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Definition of Zero Day Vulnerability

Zero day vulnerability refers to bug in the software that remains unidentified by the vendor. Hackers manage to discern the security bug and exploit it to infect the tampered software with a malicious code even before the vendor realises the security flaw in the software. This kind of exploit is termed as zero day vulnerability as the software bug remains unknown to developers.

When most people hear about zero-day malware, they wonder what the difference is between a zero day vulnerability and a zero-day exploit or attack. They aren’t technically the same and at Comodo, we want to ensure you understand the differences and how it can affect your POS security.

What is Zero Day Attack?

Zero day attacks are those attacks that target and infect the vulnerable outdated software applications. Vulnerable software can be identified by general users, security experts and researchers and most often hackers. The zero day attack is stationed when the hackers find the software vulnerable keeping it a secret mission from disclosing the zero day vulnerability until the exploit is completed from their end.

What is Zero Day Exploit?

The hackers exploit the weakness found in the software as and when it becomes vulnerable. The zero day exploit is an illegible code that activates the susceptible vulnerability and implements the malicious action on the vulnerable software or application while the user is unaware of.

Zero Day Vulnerability

How to find Zero Day Attack

The Zero day exploits can be detected using the following techniques

  • Signature-based detection technique: The exploit detection is done in relevance to the signatures that has been already built previously known exploits.
  • Statistical-based detection technique: This is a detection approach that depends on historical data of the attack profiles.
  • Behavior-based detection technique:The exploit detection is based on the examination of how the exploit interacts with the target.
  • Hybrid-based detection technique The technique is a combination of various detection methods.

Conventional zero day methods implements the use of endpoint protection techniques which are just not enough to defend the zero day exploits and it requires to integrate and enforce multi-layered detection techniques for complete exploit detection solution.

Analysis and Impact of Three Zero Day Attacks

  • A recently discovered zero-day vulnerability, which affects Adobe Flash Player latest versions, helps install malware and is executed using the exploit kit that is identified as the Angler exploit kit, which resorts to using new techniques to hide malicious routines. This vulnerability has hit most in the US (84% victims are from the US) while Australia and Taiwan have 9% victims and 5% victims respectively. The analysis based on attacks that have happened till now reveal that the malware installed using this zero-day vulnerability performs ad frauds against ad networks. (Ad frauds happen when the malware amplifies the number of clicks on an ad artificially and makes the ad network believe that the amount of clicks has been much greater than what it was in reality. Thus the ad network is made to pay more for the ads). The malware, in addition to performing ad frauds, could also cause other damages to the system and also pave the way for more malware infections.

  • In May this year, a zero day vulnerability was detected in Adobe Flash Player. The attackers would embed the Flash exploit inside a Microsoft Office document and then host it on their web server. They used a DDNS (Dynamic DNS) domain to reference the document and payload. Thus, they could spread this exploit through a URL or via email attachment. This exploit, though detected in Adobe Flash Player, was designed to target Windows and Microsoft Office. The malicious word document, when opened, would render an embedded Flash file, which would run an embedded native shellcode, followed by a second shellcode from the attacker's server. This second shellcode would download and execute the malware that would lead to downloading of a decoy document. The malware is executed and waits for instructions.

  • CVE-2015-2425, a zero-day exploit detected in 2015, is an Internet Explorer flaw. It helps an attacker gain control of the victim's system. Microsoft explained that this vulnerability "could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user" and immediately released a fix for the issue.

Practical Solutions to Reduce Zero-Day Attacks

Route your Defence Methods through constant state of vigilance!

Zero Day vulnerability and threats are unpredictable and unexpected that poses a huge coverage of damage on the susceptible software that is devoid of a security patch fix. Precautionary protective techniques are to be adorned at a full measure to avoid such zero day exploits.

Effective Patch Management Solution

Mission-critical businesses should be armed with effective patch management solutions which involves installing code changes (patches) on to the computer system. With patch management the new patch releases are updated and installed and the scope of such zero day attacks are limited.

Vulnerability Scanning

Develop a vulnerability scanning system to administer vulnerability checks as and when the security attacks becomes public to stay ahead with protection techniques until a security fix for the zero day exploit is released.

Robust Antivirus Solution

Refine your protection mechanism with an advanced antivirus solution that holds sandboxing techniques, default deny protection, heuristics analysis and cloud based scanning that protects the business systems from unknown threats.

Our product can keep you protected from these vulnerabilities, and keep your security features up to date. Contact us today to learn more.