An Update on the Log4j Vulnerability: Where are we now?

IT News, IT Security

In the last few months of 2021, the internet was on high alert as it was discovered that popular open-source logging system Log4j had a major vulnerability in its code. As a result of this, according to American IT security firm Check Point, over 44% of corporate networks experienced attempted attacks following the identification of the weakness

Log4j stands for logging for Java

What does Log4j mean? As visualised above, Log4j stands for ‘Logging for Java’

 

Here at BCS, we took fast action to secure both our internal systems and our customers:

  • We scanned our customers’ networks for potentially vulnerable applications
  • Ran a second scan with different variables to pick up additional weaknesses
  • Liaised closely with our vendors to patch and update applications so they can continue to be used safely
  • As of Jan 2022, we have audited all customer networks and negated software that may still pose a threat

Remind me, what is Log4j again?

Log4j is a Java-based logging utility that is open-source. It is used by software developers globally to keep a record (log) of events that occur within an operating system or piece of software. Log4j is so widely used as having a logging system is an important part of maintaining software and identifying errors that may occur – they are all stored in the log file.

What went wrong for Log4j to pose such a threat to businesses globally?

Because Log4j is open source, it has been used by developers all over the world, including use by big corporations such as Apple & Amazon. Unfortunately, the code could be easily manipulated by attackers to be able to take control of a device remotely across the internet – meaning thousands of networks could be compromised by cyber-criminals.

Log4j jargon explained

We get it – all this technical talk can be confusing, here’s a recap of the jargon used surrounding the Log4j topic:

  • Java – a computer programming language, similar to Python or Ruby
  • Open-Source Software – a publicly accessible piece of software in which anyone can use, study, modify and distribute
  • Code – a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execute or interpret
  • Developer – An IT professional who codes computer programs
  • Patch – an update to a computer program that usually updates, fixes or improves the program
  • Honeypots – a manufactured decoy target to lure cybercriminals to attack; allowing you to observe and learn how cybercriminals behave

How vulnerable is Log4j now?

As of January 2022, Apache (the creators of the code) have released two patches that have dealt with the main vulnerability of the code. Meanwhile, IT security companies such as Bitdefender have been monitoring Log4j themselves, using Honeypots to learn more about how the vulnerability can be used to exploit networks. You can read more on that by clicking here.

If you have any concerns about the content in this article, please get in touch by emailing us at log4j@bcs365.co.uk.