Definition - What does Zero-Day Threat mean?
Attackers exploit zero-day vulnerabilities through different vectors. Web browsers are the most common, due to their popularity. Attackers also send emails with attachments exploiting software attachment vulnerabilities.
A zero-day threat is also known as a zero-hour attack or day-zero attack.
Techopedia explains Zero-Day Threat
Zero-day exploits are often put up by renowned hacker groups. Typically, the zero-day attack exploits a bug that neither developers, nor the users, know about. Indeed, this is exactly what the malicious coders anticipate. By discovering a software vulnerability before the software's developers do, a hacker can make a worm or virus that can be used to exploit the vulnerability and harm computers.
Not all zero-day attacks actually take place before the software developers discover the vulnerability. In certain cases, the developers discover and understand the vulnerability; however, it may take some time to develop the patch to fix it. Also, software makers may occasionally postpone a patch release to avoid flooding users with several individual updates. If the developers find that the vulnerability is not extremely dangerous, they may decide to postpone the patch release until a number of patches are collected together. Once these patches are collected, they are released as a package. However, this strategy is risky because could invite a zero-day attack.
Zero-day attacks occur within a time frame, known as the vulnerability window. This extends from the first vulnerability exploit to the point at which a threat is countered. Attackers engineer malicious software (malware) to exploit common file types, compromise attacked systems and steal valuable data. Zero-day attacks are carefully implemented for maximum damage - usually in the span of one day. The vulnerability window could range from a small period to multiple years. For instance, in 2008, Microsoft revealed an Internet Explorer vulnerability that infected a few versions of Windows released during 2001. The date in which this vulnerability was initially discovered by the attacker is unknown, but the vulnerability window in such a case might have been as much as seven years.
Experts Share the Top Cybersecurity Trends to Watch for in 2017
Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic: