When researchers discover a new vulnerability in your device, who will be the first to know – you or the hackers who might use it to steal your data? That's why you should keep tabs on the latest vulnerability reports and how they might affect you. There are many ways to do that. Read on to find out more.
Most software vulnerabilities are programming or configuration errors made during development. They leave security holes. If left unpatched, they can be exploited by hackers to install malware on your device, steal your personal information, listen in on your calls, read your texts, use your device for phishing, or completely take over your device.
Your software or app developers are responsible for patching these security bugs, but they might not always respond to them quickly enough. This opens a small window between when the vulnerability is discovered and when it is patched. Hackers monitor these opportunities while also looking for vulnerabilities themselves. The good news is, you are not powerless.
Most exploits can be prevented by simply being aware of them. For example, an app might have a bug that allows hackers to perform a buffer overflow attack simply by calling you. Or hackers might use security vulnerabilities in your device to try to infect it with a compromised message, image, or video. Forewarned is forearmed – when you know these vulnerabilities exist, you can look out for attacks.
But where can you find the latest vulnerability reports? Here's where to look.
These databases will have the latest information from security researchers, white-hat hackers and security analysts. They are very convenient for the tech-literate, as they will provide in-depth explanations, vulnerability scores and lots of other metrics you may need to know. However, these platforms might be a bit overwhelming for tech novices. They rarely include step-by-step guidelines for the average user.
You’ll find first-hand information on websites and blogs provided to you by security researchers and security analysts. They search for security bugs for various devices and software and then publish their findings on their websites and blogs. Other news outlets usually write articles based on the information provided on these platforms. One of such examples is:
If you don't have time to handpick vulnerabilities yourself or read the news, there are third-party services that can curate vulnerabilities for you. All it takes is for you to choose the type of software or devices you use and you'll receive regular updates on the latest vulnerabilities. Some offer weekly newsletters, while others offer premium services like vulnerability alerts as they’re released. One example is Sec Alerts.
News outlets such as the New York Times, Gizmodo, and Wired always release articles about the most recent and severe security bugs. If you read cybersecurity news daily, you will be aware of what to look out for.
You can also find news on cybersecurity blogs like ours at NordVPN. These will often include more in-depth information on the vulnerability and what you need to do to protect your data. These are perfect for anyone – from tech novices to tech pros (you can subscribe to free NordVPN monthly newsletter below). In addition, we regularly share cybersecurity and privacy news on our Facebook page.
Programmers and developers are responsible for preventing and fixing security bugs. Is there anything you can do while these vulnerabilities are being patched? Here are some precautionary measures:
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