The 3 Bs is the term commonly used to refer to the trio of bribery, burglary, and blackmail. The 3 Bs are most commonly used by intelligence agencies and/or APTs as some of the easiest alternatives to trying to break into encrypted documents or communications. This is because encryption is so difficult to break that it is much easier to use other, somewhat primitive methods to bypass it instead. Since using brute-force methods to break encryption are unlikely to produce results particularly quickly, if at all, getting through the encryption using other methods have been found to be among the most effective solutions.

Burglary refers to breaking into a building in order to look around for possibly noted passwords or hard drives in order to find out clues to get around the encryption with.

Bribery and blackmail refer to using incentives and/or threats to get a person who has access to the unencrypted targeted data or communications and get them to hand over a method of accessing the desired data.


Last updated: 22 May 2023