Question? Call Us 858-777-0040
Tech Kahunas Header Logo

What are Threats and Threat Actors?

What are threats and threat actors?
Download Tech Kahunas new ebook "The Accountant's Guide to the FTC Safeguards Rule"

An adversary or threat actor is the malicious person behind the machine:

  • Nation-state hackers – as opposed to a hacker operating in a foreign country, these actors are state-sponsored. Some of them are characterized as Advanced Persistent Threats.
  • Cyberterrorists – these can be state-sponsored as well, but are classified according to their targets, e.g. water, power, government infrastructure.
  • Legal hackers – generally law enforcement or other government agencies.
  • Script kiddies – this derogatory name refers to these actors’ use of pre-built tools or malware to attack targets, often without much knowledge of what they are doing. Some of them can be thrill seekers.
  • Hacktivists – these actors act against their targets for political or social reasons.
  • Suicide hackers – these actors are insiders at companies who may have been terminated or resigned, but want to cause damage to their targets.
  • White hats, black hats, and grey hats – these are more general terms regarding the reasons for the hacking:

    White hats are the “good guys,” usually working for a company that they operate in.

    Black hats are the “bad guys,” usually working for self-interest and destructive.

    Grey hats are those whom it is hard to classify in their operations.

What Are Their Methods?

The threat is the actual method or tool the attacker uses:

  • Phishing, spearphishing, vishing, whaling, smishing, watering hole – variations on social engineering tactics
  • Malware – these are only a few of the available malicious software:
    • Viruses
    • Trojans
    • Worms
    • Rootkits or other exploit kits
    • Spyware
    • Adware
  • Backdoors
  • Distributed Denial of Service
  • Ransomware
  • SQL injection, Cross-site Request Forgery – these are attacks on vulnerable websites.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack
  • DNS attack
  • Rogue access point
  • Zero-day exploit
  • Tailgating
  • Shoulder-surfing
  • Dumpster diving

Conclusion: Cyberattacks Are Evolving

This list is not exhaustive. You need to view threat resources for your market as often as you can. You need an expert service provider who knows the threat landscape and is prepared to meet your enemies and your staff head on.


Tech Kahunas is a San Diego Managed IT Services provider which provides IT support and services like 24/7 monitoring, data backup and restore, and malware protection.

Tech Kahunas will help you Defend Your Island. Set up a free 30-minute Strategy Session with us now.

Download Tech Kahunas new ebook "The Accountant's Guide to the FTC Safeguards Rule"


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Peter Bondaryk
Peter Bondaryk

Business Owner's Guide
to Cybersecurity
ebook business owner's guide to cybersecurity
Latest posts
Follow us

Get Our FREE Accountant's Guide to the FTC Safeguards Rule Ebook!

The New FTC Requirements
That Will Change the Way You
Do Business

Get Your FREE Copy!​

Sign up to learn how you can protect against cybercrime

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed 

If today your business was hacked and you were at risk of losing it all...
Do you have a plan?
We will not spam, rent, or sell your information.

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed 

Join our newsletter and get a 20% discount
Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue