Log4J hack

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Two good post-mortems on the Log4J vulnerability.
From Bruce Schneier (and read the comments)

On the Log4j Vulnerability
It’s serious:

The range of impacts is so broad because of the nature of the vulnerability itself. Developers use logging frameworks to keep track of what happens in a given application. To exploit Log4Shell, an attacker only needs to get the system to log a strategically crafted string of code. From there they can load arbitrary code on the targeted server and install malware or launch other attacks. Notably, hackers can introduce the snippet in seemingly benign ways, like by sending the string in an email or setting it as an account username.

Threat advisory from Cisco. Cloudflare found it in the wild before it was disclosed. CISA is very    concerned, saying that hundreds of millions of devices are likely affected.

And from Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog:

Log4J and Internet Castles Made of Sand
If you work outside of a tech company, chances are you’ve spent this week primarily concerned with getting ready for Christmas. If you work inside a tech company, there’s a significant chance your company spent much of this week patching a critical vulnerability in an open source Java logging library called Log4J.

Here’s a non-technical explanation of the problem:

It’s a vulnerability that was discovered in a piece of free, open source software called log4j. This software is used by thousands of websites and applications, to perform mundane functions most people don’t think about, such as logging information for use by that website’s developers, for debugging and other purposes.

Every web application needs functionality like this, and as a result, the use of log4j is ubiquitous worldwide. Unfortunately, it turns out log4j has a previously undiscovered security vulnerability where data sent to it through that website — if it contains a special sequence of characters — results in log4j automatically fetching additional software from an external website and running it. If a cyberattacker exploits this, they can make the server that is running log4j run any software they want — including software that can completely take over that server. This is known as a Remote Code Execution (RCE) attack.

To use a technical phrase, this is Really Bad.

Much more at the site.

So many people use open source software but so few pay anything to the contributors or even bother to look at the source code.  An extra pair of eyes would probably have caught this before it was a problem.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on December 21, 2021 12:37 PM.

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