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Detect Log4j with osquery (and Fleet)

Detect Log4j with osquery (and Fleet)

Log4j is a widely used Java-based logging library that has been under active development since 1999 by The Apache Software Foundation. Security researchers have found a zero-day vulnerability CVE-2021–44228 that is actively being exploited in the wild to take control of an affected computer remotely.

In response, the ASF has released a patch and recommends an immediate upgrade to fix the impacted library.

Since Log4j is an embedded library used by many applications in your server and endpoint environments: how do you know your exposure? Here we describe a query you can run using Fleet to get granular and real-time visibility into Log4j installs across your infrastructure.

The Query (tl;dr)

The Fleet team developed this osquery SQL to detect running processes with Log4J loaded on Linux and macOS systems. Run it as a live query via Fleet (or any other osquery manager) to quickly detect potential targets within your infrastructure. Thank you to Tim Brown for creating these YARA queries.

This query can also be found in Fleet’s osquery standard query library.

WITH target_jars AS (
  SELECT DISTINCT path
  FROM (
      WITH split(word, str) AS(
        SELECT '', cmdline || ' '
        FROM processes
        UNION ALL
        SELECT substr(str, 0, instr(str, ' ')), substr(str, instr(str, ' ') + 1)
        FROM split
        WHERE str != '')
      SELECT word AS path
      FROM split
      WHERE word LIKE '%.jar'
    UNION ALL
      SELECT path
      FROM process_open_files
      WHERE path LIKE '%.jar'
  )
)
SELECT path, matches
FROM yara
WHERE path IN (SELECT path FROM target_jars)
  AND count > 0
  AND sigrule IN (
    'rule log4jJndiLookup {
      strings:
        $jndilookup = "JndiLookup"
      condition:
        $jndilookup
    }',
    'rule log4jJavaClass {
      strings:
        $javaclass = "org/apache/logging/log4j"
      condition:
        $javaclass
    }'
  );
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Note: This query is resource intensive and has caused problems on systems with limited swap space. Test on some systems before running this widely.

How it works

The query essentially works in two parts:

  1. Find loaded Java JAR files on the system.
  2. Use YARA scanning to detect Log4J utilization in those files.

Find JARs

JARs are found via two mechanisms on the host.

This complex-looking syntax actually just splits the command line arguments for each running process on the system, filtering for any arguments ending in .jar:

WITH split(word, str) AS(
  SELECT '', cmdline || ' '
  FROM processes
  UNION ALL
  SELECT substr(str, 0, instr(str, ' ')), substr(str, instr(str, ' ') + 1)
  FROM split
  WHERE str != '')
  SELECT word AS path
  FROM split
  WHERE word LIKE '%.jar'

These results are combined (using UNION ALL) with the list of open files for each process on the system, filtering again for arguments ending in .jar:

SELECT path
FROM process_open_files
WHERE path LIKE '%.jar'

Scan for Log4J

Once the query rounds up all the JARs, we use YARA to scan for evidence of Log4J in those JARs.

A trimmed-down set of the YARA rules from Tim Brown’s repository are applied:

SELECT path, matches
FROM yara
WHERE path IN (SELECT path FROM target_jars)
  AND count > 0
  AND sigrule IN (
    'rule log4jJndiLookup {
      strings:
        $jndilookup = "JndiLookup"
      condition:
        $jndilookup
    }',
    'rule log4jJavaClass {
      strings:
        $javaclass = "org/apache/logging/log4j"
      condition:
        $javaclass
    }'
  );

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