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Zero-day vulnerability: What it is, and how it works

Zero-day vulnerability: What it is, and how it works

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1. Zero-day definitions:

The term “zero-day” refers to a newly discovered software vulnerability and the fact that developers have zero days to fix the problem because it has been — and has the potential to be — exploited by hackers. Sometimes written as 0-day, zero-day definitions run the gamut: A zero-day vulnerability...

2. What makes a vulnerability a zero-day?

Security software vulnerabilities can come in many forms, including unencrypted data, broken algorithms, bugs, or weak passwords. What makes a vulnerability a zero-day is when someone interested in mitigating the flaw is unaware of it, meaning an official patch or update to fix the flaw doesn’t e...

3. How do zero-day attacks work?

Zero-day attacks begin with zero-day vulnerabilities, meaning flaws or holes in security software. These can result from improper computer or security configurations or programming errors by developers themselves. The whole notion of a zero-day attack is that cyber attackers exploit these vulnera...

4. Who conducts zero-day attacks?

While software developers are constantly looking to patch security vulnerabilities we see this in the form of software updates cyberattackers are constantly seeking to exploit them. And there are many types of cyberattackers, each with its own motivations: Cybercriminals or hackers are often fina...

5. Who are the victims of zero-day exploits?

Victims, including individuals businesses, or organizations government agencies, And if you’re an everyday computer user, a zero-day vulnerability can pose serious security risks because exploited malware can infect operating systems, web browsers, applications, open-source components, hardware, ...

6. How to identify zero-day vulnerabilities:

Oftentimes, zero-day vulnerabilities are detected when it’s too late — when they’re exploited, that is. There are some more technical ways to identify zero-day vulnerabilities, including scanning internet traffic, examining codes of incoming files, and leveraging malware detection methods. For ev...

7. How to avoid zero-day exploits and vulnerabilities:

Even as we can’t always detect these vulnerabilities, we can protect our devices and data in the event an exploit does occur. Consider these proactive and reactive security measures. Keep software up to date to ensure security patches are in place and to reduce the risk of malware infection. Limi...

8. Examples of zero-day exploits:

inally, don’t underestimate the threat of zero-day exploits. Cybercriminals will seek to exploit security holes and gain access to your devices and your personal information. They can use your information for a range of cybercrimes including identity theft, bank fraud, and ransomware. Just consid...

Google Chrome, 2021:

Google Chrome fell victim to several zero-day threats, attributed to a bug in JavaScript.

Zoom, 2020:

Hackers exploited a vulnerability in the video conferencing platform that allowed them to take remote control over PCs.

Apple, 2020:

A bug in Apple’s iOS software allowed hackers to compromise devices from remote locations.

Microsoft Windows, 2019:

Government agencies across Eastern Europe saw their Microsoft Windows software exploited, resulting in suspicious apps being installed, data changed, and programs compromised.

Microsoft Word, 2017:

Individual computer users saw their bank accounts compromised after opening a Microsoft Word document containing zero-day malware.

Stuxnet, 2010:

A self-replicating computer worm disrupted Iranian nuclear plants, taking control of computers and altering the speed of centrifuges in the plants, ultimately shutting them down.

Stuxnet isn’t only one of the earliest zero-day exploits used, but it’s also one of the most famous. The...

Zero-day Malware

zero-day malware or more broadly as a zero-day exploit. And they might deliver this by way of social engineering tactics or phishing. Once the zero-day exploit is downloaded on devices, the zero-day attack is executed. The havoc that ensues can include: Data is stolen Hackers taking remote contro...

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