24 July 2022 | by Xavier Bellekens
A threat actor is an entity that poses a threat to an individual, group, or organization. In the context of cybersecurity, threat actors are typically categorized by their motivation, which can include financial gain, political gain, or ideological gain. Cybersecurity threat actors may also be categorized by their capabilities, which can range from unsophisticated to highly sophisticated. They may operate independently or as part of an organized group.
Treat actors can be individuals, groups, or organizations, and their motivations can be financial, political, or ideological. While the goals of threat actors can vary, they typically fall into one or more of the following categories:
Threat actors often use stolen credentials, malware, social engineering, and other techniques to achieve their goals. While the methods used by threat actors can be sophisticated, their goals are usually relatively straightforward. By understanding the motivations of threat actors, organizations can be better prepared to defend against their attacks.
There are seven common types of threat actors: Hacktivists, Nation-States, Organized Crime, Script Kiddies, Terrorists, Unaffiliated Individuals, and Vulnerable Groups.
Advanced Persistent Threat, nation state actors and cyber threat actors are constantly coming up with new ways to obtain access to systems and data. Here are just a few of the techniques that have been used by threat actors in recent years:
Threat actors use many hacking tools to gain unauthorized access to organization’ networks and steal data. Some of these tools are designed to take advantage of vulnerabilities in computer systems with exploit kits, remote access trojans, while others are used to spoof identities with phishing messages to deliver malware or simply obtain personally identifiable information. Some also launch distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS attacks). Threat actors may also use social engineering techniques to trick unsuspecting users into revealing confidential information or downloading malicious software.
During the exploitation phase, advanced persistent threats and other nation state threat actors have been known to use zero day vulnerabilities, however, cyber criminals, use a wide range of techniques, such as using fake LinkedIn profiles to socially engineer legitimate users into opening malicious files to gain access to a computer or service or for collecting intelligence ahead of an attack. This further highlights the need for good cyber hygiene within organization.
However, once inside the organization’s network, malicious threat actors are known for using windows utilities to obtain information about the organization’s security, the network, gain access to computer system and/or move laterally. Aside of course from using in-network reconnaissance techniques and tools.
Some of these windows utilities are listed below.
The government and public sector work together to identify threat actors. They share information and resources to help identify potential threats. By identifying potential threats, they can take steps to protect the public. Government officials have access to information that the public does not about nation state threat actors, so they are able to identify potential threats before they happen. The government also works with private companies to identify a potential threat actor. Furthermore, private companies have more resources and manpower than the government, so they are able to help the government identify potential threats, by monitoring the dark web, terrorist groups chats, cyber criminals forums, critical infrastructure leaks, or any login credentials leaked on the internet. This partnership between the government and private companies helps to keep the public safe and secure.
The best defense is a good offense. That’s especially true when it comes to cybersecurity. Cyber criminals, insider threats and nation states are becoming more sophisticated and active, and they’re constantly looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities. The best way to stay ahead of them is to adopt an active defense strategy. That means being proactive, rather than reactive, in your approach to security. Rather than waiting for hackers to strike, take a proactive approach.
The following are the first strategies you should put in place for avoiding threat actors:
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With Lupovis Snare, you can be confident that your organization’s data and assets are well-protected against even the most sophisticated cyber threats. Contact us today to learn more about how Lupovis can help keep your business safe and secure.