“Zero-day” is becoming a more popular term to describe recently discovered security vulnerabilities exposed by hackers and used to infiltrate computer systems. The phrase literally means the developer has zero days to fix the issue caused by hackers. 

Zero-day threats are unprecedented virus attacks that exploit either a new variant of malware or previously unknown software (zero-day vulnerability). Since these malware viruses are unique, they are impossible to detect by typical signature-matching tactics. Zero-day is sometimes written as 0-day, and the term is often associated with the words: vulnerability, exploit, and attack. Keep reading to learn the difference between the three. 

Zero-Day Vulnerability
Hackers unearth these software vulnerabilities before vendors can be made aware of them; therefore, no patch or fix exists, making them more likely to infiltrate systems.

Zero-Day Exploits
This term refers to the hacking method used to attack systems with a previously unknown vulnerability. 

Zero-Day Attack
The actual term describes the execution of a zero-day exploit to cause damage or steal data from an unprotected system. 

Hackers can exploit security vulnerabilities found in software, called exploit code, and ultimately wreak havoc before developers can remedy the situation. When anti-virus companies release “patch” updates, they are essentially covering a hole that was previously discovered by hackers. Unfortunately, this process can take months, as these security vulnerabilities are not immediately distinguished. 

Signature matching is a specific strategy used to identify malware by analyzing samples of destructed data to create a signature file and then distributing an update for anti-virus software to identify the specific signature. Zero-day threats can sneak past these signature matching tactics, ultimately affecting many victims. 

Zero-day attacks are immensely dangerous and typically aimed at operating systems, web browsers, office applications, open-source components, hardwired firmware, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. Potential victims include those who use a browser or operating system, intellectual data property owners, run hardware, firmware, and the IoT through large businesses, organizations, government agencies, etc. 

Cyber threats are continually infecting thousands of computers with zero-day threats. To protect your network, applications, and data, contact the experts at CPS. Our engineers can engage an advanced threat prevention system that can test untrusted files, links, and e-mails before they get to you.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

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