A vulnerability in Log4j, an open-source Java-based logging framework, has allowed hackers to deploy remote code execution to corrupt systems. Apache announced the Log4j flaw on December 9, 2021.
Hackers can use the vulnerability to access and steal data and install ransomware. In some cases, they may also be able to exploit the flaw to access cryptographic keys to sensitive data or even generate cryptocurrency.
Since the vulnerability, called CVE-2021-44228, can be difficult for organizations to detect, it could take months or even years for the implications of this flaw to be fully understood and addressed.
Industrial Organizations Are Most at Risk
Log4j is widely used, especially in industrial organizations, and major tech companies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google are at risk as a result of the vulnerability.
Enterprise organizations with large networks are most at risk because their operators may not know if or where Log4j is used in their systems. Commonly used in industrial systems, Log4j is a significant vulnerability due to the complex nature of these networks and companies’ lack of insight into their network safety and security.
Cybersecurity researchers say that businesses should assume they have been breached and update their networks, install patches, and monitor for suspicious activity.
It Can Take Time to Know Who or What Has Been Affected
Both external and internal applications are vulnerable as a result of CVE-2021-44228. Since Log4j has been used in development for many years, this flaw could continue to affect systems for months, if not years, to come.
Since many of these platforms have far-reaching effects, most businesses can eventually be affected by these attacks. For example, the HR management platform Kronos recently went down and is expecting a several-week outage as a result of a ransomware attack, leaving some companies unable to process payroll for their employees.
As the flaw is relatively new, it could be a while before businesses, especially larger organizations, know if and how their data and networks have been compromised.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Networks?
Due to the nature of the Log4j vulnerability, cybersecurity experts are urging businesses to begin securing their networks now. Hundreds of thousands of attacks are occurring every hour. If your company hasn’t been breached yet, it may be soon, or your vendors may also be breached.
Experts are also encouraging businesses to install updates on any applications that may have potentially been affected. There is a patch available for the Log4j flaw, which can provide some protection. However, the vulnerability continues to evolve, and many other versions of the component already exist.
Network monitoring can also help businesses effectively screen their networks to identify suspicious behavior prior to an attack or behavior that could indicate an attack has already occurred.
How neteffect technologies Can Help
neteffect works with businesses to test applications and websites to discover the Log4j vulnerability and mitigate exposure and potential damage for them. We have already secured our clients’ networks via firewall techniques and EDR deployments along with targeted patching as patches become available. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you secure your networks.