Researchers Developed a System to Find Zero-Day Exploits

Researchers from Arizona State University created a way that makes gathering data from dark net markets and forums easy, and it helps identify new emerging cyber threats as they are released. The system utilizes search engines and dark net sites through the Tor network, and the researchers say they have found 30 marketplaces, and over 20 forums where black hat hackers reside.
The system automatically gathers data from the sites and utilizes multiple information mining and machine learning techniques to organize the data that is collected.

“Currently this system collects- on average- 305 high priority cyber threat warnings each week. The threat warnings issued include information on newly developed malware and exploits that have yet to be deployed in a cyber-attack,” a research paper put out by the developers stated.
When the study concluded after a month period, 16- zero day exploits were added to these black hat homes. Among the threats, they discovered one that set its malicious powers on an android WebView vulnerability, which could affect any device running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and earlier.

In 2015 this comprised some 60% of Android users, making the price attached to this exploit 40 Bitcoins, or about $24,000.

“Detection of these zero-day exploits at an earlier stage can help organizations avoid an attack on their system or minimize the damage,” the paper also said.

The researchers said that an organization may choose to patch, update, or even replace the entire system using Android. They also said that they are going to be providing the results to professionals in the security field so that it will support their defense planning and aiding to identify the zero-day exploits that are developed by hackers. It will also help them find out what exploits are targeting what vulnerabilities. Lastly, the developers said that they are currently transitioning they’re system to a commercial partner.


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