Advanced Persistent Threat Life-cycle

Threat Life-cycle

Advanced Persistent Threat Life-cycle landscape, organizations ought to concentrate a lot of on AP threat life-cycle. Advanced persistent threats could target organization’s IT assets, money assets, holding, and name. The ordinarily used security and defensive controls won’t do to stop and defend from such attacks. Attackers behind such attacks adapt their TTPs supported the vulnerabilities and security posture of the target organization. It helps attackers evade the protection controls of the target organization. Associate in nursing understanding of AP threat life-cycle helps analysts perform analysis on varied attacks and build effective defensive mechanisms to thwart such AP threat life-cycle attacks. To launch Associate in Nursing APT attack, attackers follow an explicit set of phases to focus on, penetrate, and Associate in Nursing exploit an organization’s network. Attackers should follow every section and therefore the steps enclosed in every section with success compromise and gain access w the large system.

Discussed below area unit varied phases enclosed in a very noble metal Life-cycle:


The first section of the APT life cycle is preparation, wherever Associate in Nursing oppose defines the merge, performs in depth analysis on the target, organizes the team, builds or attains IDO is, sometimes need a high level of preparation as the oppose cannot rake an opportunity of obtaining detected by the target’s network security. Further resources and knowledge could also be necessary before polishing off the attack. Associate in nursing assaulter has to perform extremely complicated operations before corporal punishment the attack arrange on the target organization, Advanced Persistent Threat Life-cycle.

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 2.Initial Intrusion

The next part involves attempting to enter into the target network. The common technique used for AN initial intrusion is thru spear phishing emails or exploiting vulnerabilities on public-ally out there servers. The spear phishing emails sometimes look legitimate with attachments containing feasible malware or malicious link. These malicious links will send to the website where target’s application and software system are compromised by the assailant victimization varied exploit techniques. Sometimes, an offender might also use social engineering techniques to assemble info from the victim. once getting info from the target, attackers use that info to launch any attacks on the target network. during this phase, malicious code or the malware is deployed into the target system to initiate AN outward affiliation.


The primary objective of this section is the growth of access to the target network and getting credentials. If the attacker’s aim is to take advantage of and gain access to one system, then there’s no would like for enlargement. However, in most of the cases, the target of AN offender is to access multiple systems employing a single compromised system. during this state of affairs, the primary step performed by AN offender once AN initial compromise is to expand the access to the target systems. the most objective of the assailant in this phase Is to get body login credentials to step up privileges and to realize any access to the systems within the network. For this, the offender tries to get body privileges for the initial target system from cached credentials and use these credentials to achieve and maintain access to different systems within the network. MIM attackers ar unable to get valid document s, then they use different techniques like social engineering, exploiting vulnerabilities, and distribution of infected USB devices. once possessing the target’s account credentials, movement of AN offender within the network is tough to trace, because the assaulter uses the legitimate username and secret. This growth part supports alternative phases of the APT Life cycle. In search and ex-filtration part, the offender will get the targeted information by gaining access to the systems. Attackers determine the systems that may be used for putting in persistence mechanisms and determine acceptable systems within the network which will be leveraged to ex filtration information.


This section involves maintaining access to the target’s system, starting from evading termination security devices like IDS .and firewall, stepping into the network, establishing access to the system, and to the time once there’s no more use of the information and also the assets. To maintain access to the target system, attackers follow sure techniques or procedures that embrace usage of tailored malware and repackaging tools. These tools are designed in such some way that they can’t be detected by the antivirus or the protection tools of the target. to keep up perseverance, attackers use custom malware that includes services, executable, and drivers put in on varied systems within the target network. in a different way to keep up persistence is finding locations for putting in the malware , that don’t seem to be examined of times. These locations embrace routers, servers, firewalls, printers, and therefore the like.

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5.Search and Exfiltration

In this part, associate degree wrongdoer achieves the last word goal of network exploitation that is usually gaining access to a resource that ‘can be used for playing additional attacks or exploitation that resource for a few gains. Generally, attackers target specific knowledge or

Document before launching the attack. However in some cases, attackers determine that the crucial knowledge is offered within the target network, however they’re unaware of the placement of the information. The common methodology for search and ex filtration is to steal all the information together with necessary documents, emails, shared drives, and alternative sort of knowledge gift nut the target network. Knowledge can even be gathered exploitation machine-controlled tools like network sniffers. Attackers use secret writing techniques to evade knowledge loss interference (OLP) technologies within the target network.


This is the last part, wherever associate degree wrongdoer performs sure steps to stop detection and take away proof of compromise. Covering tracks embrace evading detection, eliminating proof of intrusion, and concealment the target of the attack and wrongdoer details. In some cases, covering tracks conjointly embrace manipulating the information within the target surroundings to mislead the safety analysts.

It is imperative for attackers to form the system seem because it was before access was gained and therefore the network were compromised. Therefore, it’s essential for associate degree wrongdoer to hide the tracks and stay unobserved by the safety analysts. this permits them to vary any file attributes back to their original state info listed, like file size is simply attribute info contained within the file.

Questions related to this topic

  1. What are the 4 types of cyber attacks?
  2. What is an example of an internal threat?
  3. Which of the following is a common technique a malicious insider might use to gain access to confidential information?
  4. What is the most effective way to detect and stop social engineering attacks?
  5. What is Advanced Persistent Threat Life-cycle?

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