independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Superhero of cyber crime

US chief executives are usually a little bit more intense and varied than their Irish counterparts.

Kevin Mandia, who runs the IT security company Mandiant which announced 100 new jobs in Dublin yesterday, is no exception.

The computer-science graduate has served as a special agent in the US air force for several years and has trained more than 400 FBI agents on how to fight cyber crime while also testifying to the senate about the threats posed by thieves who use the internet to steal information.

He has also developed specialised training for the US State Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and has won an Ernst & Young's entrepreneur of the year awards.

In an article last year, the ' New York Times' said Mr Mandia's computer security and forensics firm had responded to breaches, extortion attacks and economic espionage campaigns at 22 companies in the Fortune 100 in the previous two years. He calls the first hour he spends with companies the upchuck hour.

"I need to get as much data as I can get. I come in and say 'Get me your firewall logs. Give me your web logs. Tell me what you know so far. Who do you think might have done this? Give me your emails,'" he told the newspaper.

"Everybody's vomiting information on a table. It's never pretty and it's always unstructured."

While that sounds pretty bad, computer security, experts say the most dangerous breaches are the quiet ones – the ones in which hackers make off with a company's intellectual property and leave no trace.

"The hacks that do the most damage," said Mr Mandia, "don't have Twitter feeds".

Irish Independent

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