Zero Day Attacks – A Sleeping Disaster

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Zero Day Attacks – A Sleeping Disaster

In this article, we discuss Zero-day attacks and how to stay safe and safeguard your computer or personal data from potential damage.

· Security Zone ·
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‘Zero-day attack’ is a phrase used for describing the threat of an unknown security vulnerability in computer software or application that a patch has not been released – or which the app developers were unaware of or didn't have sufficient time to deal with.

In the case of a Zero-day attack, the vulnerability isn't known beforehand, and exploits often occur without the knowledge of the users. Following are some of the recent instances:

  • An attack on Microsoft Windows that affected large parts of Eastern Europe was identified by a bunch of researchers from ESET (a Slovakian internet security company) in June 2019.
  • Last year, Google disclosed that some Android smartphones had recently become susceptible to a significant zero-day exploit that the firm thought it had patched permanently almost two years ago. The flaw is now identified as CVE-2019-2215.

How Serious Is a Zero-Day Vulnerability?

A zero-day attack usually occurs between the time the vulnerability is first found and the gap the app developers take to release the required solution to counter exploitation. This time period is called the vulnerability window. ‘Zero-day’ refers to the very fact that the developers have zero days (that is, no time) to take care of the matter that has just been exposed. In fact, it's perhaps already been exploited by hackers.

Zero-day attacks are capable of devastating a network by exploiting the vulnerabilities of the apps. they're not always viruses; other malware forms like Trojan horses or worms are also seen. For personal computer users, a zero-day attack is extremely difficult to diagnose because the nature of the attack is through a trusted entity. Updating to the newest anti-malware software is suggested, though it can only provide minimal security against a zero-day attack.

Once a vulnerability becomes publicly known, the seller has to go to work swiftly to repair the problem to safeguard the users. But hackers often manage to take advantage of the safety hole before the software vendor can release a patch.

How to Prevent Zero-Day Attacks?

Security vulnerabilities create serious security risks, leaving everyone vulnerable to zero-day attacks, which may end in potential damage to a computer or personal data. to remain safe, it's necessary to adopt proactive and reactive security measures.

The first line of defense is the proactive approach – using comprehensive security software that protects against both known and unknown threats. The second line of defense is the reactive approach – installing new software updates once they become available from the manufacturer to assist in reducing the danger of malware infection.

Software updates allow the installation of critical revisions to the software or OS. This includes adding new features, removing outdated features, updating drivers, delivering bug fixes – and most significantly, fixing any security holes that are discovered.

Refer to the below security checklist to make your data shielded from the risks related to zero-day vulnerabilities:

  • Ensure software and security patches are updated by downloading the newest software releases and updates. Installing the most recent security patches can fix any bugs that the previous version may have missed.
  • Always configure security settings for the OS , security software, and browser.
  • Install effective security software to block known and unknown threats to vulnerable applications.
  • Maintain safe and effective personal online security habits.

The knock-on effect of a data breach can be devastating for a company. But when customers start taking their business – and their money – elsewhere, that can be a real body blow. ” – Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner.

cyber security attacks, security, zero day bug, zero day vulnerability

Published at DZone with permission of Gautam Menon . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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