The Most Famous Advanced Persistent Threats in History

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Analysis of the malware by Kaspersky Lab uncovered a sophisticated framework of more than 30 different categories of module, each designed to carry out a specific task, such as identifying the software environment, infecting machines, installing back doors, searching for files, grabbing information, stealing credentials, recording keystrokes or uploading collected files. It also included special software to enable infected machines to be resurrected automatically upon the receipt of an email attachment in the event that the main body of malware should be discovered and removed, or the system patched.

There are contradictory views among experts as to the source, which remains unknown. Analysis of the malware indicated that it was different from the code found in Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame, suggesting that it was created by a different source.

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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