For years, the advanced persistent threat (APT) has wreaked havoc on the cyber security industry. Since hackers and state-sponsored actors have begun exploiting this rising danger, it has risen to crisis proportions. The main goal of an APT cyber security operation is to breach your organization’s outside defenses and get access to sensitive data and systems within.
An APT assault typically consists of the following five phases:
- APT Attacks’ Primary Motivations and Classification
- Obtaining sensitive information without permission. This includes passwords, bank account numbers, passport numbers, and credit card numbers.
- Delete all data from the system, including the cloud, and sabotage the system.
- Take control of a vital website and implement radical changes, like those seen in the financial market or a hospital.
- Using people’s credentials to log in to vital systems.
- Communication access to private or potentially incriminating information.
The Different Kinds of Advanced Persistent Threats
Being the target of a high-tech APT attack is the worst possible scenario. As the name implies, APT malware is designed to launch persistent assaults. Instead of wreaking havoc on a system or network, APT malware takes information repeatedly over time. There is a wide variety of APTs. However, the most typical include the following.
1. Social engineering
Without the target’s awareness, an attacker using social engineering methods may get access to protected systems, networks, and even real-world locations. Hackers can conceal their true identities and motivations by acting as reliable persons or sources of information. It is possible to persuade, deceive, or fool a company into disclosing sensitive information.
When an APT phishing assault occurs, a website seems genuine but includes someone attempting to steal your credit card number, bank account information, or password. In order to trick their victims into divulging sensitive information, cybercriminals often send emails that look to have originated from trusted sources like companies or friends and family members but include links to malicious websites.
3. Spear phishing
Spear phishing attempts to get sensitive information from a specific person, business, or organization using email or other electronic interactions. Cybercriminals may also install malware on a user’s computer. However, their primary goal is generally data theft.
Malware such as rootkits allows hackers to control a compromised device completely. Some rootkits may infect your computer’s hardware, system, and other applications.
5. Exploit Kits
Exploits take advantage of flaws in computer programs. When hackers discover obsolete systems with major flaws, they use specialized malware to exploit them. One typical component of malware payloads is shellcode, a short piece designed to download even more malware from networks controlled by the attacker. Shellcodes may enter systems and infect devices.
6. Other techniques
APT attacks may take various forms, and some common ones include computer worms, bots, spyware, adware, ransomware, remote execution, spear phishing, web shells, rootkits, keyloggers, and many more.