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An Efficient Approach to Assessing the Risk of Zero-Day Vulnerabilities



M. Albanese, Sushil Jajodia, Anoop Singhal, Lingyu Wang


Computer systems are vulnerable to both known and zero-day attacks. Although known attack patterns can be easily modeled, thus enabling the definition of suitable hardening strategies, handling zero-day vulnerabilities is inherently difficult due to their unpredictable nature. Previous research has attempted to assess the risk associated with unknown attack patterns, and a metric to quantify such risk, the k-zero-day safety metric, has been defined. However, existing algorithms for computing this metric are not scalable, and assume that complete zero-day attack graphs have been generated, which may be unfeasible in practice for large networks. In this paper, we propose a framework comprising a suite of polynomial algorithms for estimating the k-zero-day safety of possibly large networks efficiently, without pre-computing the entire attack graph. We validate our approach experimentally, and show that the proposed solution is computationally efficient and accurate.
Proceedings Title
E-Business and Telecommunications (Communications in Computer and Information Science)
Conference Dates
July 29-31, 2013
Conference Location
Reykjavik, IS
Conference Title
10th International Conference on Security and Cryptography (SECRYPT 2013)


attack graphs, vulnerability analysis, zero-day


Albanese, M. , Jajodia, S. , Singhal, A. and Wang, L. (2013), An Efficient Approach to Assessing the Risk of Zero-Day Vulnerabilities, E-Business and Telecommunications (Communications in Computer and Information Science), Reykjavik, IS, [online],, (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created July 30, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021