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(computer science)
A weakness in a computing system that can result in harm to the system or its operations, especially when this weakness is exploited by a hostile person or organization or when it is present in conjunction with particular events or circumstances.


Vulgarity (See COARSENESS.)
warrior vulnerable only in his heel. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 4]
only vulnerable if not touching ground. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Hall, 151]
conquerable only with mistletoe. [Norse Myth.: Walsh Classical, 43]
Irish Achilles, killed through cunning Fionn’s deceit. [Irish Myth.: Jobes, 443; Parrinder, 79]
Maginot Line
French fortification zone along German border; thought impregnable before WWII. [Fr. Hist.: NCE, 1658]
strength derived from his hair; betrayed by Delilah. [O.T.: Judges 16]
vulnerable in only one spot on his back. [Ger. Opera: Wagner, Götterdämmerung, Westerman, 245]
Siegfried Line
German fortification zone opposite the Maginot Line between Germany and France. [Ger. Hist.: WB, 17: 370]
invulnerable except for Kryptonite. [TV: “The Adventures of Superman” in Terrace, I, 38; Comics: Horn, 642]


A security exposure in an operating system or other system software or application software component. Before the Internet became mainstream and exposed every organization in the world to every attacker on the planet, vulnerabilities surely existed, but were not as often exploited.

In light of this madness, mostly perpetrated against Microsoft products, the architecture of future operating systems has changed. Designing software to be bulletproof against attacks is like building a house where every square inch is fortified with steel and sensors that detect intrusions. Patching an existing operating system written by hundreds of programmers who were not dwelling on this issue when they wrote the code is an onerous job.

Security firms maintain databases of vulnerabilities based on version number of the software. If exploited, each vulnerability can potentially compromise the system or network. To search for vulnerabilities and exposures in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), visit See network security scanner and vulnerability disclosure.
References in periodicals archive ?
In an official statement, Valve admitted that the HackerOne program rules were misinterpreted which lead to the wrong categorizing of Kravet's reported vulnerabilities. The Moscow researcher's report revealed a Steam vulnerability that allows hackers to tunnel their way to privileged parts of an operating system.
According to the cybersecurity firm, customers subscribed to its Threat Prevention solution who deploy its Security Operating Platform are protected from zero-day vulnerabilities such as these.
Based on the vulnerability assessment and exploitation phases, these vulnerabilities are assigned an associated risk level.
* The data shows that organizations remediated close to 3,000,000,000 vulnerabilities, indicating that enterprises have the resources to address the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk.
Schneider et al., Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change, in Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 783 (M.L.
According to Cygilant, which works with multiple industries including credit unions, SOCVue VPM provides a mechanism to fix vulnerabilities, reduce or prevent possible compromises.
Vulnerabilities in deployed software are the genuine Achilles heel of our digital systems today--networks, computers, mobile devices, biometrics, even the Internet of Things (IoT).
[11] proposed use of a web vulnerability scanner called Acunetix, the scanner is used for checking cross site scripting, SQL injection and other type of web vulnerabilities. It does this security scanning by checking the strength of the password on authentication pages and audit web applications automatically.
Unfortunately, since everyone uses the same technology in today's global economy, these vulnerabilities also represent a threat to American businesses and individuals.
Unique auditing and assessment capabilities help customers identify and remediate vulnerabilities across more technologies, including containers, web applications and cloud instances.
Dynamic security testing and static code analysis are ones of the main approaches that are used for detecting web vulnerabilities. Software developers use web vulnerability scanners to automate the process of examining the security of their web-based applications and conduct large-scale security analyses on many different web applications [5].
Google gives vendors only seven days to fix vulnerabilities or to publish mitigation advice if those flaws are found to be exploited in active attacks.