Google’s Project Zero team found a record number of zero-day exploits in 2021 as per a new report. The team shared its findings and mentioned that it discovered 58 security vulnerabilities in the last year.
Zero-day exploits are basically the issues that the developers had no idea about, and are just discovering about the security vulnerability now. It is possible that such security issues have been floating in the wild for a while, causing major disruptions to systems and businesses.
Google set up the Project Zero team in 2014, and since then it has reported a maximum of 28 zero-day exploit vulnerabilities in a year, which was in 2015. But it seems that record has been well and truly broken last year, going 2x of the last highest figure to 58 such issues.
On average, the Project Zero team has observed close to 20 such vulnerabilities in a year. Companies do invest their time and resources in discovering such zero-day exploits and look to fix the issue with a software update/patch for the customer. So, what has changed in the past few years that the number of zero-day exploits discovered has gone up?
The Project Zero team believes the improvement in its detection of zero-day exploits means more such issues are coming to the forefront.
It also says that post the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have faced more cyberattacks, as the work-from-home setup is not conducive to strong security measures. In addition to that, Project Zero says that higher activities like crypto mining, and heavier use of the digital space for businesses, have made them easy targets for such zero-day exploits.
The fact that more zero-day vulnerabilities are being discovered does not change how you operate in the cyber world.
Customers need to keep strong hygiene of their systems, keep them secure by updating to the latest software patches, and not access links/websites that may have come from unknown sources.