Russia-linked postcard was “sent to FireEye’s CEO after cybersecurity firm uncovered hack”

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Russian-linked postcard was "sent to FireEye's CEO after cybersecurity firm uncovered hack"

Newsflash! 2021 is looking to be just as crazy as 2020.

According to Reuters, the CEO of FireEye received a mysterious postcard at his home mere days after the cybersecurity firm uncovered initial evidence that it had been hacked, but before the news was made public.

According to the report, the postcard:

  • was addressed to FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia
  • carried FireEye’s logo
  • contained a cartoon mocking any claims that Russia might have been behind the attack, with the text “Hey look Russians” and “Putin did it!”

Who might have sent the postcard, and for what purpose, remains a mystery – one that the FBI is reportedly currently investigating.

It’s possible that an intelligence agency may have determined that FireEye was likely to publicise their hack and might point a finger of suspicion in a particular direction, and that a well-timed postcard might misdirect them.

It’s also possible, of course, that whoever sent the card had no knowledge of the FireEye hack at all, and the timing was purely coincidental.

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FireEye and the FBI aren’t offering any comment, and haven’t shared an image of the postcard.

But it does sound awfully like a postcard with similar wording received by Rand disinformation researcher Todd Helmus in 2019.

Helmus received the unsolicited postcard from an unknown party after he provided testimony to the US Congress about Russia’s penchant for digital propaganda.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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