InfoSec 2003: 'Zero-day' attacks seen as growing threat

Friday, 12 December 2003, 11:47 AM EST

"Zero-day" attacks that take advantage of software vulnerabilities for which there are no available fixes are emerging as a major threat to corporate security.

More than ever, the threat underscores the need for companies to have safe configuration policies for software and systems, as well as good incident-response and patching capabilities, said users at the InfoSec 2003 trade show here last week.

"I'm very concerned about it," said Joseph Inhoff, LAN administrator at Lutron Electronics Co., a manufacturer of lighting equipment in Coopersburg, Pa.

Because such attacks take advantage of flaws before software makers can fix them, the potential for damage from so-called zero-day exploits is something Lutron's management is especially worried about, Inhoff said. "I'm trying to figure out what I can do about it," said Inhoff, who was at the show to see how automated patching software could help bolster the company's response capabilities to such attacks.

Although they have been seen as a major security threat for some time, there haven't yet been any major zero-day attacks.

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