Anonymity is the state of being unknown or unrecognized, particularly in relation to one's identity or location. It is often associated with privacy and the protection of personal information.
There are various ways in which anonymity can be achieved, both online and offline. Some examples include:
Using a pseudonym: A pseudonym is a name that is different from one's legal name. By using a pseudonym, individuals can protect their identity and keep their personal information private. For example, an author may use a pseudonym to publish their work without revealing their real name.
Using a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN is a service that encrypts internet traffic and routes it through a remote server, allowing users to access the internet anonymously. This can be useful for individuals who want to protect their online activity from being monitored or tracked.
Using the Tor network: The Tor network is a system designed to allow anonymous communication. It routes traffic through a series of randomly-selected servers, known as "relays", in order to obscure the identity and location of the user. This can be useful for individuals who want to access content or communicate anonymously.
Wearing a mask or disguise: In some cases, anonymity may be achieved by physically concealing one's identity. For example, protestors may wear masks or disguises in order to protect themselves from retribution or identification.
Overall, anonymity is an important aspect of privacy and can be useful for individuals who wish to protect their personal information or exercise their right to free expression without fear of retribution. However, it is important to note that anonymity can also be used for illegal or malicious purposes, and should be used with caution.
Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a type of cyber attack featuring sophisticated malicious actors that target victims for a long period of time, compromising their system and confidential information. Such attackers usually initiate their attack with a phishing email, initial contact, or social engineering, and then use the access that they gain to continuously probe systems and networks for more access. Once a cybercriminal has access to a system, they may remain for months or even years, siphoning data and compromising other networks, applications, and accounts.
Examples of Advanced Persistent Threats:
- Stuxnet: Stuxnet is a computer worm that was initially used in 2010 to target Iran's nuclear weapons program. It gathered information, damaged centrifuges, and spread itself. It was thought to be an attack by a state actor against Iran.
- Duqu: Duqu is a computer virus developed by a nation state actor in 2011. It's similar to Stuxnet and it was used to surreptitiously gather information with the goal of infiltrating networks and sabotage their operations.
- DarkHotel: DarkHotel is a malware campaign that targeted hotel networks in Asia, Europe and North America in 2014. The attackers broke into hotel Wi-Fi networks and used the connections to infiltrate networks of their guests, who were high profile corporate executives. They stole confidential information from their victims and also installed malicious software on victims' computers.
- MiniDuke: MiniDuke is a malicious program from 2013 that is believed to have originated from a state-sponsored group. Its goal is to infiltrate into the target organizations and steal confidential information through a series of malicious tactics.
- APT28: APT28 is an advanced persistent threat group that is believed to be sponsored by a nation state. It uses tactics such as spear phishing, malicious website infiltration and password harvesting to target government and commercial organizations.
- OGNL: OGNL, or Operation GeNIus Network Leverage, is a malware-focused campaign believed to have been conducted by a nation state actor. It is used to break into networks and steal confidential information, such as credit card numbers, financial records, and social security numbers.