Zero day is the term used when a hacker exploits a vulnerability in software that it has not been patched by the developer. The name comes from the fact that there is no “patch” or fix available on this specific issue yet, which leaves you vulnerable to attack. A zero-day exploit (or zero-day attack) occurs when hackers use vulnerabilities for which no patch for exists as of yet. This allows them to take over computers and networks completely undetected.
How do hackers use zero-day attacks?
Of all the cyber-attacks out there, zero-day attacks are the most dangerous for a number of reasons.
First, zero-day attacks have been made possible by the growing trend of internet anonymity. These types of attacks occur when hackers find unknown vulnerabilities in software before vendors have had a chance to release patches.
Second, it is never too late to be vigilant. Because zero-day attacks can exploit previously unknown flaws, you never know when your security will be compromised. Therefore, it is important to always keep your systems updated and protected with the latest updates and patches.
Is Installing anti-virus software enough protection against Zero Day Hacks?
There is a lot of talk in the news these days about how hackers are attacking business and how anti-virus software is not very effective against zero day hacks.
The problem is that anti-virus programs were designed to combat viruses and other malware that have been identified by these companies. If a piece of malware has not yet been identified, then the anti-virus software cannot protect you against it.
In short, zero-day hacks are too quick for a clunky anti-virus software to catch. Its like hoping to chase down a rabbit using a tractor.
So how can you protect yourself from zero day hacks?
Let’s face it, we live in a connected world. All of our devices are on the internet and no matter how much we try to protect them, they can get hacked. In this post I will run through some basic steps you can take to help secure your computer against zero day hacks and malicious software.
1. Stay Vigilant
Zero-day hacks exploit vulnerabilities that were not known before, and vigilance is key. When software vendors detect a vulnerability, they communicate.
2 Patching your software
The vendor may release a fix for the vulnerability; this could take between a few hours to months, depending on the complexity of the fix and the vendor’s prioritization of the fix in their development process. Its up to you to ensure you implement/install the fix as quickly as it is released.
3. Always keep your system up to date!
Software updates take long to install, and they seem to waste precious time and slow us down. Most of us are guilty of postponing updates indefinitely. This leaves gaps for hackers to exploit. Keep even your browsers up to date.
To check if your Google Chrome browser is updated, navigate to Settings > Help > About Google Chrome. If your Chrome browser is listed as 98.0.4758.102 or higher, you are protected. If the update is not yet available for your browser, check back regularly. Zero Day hacks are the most dangerous kind of security exploit.
In the year 2022 Google has recorded the most number of Zero-Day Hacks on Google Chrome.