Discovering more vulnerabilities/exploits

Attack tree

1 Known vulnerabilities/exploits (AND)
    1.1 Look up in Exploit databases
    1.2 Vulnerability scanning
2 Latent vulnerabilities (AND)
    2.1 Security code reviews 
    2.2 Specific code scanning for vulnerabilities
3 New vulnerabilities
    3.1 Root cause analysis
    3.2 Variant analysis
    3.3 Patch analysis
    3.4 Exploit technique analysis
4 New exploits
    4.1 Proof-of-concept development (exploit development)
    4.2 Cross-compiling
    4.3 Modifying an existing exploit
    4.4 A new exploit chain (a new on-path)


Manual security code reviews

Manual security code reviews are usually performed by developers or security experts. Such efforts usually take place during a security push or pentesting engagement and are associated with a final security review. Coding errors can be found using different approaches, but even when compared to sophisticated tools, manual code reviews have clearly proven their value in the areas of precision and quality. Unfortunately, manual code reviews are also the most expensive to execute. It is important the developers are not part of the team that created the code, and a facilitator/security professional is also a good idea.

New vulnerabilities

New vulnerabilities are usually found through bug bounty programs, or researched by dedicated groups like Google Project Zero.

New exploits

  • Developing your own exploit is a great way to demonstrate proof of concept that the exploit can happen without focusing on performing malicious activity on the target system.

  • Cross-compiling by downloading the source code of an existing exploit and compiling it for another platform.

  • Modifying the exploit to fit your needs before compiling the exploit is also a good option.

  • Exploit chaining uses a combination of different exploits run one after the other.

Resources known vulnerabilities