After analyzing and correlating activity from multiple sensors, the security administrator has determined that a
group of very well organized individuals from an enemy country is responsible for various attempts to breach
the company network, through the use of very sophisticated and targeted attacks. Which of the following is this
an example of?
Advanced persistent threat
Malicious insider threat
Definitions of precisely what an APT is can vary widely, but can best be summarized by their named
Advanced – Criminal operators behind the threat utilize the full spectrum of computer intrusion technologies
and techniques. While individual components of the attack may not be classed as particularly “advanced” (e.g.
malware components generated from commonly available DIY construction kits, or the use of easily procured
exploit materials), their operators can typically access and develop more advanced tools as required. They
combine multiple attack methodologies and tools in order to reach and compromise their target.
Persistent – Criminal operators give priority to a specific task, rather than opportunistically seeking immediate
financial gain. This distinction implies that the attackers are guided by external entities. The attack is conducted
through continuous monitoring and interaction in order to achieve the defined objectives. It does not mean a
barrage of constant attacks and malware updates. In fact, a “low-and-slow” approach is usually more
Threat – means that there is a level of coordinated human involvement in the attack, rather than a mindless and
automated piece of code. The criminal operators have a specific objective and are skilled, motivated, organized