Zero day attacks


Zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits are critical issues in cybersecurity. Nicole Perlroth explains that a zero-day vulnerability is a software bug unknown to the software vendor (in this case, Apple), which leaves no time ("zero days") for the engineers to fix it upon discovery. An exploit crafted to leverage this vulnerability can be extremely valuable, especially for espionage activities, because it can enable remote access to devices without the user’s knowledge. The market for zero-day exploits is highly lucrative and often prioritized by governments to monitor dissidents or critics 1.

Perlroth further notes a global market shift where Android exploits have become more valuable than iOS exploits, possibly indicating a decline in Apple's security or an increase in Android's market share. This shift is influenced by the types of customers in the zero-day market—often government entities from regions like the Gulf—who prioritize widespread surveillance 2.

The zero day market itself operates mostly in the shadows, likened to the rules of "Fight Club" where no one talks about the market. This secrecy is critical as exposure can severely damage reputations and operational security, making zero-day brokers targets for various nation-states 3.

Zero Day Exploits

Nicole explains what a zero day vulnerability and exploit are, and how they can be used to remotely exploit someone's iPhone without them ever knowing about it. She also discusses the lucrative market for zero day exploits and the current priorities for government agencies.

Lex Fridman Podcast

Nicole Perlroth: Cybersecurity and the Weapons of Cyberwar | Lex Fridman Podcast #266

This discussion encapsulates the highly secretive and lucrative nature of the zero-day exploit market, emphasizing its significance in global cybersecurity landscapes.