.
The NSA recently announced plans to build a $1.5 billion cybersecurity
data center in Utah.
California-based FireEye sells an out-of-band security appliance that
monitors all inbound network traffic, employing a blend of signatures
and heuristics to analyze traffic for evidence of suspicious behavior.
After identifying suspicious traffic, the appliance captures and replays
the traffic on virtual machines running in the appliance, which imitate
real PCs. If those PCs are compromised, FireEye alerts administrators.
By routing the traffic to a virtual machine, FireEye claims it is able
to mitigate false positives. The virtual machines are invisible to the
customer's production network.
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