One of the ironies within the cyber security realm is that some of the most troubling and dangerous cyber attacks are often the least noticed and publicized. That’s just the way the perpetrators of targeted attacks want it.
Consider the varying goals of different types of hackers, thieves and other online criminals. If you’re using a distributed denial of service attack to take down major websites or encrypting critical data and demanding a ransom to release it, subtly isn’t exactly the name of your game.
By contrast, the overarching goal – to date, at least – of targeted attack groups is to gather intelligence, ranging from government and military secrets to corporate intellectual property. The longer these attackers can go undetected and unidentified, the better for perpetuating their stealthy activities.