Illusive Blog March 4, 2021

Illusive Unveils its Premiere of "A View from the Attacker"

By Claire Trimble
Active Defense, Threat Detection, View from the Attacker

Do you ever wonder what an attacker experiences when hacking your environment? Usually, we see the view from the blue team, whose task is to protect the organization’s critical assets against any kind of threat. But aren’t you curious about what the red team might be up to as well?  In order to beat an attacker, wouldn’t it make sense that you have to think like one? At Illusive, we pride ourselves on having developed a solution that is proven to beat attackers; after all, we were founded by former nation-state attackers whose DNA at the core is to think like the attackers they were trained to defeat.

For the first time, Illusive is unveiling an experiential campaign that brings us into the world of an attacker’s mind, demonstrating not only how attacks are launched but also showing how easy it can be to bypass common security tools. Over the course of 2021, Illusive will deliver this experience starting with the premiere of our “View from the Attacker” short film, and includes:

  • An Illusive cyber range built for former hacker Alissa Knight, where she recorded her experiences going head-to-head with Illusive’s active defense.
  • Illusive’s R&D team will provide an attacker play-by-play approach on how to disable perimeter tools (be forewarned: this one is going to both shock and frighten you!).
  • We will deliver an experiential gamification platform for security professionals to experience active defense for themselves.

Why does it matter for security professionals to see through at attacker’s eyes in these ways?

Attackers perceive networks in ways we don’t always have visibility to see.  

While IT teams see a complete hierarchy of structured network connections, attackers see a partial picture, based on the information they can uncover. This information includes users, hosts, and shared locations.

Inside a compromised network, attackers slowly and quietly collect data and use it to execute lateral movements, expanding their hold over the network until their mission is complete. Throughout an attack, attackers constantly seek answers to the following questions: Where am I? Where is my target? How can I get there? Sophisticated attackers use stored information such as credentials and asset locations to build a map of a network, identify attack vectors, and move laterally to reach their objective.

An attacker’s objective will vary; it could be a targeted ransomware attack looking to hit their payload quickly, encrypt data and get out, or it could be a sophisticated nation-state attack looking to move low and slow in an environment to achieve persistent access and IP. Either way, landing that first beachhead and escalating privileges as they move laterally often happens exactly the same way.

On March 31st, Illusive provides a front row seat as former hacker and cyber influencer Alissa Knight takes us inside the mind of an attacker, inviting us into her world and experience as she goes head-to-head with Illusive’s active defense. You are a fly on the wall as Alissa attempts to move towards the crown jewels she is hoping to compromise and brings out her full arsenal of attacker tactics and techniques to do so. Spoiler alert – the “f” bomb is dropped frequently as Alissa’s frustration rises and Illusive ultimately shuts her down.

In the film, you will watch Alissa’s journey as:

  • She is confused and disoriented by hundreds of deceptions that look and feel like genuine data.
  • Her mission is continuously thwarted as she tries to escalate and move laterally to reach her chosen targets.
  • Attempts to collect data and execute lateral movements are continuously blocked or diverted in real time.
  • She believes her attempts to quietly move low and slow are undetected – meanwhile Illusive’s console lights up like a Christmas tree with alerts.

We will also be hosting a Q and A session on March 31st with Alissa and the Illusive experts that were watching her every move, providing a behind the scenes look at how the film was made. Sign up here to reserve your seat for the event and get notified when the film is released.

To beat attackers, you have to think like an attacker. In 2021, Illusive will show you how to do both. Stay tuned for more insights on attacker tricks of the trade coming soon!