- Define and differentiate Vulnerability, Risk, and Threat
Define the term “Zero-Day Exploit”. Discuss some recent examples where one or two ZDEs were used to bypass cybersecurity controls to open a hole in vulnerable Critical Infrastructures, SCADA systems, or Industrial Control Systems (ICS) so malicious code could enter to cause disruptive effects. Describe how ZDEs can possibly be used by nation states, criminals, and political extremists.
Vulnerability refers to a weakness in a system or process that can be exploited by an attacker to gain unauthorized access or perform malicious actions (Zhang et al., 2020). Risk is the likelihood or probability of an undesirable event occurring, such as a cyber attack, and is typically measured in terms of the potential impact and likelihood of the event (Fan et al., 2019). Threat refers to a potential source of harm or adverse action, such as a hacker or a malicious piece of software (Zhang et al., 2020). A zero-day exploit (ZDE) is a type of cyber attack that utilizes a previously unknown vulnerability in a system or software. These types of attacks are particularly dangerous because the victim is not aware of the vulnerability and therefore has not had the opportunity to patch or fix it (Fan et al., 2019). In 2021, a zero-day exploit was used in a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which resulted in the shutdown of the pipeline and disrupted fuel supplies on the East Coast of the United States (US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, 2021). Cont…
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