Computer Security Resource Center

Computer Security Resource Center

Computer Security
Resource Center

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Advanced Persistent Threat

Acronym(s):
APT
Definition(s):

  An adversary that possesses sophisticated levels of expertise and significant resources which allow it to create opportunities to achieve its objectives by using multiple attack vectors (e.g., cyber, physical, and deception). These objectives typically include establishing and extending footholds within the information technology infrastructure of the targeted organizations for purposes of exfiltrating information, undermining or impeding critical aspects of a mission, program, or organization; or positioning itself to carry out these objectives in the future. The advanced persistent threat: (i) pursues its objectives repeatedly over an extended period of time; (ii) adapts to defenders’ efforts to resist it; and (iii) is determined to maintain the level of interaction needed to execute its objectives.
Source(s): NIST SP 800-39
NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 4

  An adversary with sophisticated levels of expertise and significant resources, allowing it through the use of multiple different attack vectors (e.g., cyber, physical, and deception), to generate opportunities to achieve its objectives which are typically to establish and extend its presence within the information technology infrastructure of organizations for purposes of continually exfiltrating information and/or to undermine or impede critical aspects of a mission, program, or organization, or place itself in a position to do so in the future; moreover, the advanced persistent threat pursues its objectives repeatedly over an extended period of time, adapting to a defender’s efforts to resist it, and with determination to maintain the level of interaction needed to execute its objectives.
Source(s): NIST SP 800-30 (NIST SP 800-39)

  An adversary with sophisticated levels of expertise and significant resources, allowing it through the use of multiple different attack vectors (e.g., cyber, physical, and deception) to generate opportunities to achieve its objectives, which are typically to establish and extend footholds within the information technology infrastructure of organizations for purposes of continually exfiltrating information and/or to undermine or impede critical aspects of a mission, program, or organization, or place itself in a position to do so in the future; moreover, the advanced persistent threat pursues its objectives repeatedly over an extended period of time, adapting to a defender’s efforts to resist it, and with determination to maintain the level of interaction needed to execute its objectives.
Source(s): CNSSI 4009-2015 (NIST SP 800-39)

Synonym(s):

None

See Also: