“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
The immortal words of Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu were written in an age of sword and steel, but they hold true for modern cyber warfare. As security professionals combat various threats, they must look not only at the tactical abilities of malware deployed against them, but also at the strategy of the cyber opponent operating the malware.
While tactics such as the malware’s ability to steal sensitive information and avoid detection are fairly easy to observe through technical analysis, understanding an opponent’s strategy requires deeper intelligence and analysis.
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The fraudsters behind the Dyre malware offer a great example of a cyber opponent combining superior tactics with superb strategy. While much has been written about the technical abilities of the Dyre Trojan in order to truly assess the nature of the threat, banks must also understand the Dyre fraudsters’ strategy of going after high-value targets and constantly penetrating new geographies, all while remaining stealthy.
This infographic demonstrates how the fraudsters’ tactics — and the Dyre Trojan — have evolved to serve its strategy.