State-sponsored hackers and hacktivists such as Anonymous are responsible for the current pandemic of advanced persistent threats (APT) that companies are facing, according to a leading security expert.
Speaking to V3 on Tuesday, security company Bit9's chief executive Patrick Morley said firms needed to be aware of these threats as they consider their security policies with regards APT threats.
"I think there are two big things contributing to the threat, the first are hacktivists, of which Anonymous are the best known; and then the nation state threat," said Morley.
APT threats refer to cyber attacks which are mounted with a specific end goal, meaning the attackers will persistently continue to assault their intended victim until their aims are reached.
Morley said both types of hackers were dangerous, but warned that in recent months there had been a marked increase in the number of state-sponsored attacks targeting the US and Europe.
"Their agenda is all about intellectual property," he explained.
Morley accused the Chinese government of actively supporting its private sector through a series of state-sponsored cyber spying campaigns.
"I think there are a lot of state actors, but the fundamental difference is the public, private partnership going on in China," said Morley.
"Spying is one of the oldest professions, everyone wants to know what their competitors are doing. I think one of the changes we've seen [in China] is an increased focus on finding IP from other nations."
Despite highlighting hacktivists and China as two of the biggest threats, the two groups are currently at odds with one another, with Anonymous promising to "breach China's Great Firewall" earlier in April.
At the time of publication the Chinese Embassy has not responded to V3's requests for comment on Morley's claims.
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