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The most notorious hacker groups

These groups tend to operate in the domain of advanced persistent threat (APT), a fairly self explanatory term for sophisticated hacking attempts that are continuously ongoing, usually targeting a person, business, or country.

APT groups vary in motive: they could be conducting cyber espionage for political or corporate information (usually in sensitive industries or public sector bodies), they could be state-sponsored, they could be directly a function of a state, or they could be simply tolerated within a state.

An APT group might be financially motivated, engaging in complex cyber heists. Or they could simply want to spread misinformation and chaos.

In any case, they often use customised, proprietary malware tools and have sophisticated means of attack. Often they run their own (sometimes vast) command and control infrastructure, and deliberately make attribution difficult – either by masking the location of the attacks or as a means to plant blame on another potential culprit, in other words, a ‘false flag’ operation.