Update: Tools used by software developers

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Tools used by software developers to test for faulty design are now being employed by hackers to discover unknown vulnerabilities, a security firm has warned.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are designed to mimic human intelligence by trying to force abnormal responses in applications to determine if bugs are present. But this methodology, known as "fuzzing", is now also being widely used by hackers, who are sharing their findings with the underground malicious community in instant relay chat rooms "to rapidly develop new threats", according to Secure Computing.

As more and more exploits emerge, vendors will find it difficult to release fixes in time. "Fuzzing will clearly accelerate the ability for hackers to discover new vulnerabilities in software applications," said Paul Henry, vice-president of strategic accounts at Secure Computing.

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