What Is Log4j?
As you might already know, Log4j is an open-source login framework that helps developers log data in Java Applications. It is a part of Apache Logging Services, maintained by Apache Software Foundation, and is widely used in enterprise software programs.
Log4j is a flexible and reliable logging library for java and is used to debug software applications during their development cycle. It can run on some of the extensively used platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Log4j is made up of three basic components - appenders, loggers, and layouts. These components work together to offer systematic logging.
What Is Log4j Vulnerability AKA Log4Shell?
Log4j vulnerability is a zero-day flaw that has all the potential to affect not just developer tools but cloud environments and security devices as well.
According to News Nation USA, Log4Shell was revealed after Chen Zhaojun of Alibaba’s cloud security team sent an email alerting the Apache Software Foundation on November 24th about the vulnerability.
The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) rating is a standard for accessing the severity of the security vulnerability of a system. And the CVSS score given to Log4j Vulnerability is 10.0, the highest rating possible.
Bloomberg reported that since the disclosure of the flaw, some anger has been directed towards the developers of Apache. Bloomberg also reported that according to Daniel Stenberg, the creator of open-source software called Curl, the warning signs of Log4j vulnerabilities were presented at the Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference in 2016 and said “Why wasn't it fixed then? I really don't know,”.
According to CBS News Jen Easterly, head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called Log4j "the most serious flaw" that she has seen in her decades-long career.
This vulnerability leaves your system unsecured from intrusion and allows privileged access to malicious actors. In easier words, Log4j Vulnerability lets malicious attackers easily install malware, steal data, or even worse, with the help of malicious code.
Cybersecurity firm CheckPoint has called it “A True Cyber Pandemic” because of its quickly spreading and devastating attacks. Check Point recorded over 800,000 attacks in 72 hours after the initial outbreak, and its research witnessed over 60 new variations of the original exploit in less than 24 hours.
According to CheckPoint, Log4j Vulnerability acts precisely like a cyber pandemic — highly contagious, spreads rapidly, and has multiple variants, which force more ways to attack.
How Does It Impact Organizations Around The World?
As cyber criminals are attempting to exploit this vulnerability, most organizations are susceptible to it and face many challenges.
In almost every internet application or service that we use in our daily lives, the library of Log4j is embedded. From E-Commerce giant Amazon to Microsoft, Minecraft, Twitter, and many more, the usage of the Log4j library can be found in all. This vulnerability affects many cloud services as well as enterprise products from some of the biggest vendors in the world including Cisco and Red Hat.
The first challenge is to learn which services use a constituent of Log4j, and out of those services their organization uses which services, and lastly, if these services are susceptible to malicious attacks or not.
IIt is critical for companies to prioritize the mitigation process of this vulnerability and follow some of the most important guidelines provided by Cybersecurity Experts.
Let’s discuss the first steps towards protecting your company from Log4Shell:
- Upgrade: Organizations need to identify the devices that run on Log4j, as they need to be upgraded to version 2. 15. 0.
- Web Application Firewall (WAF): It is necessary to install a Web Application Firewall in organizations. And to defend against Log4j, you need to install the rules that focus on Log4j in your WAF. This process is essential to block the character strings that can prove to be dangerous for your applications.
- Regular Threat Checks: The security operations of every organization need to regularly hunt for threats in the entire system, and quickly tend to every alert they find for Log4j.
- Patch Your Cloud Environment: If you want to combat potential privacy breaches, you need to patch your environment whenever you can. This procedure helps you eradicate most of the vulnerabilities your environment is facing.
- Keep Monitoring For Odd Traffic Patterns: Organizations should deploy deep packet inspection tools and monitor for abnormal traffic flow. You also need to keep an eye out for mismatches in port or protocol.
- Keep Monitoring For Unauthorized Configuration Changes: Review your log files after every short interval of time. Variations of exploit can also be found where abnormal traffic has been identified. If you find any exploits, investigate your system fully and remove it from wherever you can.
- Scan Your Codebases: It is important to scan your codebases for any vulnerable systems and Log4j vulnerabilities.
- Outbound Micro-Segmentation Is Essential: By applying the rules of outbound micro-segmentation, you prevent your system from establishing new connections from the workload of your organization.
- Ensure Highly Restrictive Network Parameter Access Controls: Organizations need to ensure that the network parameter access controls are restrictive enough to make system access difficult for attackers. Rules that make system access easy should be avoided.
We, at Cyberware AI, have been working on a more reliable plan of action to combat the Log4j Vulnerability. We combine our big data threat intelligence with advanced AI technologies so we can offer accurate precaution for all our clients’ software programs.