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Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Levels and Goals

by Lawrence Pingree  |  July 18, 2013  |  1 Comment

Carrying forward an idea to categorize advanced targeted attackers proposed by Eric Ahlm here at Gartner, I am proposing the following profiles and “levels” of attacker. Feel free to comment or propose other ways to portray this information. If you are interested in defending against or detecting advanced targeted attacks, see my research titled “Best Practices for Mitigating Advanced Persistent Threats”.

Level 1

Attacker Profile: Organized Crime

Motivation: In it for the easy money targets

Level 2

Attacker Profile: Industrial Espionage

Motivation: They want your intellectual property, trade secrets, customer data, business strategies etc.

Level 3

Attacker Profile: Activist or terrorist groups

Motivation: They want to make a statement, cause harm

Level 4

Attacker Profile: Nation States

Motivation: Economic, Political or Militarily

Category: security  

Lawrence Pingree
Research Director
6+ years with Gartner
19 years industry experience

Lawrence Pingree is a Research Director in Gartner's Security Technology and Service provider group. His responsibilities include providing critical insights to both end users and technology providers. He closely tracks the information security markets, technologies, technology and adoption trends, and competitive market dynamics.… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Levels and Goals

  1. Dave Cross says:

    Level 5


    Motivation: Theft, disgruntled…….mischief etc

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