What Is Zero-Day?

Zero-day is a term used to describe a cyber vulnerability previously unknown to those who would be involved in its mitigation, where a patch or solution has not yet been identified. Zero-Day attacks and vulnerabilities can vary in severity, but until the problem is resolved hackers can exploit it for personal gain until a solution has been implemented.

Why Zero-day?

The term ‘zero-day’ is used as it refers to the amount of time the developer has to resolve an issue – zero days.

Zero-day vulnerabilities are exploited without the vendor or developers’ knowledge for, ideally, a short period – however as soon as the breach has been located the security team have to act quickly to mitigate the impact of the attack or risk their customers' data, and their own reputation.

What can be targeted by zero-day attacks?

As with most cyber activity, almost anything connected to the internet can be exploited for personal gain by hackers. This includes devices, operating systems, browsers, hardware – even office documents can be weaponised.

Who would be targeted by zero-day vulnerabilities?

Zero-day attacks can be categorised into two subsections, targeted and non-targeted

Targeted zero-day exploits are typically aimed at large organisations or high-profile individuals with the intent of distributing ransomware or exposing private company details.

Non-targeted zero-day attacks are carried out against any users of a vulnerable system without any specific thought into the individuals affected.