An Advanced Persistent Threat is:
A stealthy computer network attack in which a person or group gains unauthorized access to a network and remains undetected for an extended period.
Whoever created Stuxnet is likely considered to be an APT.
The digital war is currently being fought by big players like the U.S., China, Russia, and Iran. There’s no blood on the streets that we see on CNN, and there are no dead bodies, so we don’t viscerally feel the attacks like in traditional warfare.
The U.S. military blocked Internet access to an infamous Russian entity seeking to sow discord among Americans during the 2018 midterms, several U.S. officials said, a warning that the Kremlin’s operations against the United States are not cost-free.
We’re here now, fighting this fight, and it’s real:
Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Russia was continuing “a pervasive messaging campaign” to try to weaken and divide the United States, though officials concluded it was not as aggressive as the 2016 operation by Russia.
Two new U.S. authorities facilitated the move against the Internet Research Agency. A presidential order in August gave Cybercom greater latitude to undertake offensive operations below the level of armed conflict — actions that would not result in death, significant damage or destruction. And a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act passed last year also cleared the way for clandestine cyber-operations that fall below that same threshold, categorizing them as “traditional military activity.”
And we ourselves are presenting ourselves as an APT now:
The operation also was the first real test of Cybercom’s new strategy of “persistent engagement,” issued in April, involving continually confronting the adversary and sharing information with partners. Cybercom in fall 2018 sent troops to Montenegro, Macedonia and Ukraine to help shore up their network defenses, and the Americans were able to obtain unfamiliar malware samples that private security researchers traced to the GRU, according to officials.
Meanwhile, the U.S. seems to be, bit by bit, closing off its digital borders to try to protect itself. Today, MIT announced that it’s breaking off ties with Huawei and ZTE:
“We are sensitive to the federal government’s concerns about technologies being appropriated by other countries to the detriment of U.S. national security,”