An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a sophisticated attack in which an intruder establishes an illicit, long-term presence on a network in order to steal sensitive data or cause damage.
APT campaigns are characterized by their sophisticated methods and techniques, making them difficult to detect and defend against. One of the most well-known examples of an APT campaign is the Operation Aurora attacks that were carried out against Google and other companies in 2010!
These attacks employed a variety of cosmopolitan methods, including the use of zero-day vulnerabilities and spear phishing emails, to gain access to victim networks. Once inside, the attackers could steal sensitive data and maintain a presence on the network for an extended period.
Organizations that are targeted by APT campaigns can suffer significant damage as a result.
In addition to the loss of sensitive data, organizations may also experience disruptions to their operations and reputational damage. As such, it’s important for organizations to be aware of the risks posed by APT campaigns and take steps to protect themselves.
There are a few key things that make APTs different from other types of cyber attacks:
1. They are well-funded and have access to polished tools and resources.
2. They are often carried out by teams of skilled individuals who work together over a period of time.
3. They use a variety of techniques to gain access to networks and systems, and they are constantly evolving their methods to avoid detection.
4. They are designed to achieve specific objectives, such as stealing sensitive data or launching damaging attacks.
5. They often target specific organizations or industries, such as government agencies or critical infrastructure providers.