What is a zero-day attack?

In the area of cybersecurity, a zero-day attack will frequently make headlines. The term “zero-day attack” is a bit of a misnomer. A zero-day attack is defined as “an attack that exploits a previously undisclosed hardware, firmware, or software vulnerability,” according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

In today’s world of business influenced and controlled by information technology, there’s not a single company that doesn’t rely on software or “the internet” for some elements of their operations.  Even the manual labour jobs that are far fetched from the office environment, still need computers for payroll, HR, and invoices. This reliance corresponds with a level of vulnerability. Businesses are considerably more susceptible than individuals in the real world to have their activities disrupted by hackers.

One example of the zero-day attack is known as Operation Aurora in 2009, this zero-day attack threatened the intellectual property of a number of major corporations, including Google, Adobe Systems, Yahoo, and Dow Chemical. The flaws were discovered in both Internet Explorer and Perforce, which Google used to organise its source code. As defined, a zero-day attack is a cyber attack that targets a software weakness that the program manufacturer or antivirus provider is unaware of. The attacker identifies the software defect before anybody else is interested in fixing it, develops an exploit, and utilises it to mount an attack. Because there are no defenses in place, attacks are very likely to have success. As a result, zero-day attacks pose a serious security risk. 

Zero-day attacks are designed to strike high-profile governments and corporations, but they may be used against everyone and anyone. Many businesses and people assume there is nothing that can be done to prevent a zero-day assault. This isn’t completely accurate. Of course, there are ways to prevent this from happening as much as there are ways hackers can make this happen. By knowing what a Zero-day attack means, you can get a clear picture of what this risk is and what it can do to harm your software and your business. 

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