Industry Perspectives Blog

Clarifying the Origins of FireEye

Today, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the methods hackers used to steal millions of credit card numbers from Target. In the report, FireEye was mentioned as having discovered the attack prior to the broad discovery by Target as well as providing services to the CIA. It is FireEye policy to not publically identify our customers and, as such, we cannot validate or comment on the report’s claims that Target, the CIA, or any other companies are customers of FireEye.

Additionally, certain follow-on media coverage has reported that the CIA was involved with the founding of FireEye. These claims are not true. To clear any misconceptions in the market, we wanted to provide more information about how FireEye was founded.

In 2004, Ashar Aziz founded FireEye with venture capital provided by Sequoia Capital. Ashar recognized the advantages of applying virtualization technology to IT security and is the original inventor of the FireEye security technology now known as the Multi-Vector Virtual Execution engine. In subsequent funding rounds, FireEye added other top investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Jafco Ventures, Dag Ventures, Juniper Networks, Four Rivers Partners, Goldman Sachs, and In-Q-Tel (IQT).

IQT is a not-for-profit venture capital firm whose mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve national security interests. IQT is an independent strategic investor that makes investments based on objective due diligence and is extremely selective about the companies in which it invests. We felt honored to receive funding from such a selective investor.

To be clear, however, IQT owns far less than 1 percent of FireEye and no one from IQT (or any intelligence agencies) sits on our board of directors, or is employed, or otherwise performs any services for or on behalf of FireEye. IQT has no influence on our roadmap, operations, financials, governance, or any other aspect of our business. We do not provide IQT with any content or intelligence.

Looking more broadly at the technology industry’s relationship with government entities, FireEye does not share or receive any content with any intelligence agencies that is not available to our entire customer base. We make available to all our customers FireEye Dynamic Threat Intelligence, a cloud-based solution that efficiently shares auto-generated threat intelligence to protect all our customers once a threat has been identified in one organization.

FireEye was never a CIA company and we’ve never provided unique intelligence to any government agencies. Our position as a global security company is to be independent of any government agencies and solely focused on protecting our customers around the world.