What are zero day exploits?

22-04-2016

Author: DSwiss

Zero day exploits are very dangerous hacker attacks, which take advantage of unknown security breaches in software programs. Software products of large, well-known companies increasingly become the target of this type of attack.

The name "zero day" refers to the period of time, which passes between the discovery of a security vulnerability and the time when a cyber attack exploiting this vulnerability took place – zero days. In other words, vulnerabilities are not discovered before an attack has already taken place and information may have reached the public. Developers of the targeted software normally react to these cyber attacks by introducing a software update as fast as possible; this in order to fix the identified security issue. As soon as the developers have fixed the issue, one speaks of a so-called “patch”.

Large demand in the dark net

Over the past years, a growing black market has arisen for zero day exploits in the dark net. Here, secret service agencies and private companies purchase information obtained through such attacks for 5- to 6-digit sums. While numerous large companies such as Google pay rewards to anyone notifying them of vulnerabilities in their software, many hackers are attracted to the dark net because they achieve significantly higher profits here.

Increase protection measurements

The tricky thing about zero day exploits is that they allow attackers an easy access into foreign computer systems. Although one cannot protect oneself from all attacks, it is possible to strengthen a system and to minimise potential vulnerabilities. Our article with 13 tips to better protect you against malware pinpoints how you can make your system(s) more secure.

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