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Google says that a quarter of all 0-day vulnerabilities are new variations of old problems

Google analysts studied the 0-day vulnerabilities they discovered in 2020, and concluded that almost a quarter of the problems are new variations of already known bugs that had previously received patches.

The authors of the report write that many problems could have been avoided if the developers immediately corrected their products more thoroughly.

In 2020, thanks to the work of the Google Project Zero team, were identified 24 zero-day vulnerabilities, which were actively exploited by hackers. Six of them (in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Windows) turned out to be new versions of previously known vulnerabilities. Supposedly, attackers carefully studied the old bug reports, figured out the original problems, and then created new versions of exploits for them.

Google on 0-day vulnerabilities

In some exploits, it was enough to change one or two lines of code to get a new working exploit for a zero-day vulnerability.say the experts.

In addition, three other issues that were discovered last year and affected Chrome, Internet Explorer and Windows were not fully fixed, that is, they eventually required additional patches. In fact, if hackers carefully studied the released fixes, they could discover a way to allow them to continue exploiting bugs and attacks.

Google on 0-day vulnerabilities

Google Project Zero experts advise their colleagues to analyze 0-day vulnerabilities deeper and learn to work with such problems. Once the Google Project Zero team was created specifically to search and research zero-day vulnerabilities, and now its experts say that 0-day bugs are a kind of “window” that allows looking into the heads of attackers, learn as much as possible about possible attack vectors , classes of problems and how to deal with them.

When 0-day exploits are detected in-the-wild, it’s the failure case for an attacker. It’s a gift for us security defenders to learn as much as we can and take actions to ensure that that vector can’t be used again. The goal is to force attackers to start from scratch each time we detect one of their exploits: they’re forced to discover a whole new vulnerability, they have to invest the time in learning and analyzing a new attack surface, they must develop a brand new exploitation method. To do that, we need correct and comprehensive fixes.told Google Project Zero experts.

Let me remind you that in the fall Google Project Zero discovered a 0-day vulnerability in the Windows kernel.

Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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