Exploits target specific vulnerabilities in the software running on a system.
Remote attackers are thus able to run malware directly on the target computer. The most recently discovered vulnerability was documented by the Bitdefender analysts as affecting the popular browser from Microsoft, Internet Explorer 7 (BitDefender Issues Signature Update to Protect Users from New Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Printing Vulnerability ). Exploits take advantage of software design flaws in order to trigger unexpected behaviors in the software running on the target computer. Exploits usually allow attackers to either gaining control of a computer system through privilege escalations or to perform denial-of-service attacks.Although many exploits are especially designed to grant attackers administrator / root privileges, multiple exploits can also be used to repeatedly escalate from user-level to superadministrator. 
Software vendors usually patch their products as soon as vulnerabilities are detected, before the exploit code gets into the wrong hands. However, many attackers keep such vulnerabilities private and use them for malicious purposes, rather than announcing the vendor. Newly-discovered vulnerabilities are also known as

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.