What is Zero-Day Exploit (Attacks)?
Zero Day attack or Zero-Day exploit is defined as a vulnerability that exploits any unsafe software that may be outdated and are known to be infection prone.
The security infection in the software is susceptible to malware infection remains unknown and unfixed by the vendor which is further exploited by the malicious cyber criminals from the netherworld even before the vendor becomes aware of it. This type of exploit is called zero day attack.
The zero day exploit can be done to gain illegitimate access to the users' sensitive and confidential data. The unauthorized access can be processed by exploiting the buggy software to infiltrate malware, to perform spyware and keylogger activities.
The Zero-Day vulnerability once identified by the security experts, equate the code to fix the software hole and release patch as soon as possible. The vendors are notified on the latest patch and they are to rectify the software bug by updating the software with the security patch fix. There is alternative option, where the vendors can automate the software updates as and when an update is released. Zero day exploits can also be avoided by choosing an antivirus solution that defies both known and unknown threats.
A Short History of Zero-Day Vulnerability
The virtual underworld market are at its high peaks with hackers' revolutionizing new techniques to cause damage to the business system. Hacking people's computers or any organization’s computers is becoming a profit-making business for the bad guys from the netherworld.
Moris worm was considered the most threatening vulnerabilities from mid 1970s until late 1980s. The code was developed originally to track and measure the Web Traffic, but there was a flaw in the code that infected 10% of the unix systems that were connected to the internet. This brought in the inception of Zero-Day exploits and attacks and has now taken the upper hand in exploiting the security hole of any software. The number of zero day vulnerabilities identified in 2014 was 15435 infecting 3870 software applications from 500 vendors.
The cyber criminals have developed an efficient way of trading such zero day exploits. The underworld market is loaded with bad guys looking for a prey to gain access to valuable data from ethical hackers, government intelligence agencies, security companies through other prudent cyber campaigns.
Latest Zero-Day Exploits
Windows: There was a zero day that was identified by a Google security engineer in the latest support releases of Windows OS. He says the code was not right for the past 20 years.
Java: Oracle came up with emergency patch releases to fix critical vulnerability issues on Java based platform in March. The vulnerability has been the preying target for hackers. Both Windows and Mac devices are considered prone to this risk.
Acrobat Reader: The security experts were surprised to discover a zero day exploit that was created to sneak into sandboxed environment of the Adobe reader 10 and 11 in February. The security experts are convinced that the vulnerable exploit are mostly considered to be virtual spying tool created by government agencies and are highly sophisticated.
How to Prevent Zero Day Exploits
Zero-Day Exploits are unexpected and there can bring about an attack by exploiting the the users vulnerable software and programs.
Following are the deal with Zero Day Attacks
- Update all the applications and software once the security patches are released
- Implement the use of Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect your website. It helps to identify possible website attacks with much accuracy
- Install Internet Security suite that is loaded with smart antivirus, sandboxing techniques, default deny protection, heuristic file behavioral analysis.
Comodo SecureBox for Zero-Day Attack Prevention
Comodo SecureBox offers robust features to protect applications and software from zero day exploits. It takes hold of the containment technology through which the user sessions are executed in an isolated environment keeping the application safe even on endpoints that are infected with malware.