Zero-Day Vulnerability

KZero Staff
Oct 19, 2023

A zero-day vulnerability is an undisclosed software vulnerability that vendors or the general public are unaware of. It can prove to be a severe cybersecurity risk since no patch is available to fix the vulnerability, and cybercriminals can exploit it to gain unauthorized access to systems and data. Although anyone can uncover zero-day vulnerabilities, more often, cybercriminals will discover them first and use them for malicious reasons. These vulnerabilities are common in operating systems, web browsers, application software, and firmware.

Examples of Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

Common examples of zero-day vulnerabilities include:

  • RCE vulnerability – RCL or remote code execution vulnerabilities are when cybercriminals carry out remotely an arbitrary code on a target system.
  • SQL vulnerability – This vulnerability allows attackers to inject malicious SQL code into database queries, which can result in stolen data.
  • XSS vulnerability – Cross-site scripting or XSS vulnerability is when cybercriminals inject malicious code into web pages.
  • Buffer overflow vulnerability – This is when a program attempts to write more data to a buffer than it can hold, allowing cybercriminals to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

Examples of Well-known Zero-Day Attacks

Here are some examples of prominent zero-day exploit cyberattacks:

  • Log4j – In 2021, attackers exploited a vulnerability that allowed them to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable servers. Ransomware gangs and state-sponsored actors are reported to have used this vulnerability.
  • Stuxnet – In 2010, Stuxnet targeted Iran’s nuclear program, exploiting some zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Siemens industrial control systems to gain access to and sabotage Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.

How to Protect Yourself from Zero-Day Attacks

Zero-day attacks can be destructive since no update is available to fix the vulnerabilities. However, below are some ways in which you can protect yourself from them:

  • Update software – Keep your web browser and operating system up to date, as this protects your data and network against known cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Exert caution – Be weary of suspicious links, images, URLs, or websites because they can contain malware. Zero-day exploits are often delivered via phishing emails.
  • Protect yourself – Use a security solution that includes zero-day protection, including web filtering and virus protection, that prevents malicious activity from infecting your computer, and a firewall.
KZero Staff

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