Cyber-Security Firm FireEye Announces Layoffs

Cyber-Security Firm FireEye Announces Layoffs

Cyber security firm FireEye Inc said on Thursday it planned to lay off 300 to 400 of its 3,400 workers as it announced quarterly sales below its own forecast, due to a slowdown in demand for its services helping businesses respond to hacking attacks.

FireEye’s shares were down 16.2 percent at $14.02 in extended trading.

The Milpitas, California-based company also cut its full-year sales outlook.

Chief Financial Officer Michael Berry told Reuters that the job cuts were part of a restructuring effort that will reduce annual costs by about $80 million (roughly Rs. 534 crores).

Chief Executive Kevin Mandia said the company is now responding more frequently to financially driven cyber criminals, who engage in crimes such as ransomware, which are relatively simple to clean up.

“The size and scope have changed. The whole remediation was more complex” when the company was responding to large numbers of state-sponsored hacks from China, he said.

FireEye cut its full-year revenue forecast to $716 million-$728 million (roughly Rs. 4,783 crores – Rs. 4,864 crores) from $780 million-$810 million (roughly Rs. 5,211 crores – Rs. 5,412 crores).

The company is still targeting non-GAAP profitability by the end of 2017 and expect to generate positive free-cash flow in 2017, Berry said on a conference call.

It reported second-quarter revenue of $175 million (roughly Rs. 1,169 crores) , missing its own projection of $178 million to $185 million (roughly Rs. 1,189 crores to Rs. 1,236 crores).

Executives blamed much of the trouble on a slowdown in its services business, including its high-profile Mandiant forensics unit that helps organizations respond to cyber-attacks.

That division’s revenue rose just 2 percent in the second quarter, compared to a 40 percent increase in the first quarter. Its total number of engagements rose, but average revenue from each one fell dramatically because work performed was less extensive.

Mandia said that was due to a shift away from previous years where there were large numbers of state-sponsored espionage hackers from China attacking customers in the United States.

FireEye and other cyber-security firms said in June that cyber-espionage attacks from China appeared to have dropped this year as the Chinese government made good on a pledge with the United States to stop supporting the digital theft of US trade secrets.

The company reported lower-than-expected billings, a closely watched indicator of future business.

FireEye posted second-quarter billings of 196.4 million, below its forecast of $200 million to $215 million.

It also cut its full-year billings forecast to a range of $835 million to $855 million, from its previous range of $975 million to $1.055 billion.

In contrast, peer Symantec Corp reported second-quarter revenue and adjusted profit above the average analyst estimates, helped by strong enterprise demand for its security products.

Up to Thursday’s close, FireEye shares had fallen more than 62 percent in the last 12 months.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Cyber Security, FireEye, Internet, Job Cuts, Layoffs



IBM to Purchase Cyber-Security Firm Resilient Systems

IBM to Purchase Cyber-Security Firm Resilient Systems

IBM Security plans to acquire private cyber-security firm Resilient Systems, the computing giant said Monday, as part of a move to expand its role in the incident response market.

The sale comes amid a consolidation in the cyber-sector and a decline in valuations of public and private cyber-firms. Some investors believe the companies were overvalued after a host of headline-grabbing hacks against the US government and major corporations increased interest in the market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is being announced during the RSA security conference in San Francisco and expected to close later this year subject to regulatory review.

IBM said it intends to retain the roughly 100 employees working at Resilient Systems, including Chief Executive Officer John Bruce, a former vice president at Symantec, and Chief Technology Officer Bruce Schneier, a prominent cryptographer, security blogger and author.

“Our intent is all these guys are going to come on board,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security, told Reuters. “You acquire technology, but you really want to acquire people.”

Known as Co3 Systems when it was founded in 2010, Resilient Systems has become a leading player in the high-demand field of incident response by helping private and government customers prepare for, detect and mitigate cyber-breaches, said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Incident response is “hot in the market,” Oltsik said. “Customers are spending a lot of money on cyber-security to address their shortcomings.”

The acquisition comes against the backdrop of a US cyber-security market slogging through a funding slump, forcing some startups to sell themselves or cut spending.

IBM also said on Monday it is creating X-Force Incident Response Services, which will leverage Resilient Systems’ technology and talent to help clients identify and respond to cyber-threats.

