Advanced Persistence Threats
Cyber security is a critical area of concern in the modern society. Through the address of certain issues in the contemporary society, certain issues stand out as integral in the creation of value in the online transactions. Notably, some threats are present in utilizing the new technological avenues. Malicious individuals stand the chance of tampering with the safety and the efficiency of tools through the utilization of different channels. The advanced persistence threats are such avenues that one could utilize to get to the company and cause harm. Though advanced system threats, organizations and even national cyber offices always encounter challenges. Thus it is important to know whatever implementations one should undertake, as well as the different installations that they should have in dealing with the myriad of issues that are presented to them (Tankard, 2011). Through the analysis of the modern society and its attributes towards the creation and realization of better discourses in life, it is appropriate that different metrics apply to the determination of how to deal with the APTs and whatever interventions one should use to fight the APTs. Through sufficient protection, an organization sufficiently protects itself from the threat of the APTs.
Definition of APTs
The APTs are a system of attacks that have been famous in the recent decades. They are a coordinated network attack which provides the privileges to an unauthorized person to gain access to a sit and have their presence on the site for an extended period without detection. In most cases, the primary intention of individuals who indulge in the APTs is to carry out data phishing or better still to study the network dynamics and cause a damage which will harm the company in a significant manner. The attacks target businesses that handle high data activities (Fishbein & Traverton, 2004). For instance, the attack can be lodged on the national defense network to ensure that the information which is utilized by the national defense is retrieved from them and used for particular malicious intentions. These attacks are majorly carried out by retrieving data or bringing a significant damage to the companies.
In the simple hacking models that are utilized to get information from companies, the intruders get into the system, find whatever information they want, and cause damage they want, and then they get out of the business network fast. It is nice to deduce that, this is about avoidance of detection by the company’s intrusion detection systems. Therefore, the simple attacks are not close to the advanced persistent threats. The advanced persistent threats take place when the individual has a legitimate entry into the network of the company. After a valid entry into the enterprise network, an individual works to create a backdoor for which they carry out some activities which will favor their next move (Center, 2013). Through these actions, the network is affected, and they can quickly come into the company through the back door which they have established. The advanced model, therefore, calls for precision and the actualization of different metrics which are helpful in determining the manner in which an individual carries out the attacks. Thus, with the establishment of a path through which a criminal can get into the organization and cause harm to their documents, it gets hard to detect their activities quickly.
The actions of the criminal after having the back door is to ensure that they loosely monitor the company and get the data which they want without being realized. Moreover, the attackers can also use the back door of the business network to ensure that they are on the right path towards understanding the different issues that they should tackle well. They get to address their concerns can cause harm to the company promptly, given that they have a back door. Therefore, until the backdoor no longer exists, the criminals will have a path into the enterprise without detection by the intrusion detection systems.
Types of APTs
Different types of APTS take place in the modern society. All the kinds of the threats are critical to the foundation of an organization, as well as the success of the company. Notably, data beaching is a capital offense and one of the few factors that make customers have a mistrust in the companies. With the proper implementation of different ways to get to their target and carry out their activities, the various types of APTs are integral in the identification of cybersecurity measures to help curb the relevant factors. Therefore the following are the kinds of APTs and the reason as to why they qualify as APTs.
- Hydraq- The hacker requires an unpatched computer to view/visit a website of the attackers choice or open a document to which was specifically made by the attacker for example through a malicious email. After this, a back door is created which allows the attacker to take control of the organization intranet. Other computers are not compromised and only one computer is needed to gain access to the sought after information. Google is an example of an organization that was hit by this kind of attack. This matches the description of APTs as the attackers maintain stealth gain access to as much information as possible and do not showcase their ability to compromise the system.(Symantec,2010)
- After hijacking a system of interest, this type of APT caused physical destruction on the computers and equipment. This happed in Iran nuclear plants where centrifuges in the Natazum enrichment plant were failing. The computers in the plant were also crashing and rebooting frequently. (Zetter, 2014). The attackers infected the computers of five outside companies which were connected with the nuclear plant with the hope the virus will finally find its way to the plants computers. This attack matches description of APTs because since the injection of the virus, it was only realized a year later, after causing damage and risking a major catastrophe incase the plant reactors failed. The virus also stayed in the plants intranet and computers where it controlled the whole system.
- RSA SecurID attack- This type of attack involves hacking the employees of an organization in an effort to get their security credentials. If the hacker is not impressed/satisfied by the level of access to the documents or data sought after, the attacker escalates the user accounts to administrative privileges to gain access to servers and privileged information data. The data is moved to internal servers where it is aggregated, compressed and moved. There is still a classic case where the attacker stays in the victims system moving files or accessing unauthorized information over a long period, a characteristic common to APT.
The different types of APTs have a similarity in their manner of action. All the types of APT work in a similar fashion, as the attackers have to establish a presence in the company network and analyze them to get their weak points. Through this, there are certain activities that they easily carry out to harm the organizations which they target. Moreover, most of the APTs exists through the use of malware functions that help them to gain the kind of information that they want. These factors also work to the development of even better initiatives to curb the generation of information and vulnerable points for the company (Brewer, 2014).
Most importantly, the instances of the APTs have a high chance of taking place in the future. Through these avenues, it is notable that they will be major in the society, as well as have more innovative intrusion ways to get into the companies. Thus, this calls for more stringent action on the current policies regarding the APTs. The United States Cyber Security Agencies offer that corporations should have the intrusion detection systems to help establish the anomalies and know whatever they should do to help reduce the damages.
APTs hold a significant threat to the modern society. Through the attacks, companies stand a chance of being taken to levels where they have to begin their network protection systems. Moreover, the APTs ensure that they gain sufficient information from the companies and use them to cause the highest harm possible. Most of the agencies that are victims of these threats, in this case, are in a greater regard in possession of high-class information that also helps them to organize the best avenue of attracting value to different measures.
Brewer, R. (2014). Advanced persistent threats: minimizing the damage. Network Security, 2014(4), 5-9.
Center, M. I. (2013). Apt1: Exposing one of the China’s cyber espionage units. Mandian. com.
Eronen, P. (2016). Russian Hybrid Warfare.
Fishbein, W., & Traverton, G. (2004). Making sense of transnational threats. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC.
Tankard, C. (2011). Advanced determined threats and how to display and deter them. Network Security, 2011(8), 16-19.
Zetter, K. (2014). Countdown to Zero Day (1st ed.). New York: Crown.
Hydraq – An Attack of Mythical Proportions. (2017). Symantec Security Response. Retrieved 29 March 2017, from https://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/hydraq-attack-mythical-proportions