A vulnerability is a security flaw or weakness in a computer system, system component, or application that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to confidential information or disrupt system operations. Vulnerabilities can exist in hardware, software, or within the network infrastructure. Vulnerabilities are discovered when a security researcher or hacker finds a way to bypass the security controls in place, such as authentication or access control. Once a vulnerability is identified, it is important to patch or otherwise secure the system in order to protect it from malicious actors.

First reported vulnerability

The first vulnerability to be publicly documented was the Morris Worm, which was discovered in 1988. The Morris Worm was a self-replicating computer worm that spread through the internet, causing significant damage and disruption. The worm was created by Robert Morris, a computer science graduate student, who had intended it to be a harmless experiment. However, due to a coding error, the worm replicated itself too quickly and caused computers to crash. This incident is widely credited with the creation of the internet security industry.