A-Z Glossary of Information Security and Social Engineering Terms

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

A prolonged attack when an attacker gains access to a system or network for a prolonged period of time. The motivation for this category of attack is usually data exfiltration. Common targets include the financial sector, government departments or agencies. One such victim was the New York Times which discovered an APT had been residing on its network for months. Security researchers at FireEye allege that Chinese hackers have targeted several foreign affairs ministries in Europe. Social engineering tactics, such as spear-phishing, appear to be commonly used on employees to launch APT attacks.

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