State Actors refer to where a government’s cyber weaponry is used to advantage its own citizens and/or disadvantage citizens of foreign countries. Given the significant resources potentially available, the attack may be referred to as APT – Advanced Persistent Threat.
Note, state actors may buddy up with ‘hacktivists’ (online activists) or organised criminals. This may occur officially, where much of private enterprise is owned or influenced by government. Unofficially, this may occur where government employees moonlight with hacktivists, terrorists or organised criminal gangs leveraging state knowledge and infrastructure and to aid with deniability.
See also attackers.