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Kevin Mandia’s 10 Scariest Statements At FireEye Cyber Defense Summit

FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia dishes on why deepfakes will erode public confidence, why researchers are struggling to find the initial victim of cyberattacks, and why cyber espionage is here to stay.

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1. “What do I genuinely worry about? It’s that event where we are look at each other and say ‘Wait, I think this is intolerable.’”

Mandia believes that a gentleman’s agreement is currently in place that nations conducting cyberoperations not change or alter data as part of their intrusion effort. Despite having thousands of examples where nations or financial criminals could have corrupted PII data, health care data, or credit scores in a breached organization, Mandia haven’t seen any examples of them actually doing so.

“I don’t think any nation wants to see that start to topple over,” Mandia said. “If one nation does it, do they all start doing it? I hope not. That’s a bad escalation for everybody.”

In addition, Mandia said threat actors hacking out of Iran, China, and Russia have attacked the private sector to steal information, but don’t try to inflict damage beyond that by, for instance, destroying the company’s systems. The only clear example of a nation-state groups deliberately destroying or harming something in the private sector is North Korea’s 2014 hack of Sony Pictures, Mandia said.

“I worry about where things are escalating to in cyberspace, because it’s still going up,” Mandia said. And what’s it going to take to say, ‘let’s bring it down”?”

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