Sophisticated-Sinister-Stealth Attacks

Sophisticated-Sinister-Stealth Attacks

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-1528-6.ch002
OnDemand:
(Individual Chapters)
Available
$37.50
No Current Special Offers
TOTAL SAVINGS: $37.50

Abstract

APTs typically involve a series of carefully planned and coordinated steps, including reconnaissance, initial compromise, establishment of a foothold, and lateral movement to other systems. To carry out their objectives, APT actors may use various techniques, including social engineering, spear-phishing, and exploitation of software vulnerabilities. APTs are often launched by nation-state actors or well-funded criminal organizations, who have the resources and expertise to carry out complex attacks. Detecting and responding to APTs requires a multi-layered approach that includes robust cybersecurity measures, such as network segmentation, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and endpoint protection. Additionally, organizations must have a strong incident response plan in place to quickly identify and contain APT attacks before they cause significant damage. These aspects are discussed in detail in this chapter.
Chapter Preview
Top

1. Introduction

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are sophisticated, targeted attacks aimed at stealing sensitive information or disrupting critical systems. These attacks are often silent, meaning they can go undetected for long periods of time, making them particularly dangerous. APT (What is Advance Persistent Threat, IGI-Global, n.d.) is a sophisticated, targeted attack that is designed to gain unauthorized access to a specific network or system for the purpose of stealing sensitive information, disrupting operations, or both. APTs are often carried out by well-funded and highly skilled threat actors, such as nation-state actors, cybercriminals, or hacktivists. Unlike traditional cyber-attacks, which are typically opportunistic and automated, APTs are carefully planned and executed over a period, often using a variety of tactics to evade detection. These attacks are also persistent, meaning that the attackers may remain undetected within the target network for weeks, months, or even years, allowing them to carry out their objectives without being detected.

APTs are a growing concern for organizations of all sizes and across all industries, as they can result in significant financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal liability. To defend against APTs, organizations must employ a multi-layered security approach, including network segmentation, intrusion detection and prevention, and endpoint protection. Additionally, organizations must have a strong incident response plan in place to quickly identify and contain APT attacks before they can cause significant damage. APTs are considered sophisticated attacks because they are highly targeted and designed to evade traditional security measures. APT actors are often well-funded and highly skilled, using a variety of techniques to gain access to a target network or system and remain undetected for extended periods of time.

Unlike traditional cyber-attacks, which are often automated and indiscriminate, APTs are carefully planned and executed over a period of weeks, months, or even years. This requires a significant level of expertise and resources, as well as the ability to adapt and evolve as security measures are improved. APTs also involve a series of carefully planned and coordinated steps, such as reconnaissance, initial compromise, establishment of a foothold, and lateral movement to other systems. APT actors may use various techniques, including social engineering, spear-phishing, and exploitation of software vulnerabilities, to achieve their objectives. Because APTs are designed to remain undetected, they can be challenging to detect and mitigate. This is why they are often considered among the most sophisticated cyber-attacks, requiring organizations to employ a multi-layered security approach and have a strong incident response plan in place to quickly identify and contain APT attacks before they can cause significant damage.

Here are brief descriptions of the top APT attacks that have occurred in the past few years:

  • SolarWinds Attack (Krener, 2023): In December 2020, it was discovered that Russian state-sponsored hackers had compromised SolarWinds, a popular IT management software, and inserted a malicious code that gave them access to thousands of organizations, including multiple US government agencies.

  • Hafnium Attack (Deuby, 2023): In early 2021, a Chinese state-sponsored group known as Hafnium targeted on-premises Microsoft Exchange servers, exploiting several zero-day vulnerabilities to gain access to email accounts and sensitive data of thousands of organizations worldwide.

  • REvil Ransomware Attack (Constantin, 2021): In July 2021, the REvil ransomware group, believed to be based in Russia, targeted Kaseya, a US-based software provider, and exploited a vulnerability to deploy ransomware to over 1,500 businesses worldwide, demanding a $70 million ransom payment.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset