Highly targeted attacks refer to a category of threats that pertain to intrusions by threat actors or attackers. These attackers aggressively pursue and compromise chosen targets in order to steal sensitive information. These are not conducted through separate attacks; rather, they comprise of a series of attempts over time to get deeper and deeper into a target’s network. Each attempt may either succeed or fail, but the overall goal is to penetrate the target’s network and acquire information. Malware is typically used as an attack vector, but the real threat involves human operators who adapt, adjust, and improve their methods based on the victim’s defenses.
Enterprises should consider targeted attacks a high-priority threat because of the considerable damage they incur. The human and systemic weaknesses that allow an attacker to compromise an organization can be minimized and mitigated with correct practices and solutions. However, these same weaknesses can never be fully resolved.
Trend Micro monitors the targeted attack landscape in order to identify ongoing campaigns and provide additional threat intelligence useful for identifying the existence of these campaigns in an enterprise network. This quarterly report presents the targeted attack campaigns observed and mitigated by Trend Micro based on reported customer cases, as well as our own independently gathered data.
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