“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it.”
– Stéphane Nappo, Global Head of Information Security, Société Générale
Recently, the Log4j vulnerability issue has hit the headlines of global journals. From tech giants to budding startups, all are suffering from this cyberattack. Security breaches have been noticed in cloud systems, smart devices, and even in cryptocurrency apps that use Log4j as the logging utility.
In this blog post, we will see in detail the Log4j vulnerability, how it happens, and some mitigation measures to fix this security issue.
Logging is the process of recording data. Logged data helps developers easily resolve issues in any application or system. We can use the data to keep track of software apps or web services.
Apache Log4j is a Java object log management system. It is the leading open-source object log management system on the market.
Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, getting more sophisticated, and becoming more of a threat. Nowadays, information is wealth. The major aim of cyber attackers is to hack our websites and steal information. It’s not just about financial gain either; often, it’s about making our organization suffer the consequences.
Remote code execution
Remote code execution is a type of code injection attack in which an attacker compromises a remote computer (or a server) and executes malicious code on a target host or network. This is accomplished by exploiting a bug in the program that allows an attacker to upload or alter malicious content that will then be executed by the vulnerable app.
This December, a huge number of vulnerabilities have been detected in the Log4j library and computers that use it. Attackers performed remote code execution through the insecure Java Naming and Directive Interface (JNDI) and the vulnerable features in Log4j.
There are many vulnerabilities reported in the Log4j library. Let’s see some of the significant ones.
This is also known as the Log4shell vulnerability. It affects the Log4j versions from 2.0-beta9 to 2.14.1. It allows remote code execution and data exploitation.
This affects versions from 2.0-beta9 to 2.15.0. It excludes version 2.12.2. It causes denial of service while running vulnerable substandard configurations. Also, it bypasses the mitigation measures for the Log4shell vulnerability, executes remote code, and exposes data.
This affects versions from 2.0-beta9 to 2.16.0. It leads to denial of service, like in the CVE-2021-45046 vulnerability, while using substandard configuration.
A global threat
Log management is an almost indispensable part of any organization, app development, and web service. We know that Log4j is the most preferred logging utility. Users who are aware that they are directly using Log4j as a dependency can find solutions to the issue. But most of the vulnerabilities have been reported in the indirect (transitive) dependencies. Those transitive users might not be aware of the issue. This becomes worse when these vulnerabilities pass through the dependency chain. That’s why this issue has become a global threat.
Don’t worry, every problem has its solution. Globally, many teams, developer communities, and organizations are working hard to resolve this cyberattack. Let’s discuss some of the mitigation measures that you can follow to solve this massive security threat:
- Update to the latest Log4j version or remove the old dependency versions of Log4j as a whole.
- You can use the open source insights page to check the package dependencies (including transitive) and vulnerabilities. This will help us take quick action.
- Prevention is better than a cure. So, make use of the cyberattack early warning systems (NCSC, OpSec, etc.) to safeguard yourself.
- Regularly update all your smart devices and apps, including watches and speakers. This will help you access new features and security enhancements.
- Go for alternatives like Centreon, Dynatrace, or LogDNA. For more details, refer to the Top 10 Apache log4j Alternatives & Competitors blog.
- Install firewall rules and antivirus software for all the network devices in your organization.
- Make a strict access policy by frequently updating your employees’ roles and giving access permissions to only trusted people. This will help you to safeguard yourselves against former employees who left the organization.
For more details, refer to the Apache Log4j Security Vulnerabilities documentation.
Do Syncfusion components use Log4j?
At Syncfusion, we are not using Log4j as a dependency for any of our components. So, you don’t need to worry about it when using our suites.
Thanks for reading! If you have some other ideas to solve this disastrous Log4j vulnerability, then please share them in the comments section below. Let’s unite together to conquer the Log4j vulnerability!