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Threat Actor Profile - APT1





Threat Actor: APT1; AKA "Comment Crew", "Shanghai Group"


Date of Activity: ~2006-Present


Area of Operations: Global Hacking Operations


Overview: APT1; AKA "Shanghai Group" is a particular group of hackers believed to be based in China. The group, also known as "Comment Crew" has been active since at least 2006 and is believed to be sponsored by the Chinese government.


APT1 is known for its advanced persistent threat (APT) tactics, which involve sustained, long-term cyber espionage campaigns against specific targets. The group has been linked to a number of high-profile hacks, including the breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2015, which resulted in the theft of sensitive information on millions of government employees.


APT1 is thought to operate out of a building in Shanghai belonging to the Chinese military and is believed to have a staff of hundreds of highly trained hackers. The group is known for its sophisticated techniques, including the use of zero-day exploits and custom malware to gain access to target networks.


APT1s ability to operate with impunity has raised concerns about the potential for state-sponsored cyber espionage and cyber warfare.

  • Nation-state tool set; to include exploits, implants, and RATs

  • Sophisticated Social engineering

  • The creation of fake organizations and brands to evoke legitimacy

  • Supply-chain interdiction and attacks

  • Implementing encrypted communications and co-opted infrastructure

  • Long term access to networks with deep access

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