What You Need to Know About Log4j Vulnerability

As a business owner, it is imperative that the technology you use daily runs smoothly. This includes your hardware, printers, phone systems, storage, etc. But lurking in places you can’t see are people ready to take advantage of any hole in your security they can find. And one of these holes could be found in Log4j. There are predictions that cybersecurity breaches will result in 146 billion stolen records by next year. Not only will this cost your business financially, but it will also impact your business’s reputation. And small businesses are especially at risk. Cybercrime Magazine reports that 60% of small businesses shut down within six months of a cyberattack. That’s why you must know about Log4j (and any other cyber threats coming your way).

What is Log4j?

Log4j is used across various services, applications, websites, and operational technology products to track and record security and performance information. It’s one of several Java logging frameworks. It is used by millions of worldwide computers that access online services. It helps to prevent cybercriminals from exploiting any vulnerabilities your systems may have and prevents them from being able to take over control of your systems should they be affected.

Specifically, Log4j records errors and routines in operating systems. It then communicates diagnostic messages regarding those events to users and system administrators. It’s considered open-source software.

Log4j Vulnerability Guidance

It’s essential to know about Log4Shell, an internet risk involving Log4j. Log4Shell records activities in a wide range of computer systems. On a scale of one to 10 (10 being the worst), the National Vulnerability Database gives it a 10. 

It was first reported as a threat in December of last year, and it is still very much a security problem today. It is also said that many companies are struggling to patch the issue. This could partly be due to companies’ confusion about where Log4j is deployed within their technological assets.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning companies to fix Log4j security dangers. According to them, attackers are using this security hole to their advantage.

The CyberSecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says, “Organizations should continue identifying and remediating vulnerable Log4j instances within their environments and plan for long-term vulnerability management.” 

They recommend the following:

  • For long-term alleviation, ensure the presence of log4j in all your assets, including internally developed software and non-internet-facing technology stacks. 
  • Organizations should perform a comprehensive analysis to exhaustively list all Log4J dangers. This includes scanning networks and hosts and comparing installed software with those listed in CISA’s Log4j vulnerable software database.  
  • Check for security updates and if they are available, do them immediately. If a product update is unavailable, apply the temporary mitigation measures from the list at Mitigating Log4Shell and Other Log4j-Related Vulnerabilities

There are now some alternatives to Log4j, such as Reload4j.

Log4j Example

Log4j is code placed in the backend of your website or online application. It looks something like this:

# Define the root logger with appender file

log = /usr/home/log4j

log4j.rootLogger = DEBUG, FILE

# Define the appender

log4j.appender.FILE=org.apache.log4j.FileAppender

log4j.appender.FILE.File=${log}/log.out

# Define the layout for the file appender

log4j.appender.FILE.layout=org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout

log4j.appender.FILE.layout.conversionPattern=%m%n

So, a typical example of Log4j is the error message you sometimes get on a website when you click a bad link. When that happens, it records the event in a log for that web server’s domain, and its administrators can see it using Log4j.

Log4j Java

Java is a computer language distributed under the Apache Software License. Log4j is written in Java and has also been ported to many other computer languages.

Apache Log4j

Apache Log4J is an upgrade to Log4j. It provides significant improvements over the original Log4j. It also fixes some problems in Logback’s makeup.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is working with others to respond to the active exploitation of vulnerability found in Apache’s Log4j software library.

How We Can Help

Adding an IT professional to your payroll can be expensive. However, the risk from cybersecurity threats is even more costly. That’s where we come in. FUSE3 provides IT services at a reasonable fee. 

Our IT services include data loss prevention, HIPAA, office moves, wiring projects, ransomware protection, and security awareness training. We have the expertise to ensure you have all your IT bases covered (including protection for Log4j vulnerabilities) without breaking the bank.

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