Josef Ressel Center for Unified Threat Intelligence on Targeted Attacks (TARGET)

The Josef Ressel Center for Unified Threat Intelligence on Targeted Attacks (TARGET) is a research institution operated by the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. Its mission is to explore novel techniques for detecting and mitigating targeted attacks on IT systems. The research objective is to develop a unified methodology for the detection and mitigation of this new class of cyber-threats.

Advanced and Targeted Attacks

In recent years, a new generation of threats has emerged. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) as well as Advanced Targeted Attacks (ATAs) can be characterized as highly targeted to one specific entity. These types of attacks are driven by different motivations and often cause significantly more damage than bulk attacks; often they are performed for espionage or sabotage and are orchestrated by experts. Several cases in recent history have shown that targeted attacks are sometimes able to perform their malicious activity undiscovered by their victims for many months or even years. The prime example, Stuxnet, which targeted PLCs (programmable logic controller) of sensitive industrial systems, was active for at least 3 years until discovery. It has to be concluded that today’s threat mitigation strategies are not effective against targeted attacks that are increasingly affecting less prominent targets (e.g. industrial espionage targeting smaller companies).

Applied Research

Our research focuses on both novelty and practical application.

Cyber Security

We aim to improve cyber security of businesses and individuals alike.


As part of St. Pölten UAS (FH St. Pölten), research results directly benefit our students.

TARGET is funded by the Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft (CDG) and a number of industry partners.

  • CyberTrap GmbH
  • SBA Research gGmbH
  • LG Nexera Business Solutions AG
Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft (CDG)
04/01/2015 – 03/31/2020