Cyber attack, the how and why

Everyday there’s unsolicited email, cookies wanting to be downloaded and new applications to try out.

But is much of this malicious?

Releasing a white paper this week on this subject, Richard Henderson, security strategist for FortiGuard Threat Research & Response Labs, based in Burnaby BC, is collecting some interesting data on the matter.

Making a large blip on Henderson’s radar is advanced targeted attacks, ATAs, also called advanced persistent threats, APTs. They are a big concern for Canada and the world at large.

Here, Henderson describes what they are and how they came about. He talks about financial theft, infiltrating a media outlet and international espionage:

So ATAs come in a variety of forms, and use a variety of means, but ultimately aim to beon your network over a period of time, and they do it quietly.

Quietly, and cleverly.

Off-the-shelf malware: malicious software that is made available for sale. And in a very business-like manner. Henderson explains how in the next clip.

For the most part, larger companies and organisations have the means to protect themselves, but who else do you give your personal information to? Do those smaller companies and organisations have the ways and means to protect your data and ensure that it’s safe?

Here Henderson uses TJ Maxx and there and its strife with online security as a case study:

So as in life, we know to keep our heads up, eyes and ears open and not take everything for granted. And when online, it’s important to be just as diligent. You’d look at a map if you were going somewhere new, and might even ask a police officer for help if you got lost. The same should be done on the Internet.

Before you download that oh-so-appetizing-app, spend a few minutes looking up some reviews, maybe visit the company’s website. And if in doubt, just contact your local Internet security company, Henderson will be glad you got in touch.

 

Wael Elazab

 

For more about APTs, please see waelae.com for further excerpts from this interview.

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