Apache Log4j Vulnerabilities: The Basics

A series of exploits leveraging vulnerabilities in the popular Apache Log4j Java library were uncovered recently, prompting tremendous cyber security activity in response to the threats. The Log4j module allows Java-based applications to better handle internal event logging and is used by many popular applications, cloud-based services, and even operating systems. Because of Log4j's ubiquity, the threat these vulnerabilities represent is significant.

Attackers can manipulate the contents of Log4j log files to include a malicious payload granting remote code execution (RCE). In the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS), this vulnerability is rated at a 10 out of 10 severity level. Multiple security researchers have identified the vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild. It is anticipated that a self-propagating worm is being developed to leverage this vulnerability to spread malware even further afield.

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