What is ART

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is a carefully planned targeted attack in which attackers invade the network unnoticeably to obtain funds, espionage or sabotage and stay there for a long time.

Usually the target of hackers is a specific institution: a bank, a government or diplomatic body, a defense contractor, an IT company, etc. Attackers who are working on APT do not try to act outright, but take a long time to figure out possible ways to infect the company.

Modern attacks are prepared by large distributed teams of attackers, each of whom has a clear function, and each of them is an expert in something different, said Kai Mikhailov, head of information security at iTPROTECT. The ART team can consist of either its own programmers or those hired from the outside, said Anastasia Tikhonova, head of the Complex threat Research group of the Threat Intelligence Group-IB department.

“Sometimes mercenaries don’t even know who they’re working for.

For example, a programmer is asked to write a piece of code to supposedly do an audit, test the system. But it turns out that a person has created a program that bypasses an antivirus product to withdraw money. Government groups recruit novice hackers right from the student bench,” the expert shared.