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When building a security policy (and implementing it) you must know who you are defending against. I would like to use proper terms, if they're already defined. I'm imagining a list such as:

  • Passive attackers - Those who aren't interested in you specifically but might intercept your data (like the NSA if it doesn't have an interest in you)
  • Uninterested attackers - Those that aren't interested in you in particular, but are actively testing your defenses. I would classify automated SSH attacks and port scans in this category (looking for easy targets, etc).
  • Active, interested attackers - People actively trying to break your security to get inside the network. Pentesters or someone you pissed off in IRC.

That's all I have. Is it enough, or is there a level of finnese I've missed? Is there any group of attackers I've completely forgot about?

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This might be of interest, although a bit too "academic" to fit into corporate policy somehow –  rath Sep 12 '13 at 1:43
    
the NSA doesn't have an interest in you, they did try, but its just not working out –  this.josh Sep 12 '13 at 6:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Plenty of taxonomies already exist. If you're writing and implementing a security policy, following an ISO 27000 nomenclature may prove convenient.

In any case, Wikipedia got a pretty exhaustive list of various standard listing threats to IT infrastructure, of which attackers are only a subset.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threat_%28computer%29

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