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The Advanced Persistent Threat You Have: Google Chrome

Todd Heberlein

Technical Report

April 17, 2012

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The Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) has become the watchword for cyber espionage damaging our national and economic security. Do you have APTs inside your organization right now? How can you be confident of your answer? I argue that you probably already have a "benign APT" inside your organization, and your ability to detect, analyze, and understand this benign APT's actions will tell you whether you have a chance to do the same for malicious APTs. That benign APT is Google's software update system. I pose key questions that your organization should be able to answer about this activity. I present a summary of my findings and a somewhat detailed analysis of Google's update activity. To determine if your organization is prepared for a modern threat, you should consider a similar exercise with the data you currently collect and the tools you use to analyze that data. If you fail with the Google APT, you will probably fail with a real APT.

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