The digital arms race is funding a black market for exploits


There’s a huge industry out there that no one really talks about: the market for your security. As The Economist reports, exploits for Internet Explorer, Chrome, iOS, Windows 8, and other software are discovered either by hackers or security firms, and sold to the highest bidder. A single Internet Explorer exploit can sell for as much as $ 500,000, as security researchers that would once detail software vulnerabilities for kudos have realized they were treating “diamonds like pebbles.” It’s mostly been governments buying exploits, but in recent years, agencies have realized they’re funding a black market for extremely dangerous R&D, and are beginning to move their search for security flaws in-house.

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