The X-Force service will also rely on a new partnership with cyber-firm Carbon Black, which IBM said will help its analysts conduct security forensics on compromised endpoint devices and discover where a breach first occurred.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: IBM, Internet

Isis Hackers Target Wrong Google, Takes Down Small Indian Firm: Report

Isis Hackers Target Wrong Google, Takes Down Small Indian Firm: Report

Hackers affiliated to Isis terror group who promised to take down International search engine giant Google has instead targeted a small Indian tech firm, according to a media report.

Cyber Caliphate Army (CCA), a hacking group affiliated to Isis, hit registered by Gandani K for Indian tech firm Always Say, which offers search engine optimisation (SEO) services to local clients.

According to website, CCA had vowed on messaging app Telegram they would attack Google on Monday.

“We promised to hack Google. Keep the promise inshallah (God willing), expect us today,” the group declared.

However, the website claims that a few hours later they had instead defaced the website which is completely unrelated to the Silicon Valley based Google.

After it was hacked, the website played an Islamic State (Isis) song in French and displaced the official logo along with a sign saying “Hacked By: CCA”.

The CCA’s “defacement of the website” was short-lived as yet another hacker group called “n3far1ous” wiped out the Isis message and replaced it with an “Eat this, Isis” message, and a rock tune playing in the background.

The “n3far1ous” message was still on display Thursday.

The CCA allegedly hacked into 35 British websites, which appear to be a random mix of relatively small British businesses, media reports said.

The websites hacked into include a Japanese dance instructor’s website, a company selling furniture and laminate flooring and a salon.

Isis hackers allegedly said that the attacks were “A message to David Cameron” as revenge for the killing of British Muslim terrorist Junaid Hussain, who was killed in a US-led air strike last year.

The attacks follow pro-Isis hackers’ threats that they would target the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey for shutting down their social media accounts.

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Tags: Google, Hacking, Internet, Isis, Islamic State

Jeera prices firm up amid new arrivals at Unjha market

Experts dub the bullishness a short-term trend as many countries devaluate their currencies

Firm domestic demand coupled with increased international buying has pushed up jeera prices both in the spot and futures market even as fresh crop arrivals hit market of Unjha, a main trading hub for the spice.

Prices are nearly up 10-15 per cent during March, while trade sources expect them to firm up from the current levels on increased demand and fears of crop damage on account of the recent unseasonal rains in the key growing regions of western India. At the expiry of March contract on Friday, jeera prices hit a high of ₹15,255 a quintal from the intra-day lows of ₹14,990 before settling at ₹15,200 on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX).

Prices edge up

“Fresh demand is seen since the past couple of days. In March, we saw sharp fluctuations in prices from ₹130 a kg to ₹150 now. Firm demand from domestic buyers and exports has pushed up prices in the futures,” said Arvind Patel, an Unjha-based commodity analyst. In the Unjha spot market, prices of the spice were at ₹14,987-15,000 a quintal. However, experts believe that there was marginal damage to the crop in parts of Rajasthan and that it was not likely to jack up the prices in the immediate future.

Short-term bullishness

Bhaskar Shah, Managing Director of Jabs International, a spice exporter, expressed bearish sentiment about jeera considering the production prospects.

“Prices may remain up for a short time, but in a few weeks prices are likely to fall. The reason is exports may not be as encouraging as it seems currently. There are several countries resorting to currency devaluation. Egypt did it recently by devaluating their currency by 13 per cent. Also, at some destinations, there are forex issues and payments are getting delayed. In such scenario, all hopes are on China, which has so far remained a small buyer with about 10 per cent of India’s total cumin exports,” said Shah, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Spices Board of India.

Export scenario

Jeera exports are expected to be around 1 lakh tonnes, which is in line with the average of last two years’ exports. Production is likely to be around 350,000 tonnes this year. Jeera arrival starts in March and continues through May. “During these three months about 22-26 lakh bags (of 55 kg each) are likely to arrive. So far, about 6-7 lakh bags have arrived in Unjha market. Export demand will pick up in April, which will further boost prices,” said Patel.

On the NCDEX, jeera April contract traded at ₹14,910 – up 1.88 per cent or ₹275 on Friday. Far month, jeera June contract was up 1.36 per cent or ₹205 at ₹15,270 a quintal, thereby indicating a further upside.