Classification of Vulnerability?

Classification of Vulnerability? – In a network there are generally two main causes for systems being vulnerable, software or hardware misconfiguration and poor programming practices. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities to perform various types of attacks on organizational resource.

Classification of Vulnerability?

Vulnerability present in a system or network are classified into the following categories:


Misconfiguration is the most common vulnerability that is mainly caused by human error, which allows attackers to gain unauthorized access to the system. This may happen intentionally or unintentionally affecting web servers, application platform, database and network.

A system can be misconfigured in so many ways:

  • An Application running with debug enabled.
  • Outdated software running on the system.
  • Running unnecessary services on a machine.
  • Using misconfigured SSL certificates and default certificates.
  • Improperly authenticated external systems.
  • Disabling security settings and features.

Attackers can easily detect these misconfiguration using scanning tools and then exploit the backend systems. It is important for the administrators to change default configuration of devices and optimize the security of the devices.

Default Installations

Default Installations are usually kept user friendly especially when the device is being used for the first time, as the primary concern is usability of the device rather the device’s security. In some cases, infected devices may not contain any valuable information but they are connected to networks or systems that have confidential information that would result in a data breach. Not changing the default settings while deploying the software or hardware allows the attacker to guesst the settings in order to break into the systems.

Classification of Vulnerability?

Buffer Overflows

Buffer overflows are common software vulnerabilities that happen due to coding errors allowing attackers to get access to the target system. In a buffer overflow attack, attackers underlime the functioning of programs and try to take the control of the system by writing content beyond the allocated size of the buffer. Insufficient bounds checkingin the program is the root cause because of which the buffer is not able to handle data beyond its limit, causing the flow of data to adjacent memory locations and overwriting their data values. Systems often crash or become unstable or show erratic program behavior, when buffer overflow occurs.

Unpatched Servers

Servers are an essential component of the infrastructure of any organization. There are several cases where organizations run unpatched and misconfigured servers compromising the security and integrity of the data in the system. hackers look out for these vulnerabilities in the servers and exploit them. As these unpatched severs are a hub for the attackers, they serve as an entry point into the network. This can lead to exposure of private data, financial loss, discontinuation of operations, etc. updating software reguraly and maintaining systems properly by patching and fixing bugs can help in mitigating vulnerabilities caused due to unpatched servers.

Design Flaws

Vulnerabilities that are caused due to design flaws are universal to all operating devices and systems. Design vulnerabilities such as incorrect encryption or poor validation of data, refer to logical flaws in the functionally of the system that is exploited by the attackers to bypass the detection mechanism and acquire access to a secure system.

Operating System Flaws

due to vulneabilities in the operating systems, applications such as Trojans, worms and viruses pose threats. These attacks are performed by using malicious code, script or unwanted software, which result in loss of sensitive information and loss of control on computer operations. Timely patching of OS, installing minimum software applications and use of applications with firewall capabilities are essential steps that an administrator needs take to protect OS from any attack.

Classification of Vulnerability?

Application Flaws

Application flaws are vulnerabilities in applications that are explioted by the attackers. Application should be secured using validation and authorization of the user. Application pose security threats such as data tampering and unauthorized access to configuration stores. If the applications are not secured, sensitive information may be lost or corrupted. Hence, it is important for developers to understand the anatomy of common security vulnerabilities and develop highly secure applications by providing proper user validation and authorization.

Open Services

Open ports and services may lead to loss of data, DoS attacks and allow attackers to perform further attacks on other connected devices. Administrators need to continously check for unnecessary or insecure ports and services to reduce the risk on the network.

Default passwords

Manufactures provide default passwords to the users to access the device during initial set-up and users need to change the passwords for future use. however, users forget to update the passwords and continue using the default passwords making devices and systems vulnerabile to various attacks such as brute-force, dictionary attack, etc. Attackers exploit this vulnerability to obtain access to the system. Passwords should be kept secret; failing to protect the ocnfidentiality of a password allows the systems to be compromised with ease.

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