A clear-eyed look at APT

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Security is occasionally susceptible to two afflictions: 1. Hype. 2. Semantic arguments.

"Advanced persistent threat," or APT, hits the exacta, to borrow a horse-racing term. Because victims, marketers and journalists alike seized the term APT with gusto (hype), an inevitable backlash has occurred (semantic arguments).

Anyone who has suffered a breach has great incentive to characterize the perp as both advanced and persistent. After all, admitting you've been hacked at random by a casual script kiddie might be looked upon unfavorably by your CEO, or a civil judge, or the Securities and Exchange Commission, or your shareholders.

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