What we do

At McAfee Advanced Threat Research (McAfee ATR), our goal is to identify and illuminate a broad spectrum of threats in today's complex landscape. McAfee ATR researchers are responsible for research in nearly every vertical of threat, including those targeting banking, retail, medical, and other industries. We have experts in vulnerability and threat research who find and report critical vulnerabilities in popular hardware and software and who use a global network of endpoints to track malware campaigns as well as the nation-states and malicious actors behind them. Our red team incorporates and builds upon the techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) uncovered by our researchers while performing engagements where the robustness of both our products and infrastructure are continuously being tested. And our Operational Intelligence team operates globally around the clock, keeping watch of the latest cyber campaigns and actively tracking the most impactful cyber threats. These findings are fed back into the solutions that ultimately power McAfee's products.

McAfee Advanced Threat Research Lab

The Advanced Threat Research Lab provides our researchers access to state-of-the-art hardware and equipment targeting the discovery, exploitation, and responsible disclosure of critical vulnerabilities. The lab also showcases demos of research projects, such as attacks against medical devices, cars, and more.

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McAfee Labs COVID-19 Threats Report: July 2020

In this special edition, we examine cyber threats in the first quarter of 2020 and the evolution of threats related to COVID-19. The report also introduces the cybersecurity community to the new McAfee COVID-19 Threat Dashboard as a resource that extends the impact of the report beyond its publication date.

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Research spotlight

McAfee ATR Delivers Exclusive Ripple20 Vulnerability Detection

McAfee ATR has been working closely with JSOF, the original research team behind Ripple20, to produce exclusive detection logic, signatures and pcaps for the most critical vulnerabilities in the Ripple20 disclosure.

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Operation (노스 스타) North Star A Job Offer That’s Too Good to be True?

McAfee Advanced Threat Research observed an increase in malicious cyber activity targeting the Aerospace & Defense industry. In this campaign, ATR discovered a series of malicious documents containing job postings taken from leading defense contractors.

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Call an Exorcist My Robot’s Possessed!

ATR researchers disclosed four unique vulnerabilities leading to full remote control of a popular robot, providing remote control over the Internet and spying capabilities through the camera.

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Doppleganging up on Facial Recognition Systems

Researchers on ATR emulated state of the art passport systems, and adapted model hacking techniques to bypass facial recognition.

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HVACking: Understanding the Delta Between Security and Reality

McAfee ATR investigated a major building controller and discovered a critical, zero-day vulnerability.

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McAfee Researchers Expose Insights into Netwalker Ransomware

McAfee Operational Intelligence Team researchers provide analysis of enhancements to the Netwalker ransomware, telemetry insights and deep technical analysis.

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Industry research

The McAfee ATR team continually conducts leading-edge research into the threats that impact a variety of industries. Below are a few of the key areas we are currently focused on. They will be updated as new research is released.


McAfee ATR investigates the attack surfaces in autonomous vehicles as well as the machine learning algorithms and physical-to-digital attacks related to them.

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SCADA & Industrial Control Systems

McAfee ATR investigates multiple areas of SCADA and ICS implementations, including human machine interface (HMI) software, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and network protocols, such as MODBUS, ICCP, and others.

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Healthcare & Medical Devices

Our research explores medical devices, networks, protocols, and security practices to help healthcare organizations innovate securely.

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Software-Defined Radio

Our research looks at radio frequency, including near-field communications (NFC and RFID) and wireless transmissions to determine potential impacts to network and proximity devices.

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Browser, Operating System & Enterprise Software

By discovering and disclosing these critical vulnerabilities in the world’s most popular software, the McAfee ATR team continuously reduces the overall attack surface for one of the most attractive targets for cybercriminals.

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Consumer Electronics & IoT

Our researchers look for vulnerabilities in consumer devices to identify threats and guide manufacturers toward more secure products, reducing the potential for attackers to gain access to home or business networks.

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