What is a zero-day exploit?
A zero-day exploit targets specific computer vulnerabilities along with a general announcement that identifies the explicit vulnerability in a software program. When a vulnerability is discovered, information about its nature is passed on to a specific person or software house, and a secure solution is urgently implemented. It is during this precious period of time that an attack can take place should the vulnerability be revealed to the general public. The time it takes to correct the problem may be longer than it takes to get the message across and provides a clue to hackers looking for this type of opportunity.
Once a computer vulnerability is exposed to the general public, there is a very real risk that malicious parties could exploit the vulnerability before it can be repaired. In other cases, the hacker may be the first to discover the vulnerability and communicate it to the public. If so, the software company or person may not be notified in a timely manner to resolve the vulnerability, leaving just enough time for hackers to exploit it. To protect themselves against this type of exploitation, companies can take various protective measures, including access controls for the network, blocking of wireless access entries, virtual local networks and intrusion detection systems.