Sunday, September 13, 2015

Black Eye for FireEye - Hitting Researchers with Injunctions

Sometimes security companies can be a little too heavy handed. Or their lawyers have too much time on their hands. FireEye cleared this hurdle, recently.

Felix Wilhelm, a security researcher working for  Germany based ERNW, was going to present his findings on some vulnerabilities he had found with FireEye’s software.  He was going to present at the 44CON Cyber Security Conference ( ) during the week of September 9.  The flaws had been fixed, by the way.

The two parties had a series of discussions regarding what could go into the report (FireEye was concerned about not exposing information on their product’s IP).  To be brief, the parties supposedly agreed on a final report around August 5.  FireEye then sent Wilhelm a cease and desist letter on August 6, obtained a court injunction on August 13 and delivered it to Wilhelm on September 2, a week before the 44Con conference.  Ultimately, Wilhelm did present his findings with some material redacted.

FireEye has a procedure for researchers   to “disclose and inform us of potential security issues”. In this case, FireEye was extremely heavy handed . Their action does little to encourage researchers to share (stifle?) at security conferences.  This comes across as “attacking the messenger”. They also attacked the messenger with  NSS Labs a couple of years ago when FireEye e came in last in a multi-company Breach Detection Systems Test. 

FireEye came in last again in a NSS Break Detection Systems Test (BDS) earlier this year. Eight companies were in the test:   Blue Coat, Check Point, Cisco, Fidelis, FireEye, Fortinet, Lastline, and Trend Micro. The test measured security effectiveness, performance, and total cost of ownership.

To obtain a copy of the Value Map:  NSS Security Value Map Graphic

To read the complete Forbes article “FireEye Scolded For Injunction Stopping Security Researcher Revealing Source Code”: Forbes - FireEye Scolded 

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