Written by AJ Vicens
Dec 21, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP
Cybersecurity professionals have spent weeks scrambling to address a bug in a widely used software library that could enable hackers to steal data, launch ransomware attacks or otherwise knock systems offline.
The bug, known as Log4Shell, exists in Log4j, an open-source software tool that is used widely in the technology industry. The flaw could allow for attackers, in some cases, to take over vulnerable systems by duping a target into logging code capable of downloading malware hosted elsewhere.
Given the ubiquity of the software and the sheer number of vulnerable systems, U.S. cybersecurity officials gave federal agencies until Dec. 23 to evaluate their exposure and take remediation steps, urging private sector entities to do the same.
Jen Easterly, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, had previously called the bug perhaps “the most serious” she’d seen in her career. The CISA directive cited “active exploitation by multiple threat actors,” while analysts at Microsoft and Mandiant reported seeing hackers thought to be associated with the governments of China, Iran, North Korea and Turkey working to leverage the flaw. Another DHS official, Jay Gazlay, speculated that