The Most Famous Advanced Persistent Threats in History

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There are several lessons to be drawn from the RSA incident:

  • It is possible for security products to be compromised through an attack on the supplier. Contingency plans should, therefore, be considered for possible breaches of this type where the consequences would be highly damaging.
  • The incident demonstrated that even the most security-aware companies handling highly sensitive material can have weaknesses in their security posture. There is certainly an element of truth in the old adage that “the cobbler’s children have the worst shoes.”
  • With speedy identification and response, it is possible for the immediate damage from an intrusion to be contained. RSA acted swiftly, decisively and candidly to minimize the consequences to customers.
  • The incident demonstrates that enterprises with good crisis management and public relations can ride out even the most severe incidents. RSA is still in business today and has maintained a good reputation.

Many of today’s most destructive advanced persistent threats (APTs) were conceived a decade ago, so enterprises that rely on most traditional approaches to cybersecurity are unlikely to succeed against the next generation of attacks. This is one of the cautions in a new book published by global IT association ISACA in cybersecurity awareness month.

Advanced Persistent Threats: How to Manage the Risk to Your Business advises that traditional defenses such as firewalls and anti-malware are not up to the challenge of today’s APTs and that organizations need to add skills, processes and technology to their cybersecurity arsenal.

While new tools are needed to combat ever changing security threats, it is helpful to examine the history of the APT, because it is possible to derive many important lessons for defending against them in the future. The earliest use of the term “advanced persistent threat” emerged from the U.S. government sector in 2005, describing a new, deceptive form of attack that targeted selected employees and tricked them into downloading a file or accessing a website infected with Trojan horse software. This slideshow summarizes known facts, anecdotal evidence and reported claims behind some of the most well known attacks experienced over the last 15 years.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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