Authored by a Symantec employee

 

Did you know that there was more than one Death Star? What’s more, the destruction of each one of them was via one vulnerability, or weakness in the whole system. To celebrate May the Fourth we’re taking a look at vulnerabilities that nearly ended the Empire. Whichever side you choose, don’t become a victim to software vulnerabilities.

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As the story goes: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… The Death Star I was designed to be an impenetrable fortress and a symbol of the Emperor’s hold on the galaxy. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Death Star is a fully contained; moon sized, mobile battle station under the command of Darth Vader. It also had the ability to blow up planets in a single strike.

Luckily, there was opposing forces- the rebels. Once they learned of the weapon, they sent operatives on a reconnaissance mission to steal the Death Star plans (which we’ll all be able to see how that one went down in the upcoming Rouge One movie). Once the plans were obtained, they learned that if they shot torpedoes into the thermal exhaust port it would destroy the whole structure. The rest of the story is history- good overcomes bad as our heroes of the story save the day.

The silly thing is- the Empire didn’t stop there. They went on to build a second one. Emperor Palpatine executed the designer responsible for the Death Star I’s vulnerability, and then cloned THE SAME DESIGNER to make the second station without any imperfections. This time, the vulnerability was in a different location than the Death Star itself, on the moon of Endor.

Eventually, the rebels figured out the new vulnerability and the station was destroyed by Lando Calrissian, onboard the Millennium Falcon, after the ground based shield generator was destroyed by a small rebel team.

But wait, there’s more- they created a THIRD Death Star, which still shared the same design flaw as the first Death Star: the thermal exhaust port! I think that we all know the real moral of the story here is- mind your vulnerabilities!

Software vulnerabilities are one of the most prevalent ways that attackers can compromise your computer, cell phone and even tablet. A software vulnerability is a security hole or weakness found in any software program- operating systems, software even apps. Hackers look to exploit these weaknesses via outdated software. They have tools that can scan a device in order to find known vulnerabilities. This is why it’s extremely important to perform software updates whenever they become available because they fix these security issues.

Don’t be like the Empire. You can read more about software vulnerabilities here, and May the Fourth be with you!

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