System security - overview
Cyber-attacks are estimated to cost the world economy more than $400 billion annualy. From botnets to advanced persistent threats to targeted attacks, system vulnerabilities in combination with a successful exploit can grant an attacker unauthorized access to a computing system, entailing the possibility to exfiltrate sensitive data of valuable individuals, companies, and critical infrastructures.
Zero-day exploits can be used to leverage unknown vulnerabilities in order to gain access in a stealthy way to systems believed to be secure. And they are very valuable, being traded for considerable sums in the upper six-digit range, which reflects the months of work that it takes highly skilled professionals to develop a working exploit.