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Zero-day Exploits

How to protect against zero-day exploits

What is a Zero-day Attack?

A zero-day vulnerability is an unknown software or hardware exploit in the wild, a flaw that exposes a vulnerability and can create complicated problems before anyone realises that something is wrong. It leaves NO opportunity for detection, at first.

A zero-day attack happens once the flaw or vulnerability is exploited. Attackers release malware before developers have an opportunity to patch or fix the vulnerability—hence the term “zero-day.

A New Risk

How do zero-day attacks work?

Malicious actors are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit before a patch is developed. While the vulnerability is open, attackers will write and implement a code to take advantage of it. This is known as exploit code. The exploit code can lead to the software users being victimised – through identity theft or other cybercrimes.

Once attackers identify a vulnerability, they need a way of reaching the vulnerable system. This can be through a socially engineered email – an email that is masked to look like it’s from a known or legitimate contact but is actually from the attacker. Through the message, the attacker will try to convince the user to perform an action that will allow their code to run, such as opening a file or visiting a malicious website. If the user does so, the attacker’s malware will infiltrates the user’s files and steal confidential data.

Who are the targets for zero-day exploits?

Systems at risk

A zero-day hack can exploit vulnerabilities in a variety of systems, across software and hardware, including:

  • Web browsers
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Office applications
  • Open-source components
  • Operating systems
  • Hardware and firmware

The potential victims

Due to the broad range of target systems, there is a broad range of potential victims:

  • Individuals who use a vulnerable system, such as a browser or operating system Hackers can use security vulnerabilities to compromise devices and build large botnets
  • Individuals with access to valuable business data, such as intellectual property
  • Hardware devices, firmware, and the Internet of Things
  • Large businesses and organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Political targets and/or national security threats
of exploits in Q1 2021 involved zero-day exploits
Zero-days found in use this year alone
breaches between Jan and Jun 2021
of companies have hig

What to Look For

How to identify zero-day attacks

Zero-day vulnerabilities can be difficult to detect because they can take many forms – such as missing data encryption, missing authorizations, broken algorithms, bugs, problems with password security, and so on.

Due to the way this type of exploit works, detailed information is only available after the exploit is identified.

Organisations that are targeted or attacked by a zero-day exploit might see unexpected traffic or suspicious scanning activity. Some ways to detect zero-day exploits include:


How to protect yourself against zero-day attacks

Individuals and organisations must follow cyber security best practices to protect against attacks. This includes:

The latest on Zero Day Exploits

Gridware is proud to be a thought-leader in cybersecurity, creating and leading conversations in this space. Check out a selection of our published work from our Sydney based Cyber Defence Centre (CDC), and learn how our cyber expertise has led to partnerships with leading Australian Universities.

Investigation Underway for Major Data Breach Impacting Over 1 Million NSW Club and Merivale Customers

Qantas App Glitch Exposes Personal Data as Users Accidentally Access Others’ Accounts

MediaWorks New Zealand Data Breach Exposes 2.4 Million

Investigation Underway for Major Data Breach Impacting Over 1 Million NSW Club and Merivale Customers

Qantas App Glitch Exposes Personal Data as Users Accidentally Access Others’ Accounts

MediaWorks New Zealand Data Breach Exposes 2.4 Million

How Gridware can help

Security Assessments

As a provider of CREST-approved penetration testing as well as vulnerability assessment, social engineering and red teaming services, Redscan’s ethical hacking team has extensive experience of assessing organisations’ technology, personnel and processes against the latest attack techniques and helping organisations to address them.

Proactive Monitoring

Firewalls and antivirus software are unable to comprehensively defend against the latest types of memory-resident and polymorphic malware.

Our certified security professionals employ cutting-edge threat intelligence to hunt for malware and other cyber threats and help quickly shut them down.

Training & Awareness

Your users are your last line of defense. Educate them about the latest email threats, and ensure they understand their fraudulent nature and know how to report them to your security teams. Barracuda security awareness training and phishing simulation provides all necessary tools to train your users to recognize and report phishing emails, which will prevent email fraud and data loss.

Protect your data

If ransomware does take control of your data, there’s no need to pay a ransom or go through a difficult and tedious recovery process — if you have a strong, modern, easy-to-use backup solution. We offer superior backup solutions — on-premises or in the cloud — that make it simple and fast to restore an up-to-date copy of any file, whether you’re restoring an entire server or specifically selecting files to restore.


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A collection of our published insights, whitepapers, customer success stories and more.

Customer success stories from real Gridware customers. Find out how we have helped others stay on top of their Cyber Security.

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