Google’s security expert Tavis Ormandy detected a zero-day exploit in the Avast antivirus, which could be identified when the users access the HTTPS connections on the Internet. This is the third zero-day exploit disclosed within an antivirus solution that too in the same month. Kaspersky and FireEye had already been detected with the vulnerabilities.
A zero-day vulnerability is a flaw or a void in the software that remains disguised even to the vendors until exposed by attackers or any security expert. Zero-day refers to the unknown nature of the problem.
Zero-day attacks are comparatively dangerous because the extent of the offense can’t be predicted since the void in the software is also unknown.
As we saw in Kaspersky zero-day exploit, an attacker was able to infiltrate the user’s computer and get access to system-level privileges and carry out all kinds of attacks with ease.
Similarly in FireEye’s zero-day exploit, an attacker could have been able to get unauthorized remote root file system access.
In Avast’s zero-day void, the attackers could be able to execute codes on the user’s computer when the victim would access a malicious HTTPS website. This was possible because Avast was using a faulty method for analyzing X.509 certificates as it screened through the encrypted traffic for threats.
However, zero-day vulnerabilities are not easily figured out and thus the chance of a serious outbreak lessens. In both Kaspersky and FireEye cases, major attacks were not reported and neither were in the Avast’s zero-day vulnerability.
Avast has announced that they have fixed the problem and there is no action required by the user thereby.
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