Zero-day exploits are particularly challenging because the application vulnerability remains unknown until its exploited.
Then, the company has to jump into remediation mode which may lack an appropriate game plan. Meanwhile, as long as a hacker knows about the vulnerability and the company does not, the hacker may be able to use the vulnerability in various ways, such as to discover user IDs and passwords, to develop potential phishing contact lists, to view and exfiltrate sensitive data, inject malware, etc,
Essentially, a zero-day vulnerability provides the hacker(s) who discover it the gift of time to wreak whatever form of havoc they want while the potential victims continue with business as usual. Eventually, the motive for the attack and the vulnerability become clear to the primary victim who must now explain a breach to management, shareholders, partners, customers and the media. Of course, there are organizations that say as little as possible and in those cases, the media, former employees and others may craft their own narrative.
Why Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Are Becoming More Worrisome
As if the nature of zero-day vulnerabilities aren’t enough to keep CISOs and their teams up at night, there’s a trend toward supply chain attacks, meaning that the zero-day vulnerability could have far-reaching impacts for the company, its partners and customer. The Kayesa ransomware attack is the most recent example of a zero-day exploit that’s also a supply chain attack.