How Advanced Persistence Threat works

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Learn about cybersecurity

Recap

In our first article, we briefly discussed the following 7 modern cyber attacks:

  • Ransomware
  • WannaCry
  • NotPetya
  • SimpleLocker
  • TeslaCrypt
  • CryptoLocker
  • PC Cyborg

In our second article, we moved on explaining what a Distributed Denial-of-Service is and in what ways a Distributed Denial of Service attack are more detrimental than traditional Denial of Service.

In this article, we continue our cybersecurity journey by discussing what are advanced persistence threats and how they work.

Note

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Advanced persistence threat (APT)

An APT uses multiple phases to break into a network, avoid detection, and harvest valuable information over the long term:

    •  Advanced: It is an advanced attack because it is made up of a broad spectrum of infection vectors and malware technologies that are available to the attacker, which are blended together to result in the successful compromise of a system.
    •  Persistent: It is persistent because the threat of being compromised is always there.
    •  Threat: This is not a typical, run-of-the-mill system compromise. This attack poses a real threat to the target, not only because it is backed by highly organized, well-funded, and motivated criminal elements, but also because if the attack is successful, it can have dire consequences for the target way beyond a normal system cleanup.

With technological advancements, new ways have risen to stalk corporate entities and any business. This is done in the form of APT. APT can be described as an attack on the network of an organization, which allows unauthorized people to be in the network for a long period of time without being detected.

 

What makes APTs so different?

APTs are different than regular cybercriminals based on the selection of a target, the goal, and human factors:

    •  Targets: They are chosen based on financial, political, geopolitical, surveillance, and security intelligence interests to gain high-value information
    •  Goal: The goal of an APT is not to simply get in and get out, but to gain prolonged access to the network's resources and keep themselves undetected by security administrators
    •  Human factors: This is a critical element for the entire APT operation, since the operation can occur through spear phishing or even insider threats

 

This article is written in collaboration with Rajneesh Gupta.


The zero-trust approach

In our next article, we will discuss what a Zero-Trust Approach is and how it is used by the cybersecurity professionals.

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