Mandiant, the Go-To Security Firm for Cyber-Espionage Attacks

The brand-new operations center of cybersecurity firm Mandiant is deceptively tranquil. Rooms in the third-floor office, overlooking a lagoon in Redwood City, Calif., are playfully named after locations on the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek, including a kitchen called 10-Forward.

In one large central control room, dubbed the Bridge, a dozen security analysts peer quietly at their computer monitors, looking for anomalous activity on the computer networks of Mandiant’s hundreds of corporate clients around the world. A large computer display on the wall shows an image of the earth, seen from space, that highlights inbound and outbound network activity in each country. Mandiant monitors the entire planet, yet a printout taped to the desk of one analyst suggests that these days, the company has a more specific focus. “To accuse the Chinese military of launching cyberattacks without solid proof is unprofessional and baseless,” reads an excerpt from a recent Chinese government statement. Jennifer Ayers, who manages the Redwood City facility, removes the printout and folds it in half. “We’re not supposed to editorialize,” she says.