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Going ATOMIC: Clustering and Associating Attacker Activity at Scale


At FireEye, we work hard to detect, track, and stop attackers. As part of this work, we learn a great deal of information about how various attackers operate, including details about commonly used malware, infrastructure, delivery mechanisms, and other tools and techniques. This knowledge is built up over hundreds of investigations and thousands of hours of analysis each year. At the time of publication, we have 50 APT or FIN groups, each of which have distinct characteristics. We have also collected thousands of uncharacterized 'clusters' of related activity about which we have not yet made any formal attribution claims. While unattributed, these clusters are still useful in the sense that they allow us to group and track associated activity over time.

However, as the information we collect grows larger and larger, we realized we needed an algorithmic method to assist in analyzing this information at scale, to discover new potential overlaps and attributions. This blog...(continued)

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