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Unpatched software is a computer code containing known security weaknesses. Unpatched vulnerabilities refer to weaknesses that allow attackers to leverage a known security bug that has not been patched by running malicious code. Software vendors write additions to the codes, known as “patches,” when they come to know about these application vulnerabilities to secure these weaknesses.

Adversaries often probe into your software, looking for unpatched systems and attacking them directly or indirectly. It is risky to run unpatched software. This is because attackers get the time to become aware of the software’s unpatched vulnerabilities before a patch emerges.

report found that unpatched vulnerabilities are the most consistent and primary ransomware attack vectors. It was recorded that in 2021, 65 new vulnerabilities arose that were connected to ransomware. This was observed to be a twenty-nine percent growth compared to the number of vulnerabilities in 2020.

Groups involved in ransomware are no longer just focused on single unpatched instances. They have started looking at groups of multiple vulnerabilities, third-party applications prone to vulnerabilities, protocols concerning technology, etc. It is to be noted that these groups have gone to the extent of launching attacks by recruiting insiders.

Warnings concerning the cyber security threats of unpatched vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure entities have been issued by various governmental institutions such as the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Homeland Security Department.

This blog discusses a few examples of vulnerabilities and how updating applications can help prevent cyberattacks.

images from Hacker News