U.S. warns hundreds of millions of devices at risk of newly discovered software vulnerabilities

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As major technology companies work hard to contain the impact, US officials held conference calls with industry executives to warn hackers that they are actively exploiting the vulnerability.

Currently, network security analysts tell CNN that the pressure on technology companies is to clean up their software code, while large companies need to figure out whether they are affected by the vulnerability. However, because the vulnerability is very common, and it is likely to exist in popular applications and websites, if these services are hacked, consumers may also be affected.

Eastley said: “We expect that the vulnerability will be widely used by sophisticated actors, and we have a limited time to take the necessary measures to reduce the possibility of destructive events.”

CNN has contacted CISA for comments. CyberScoop, a technology news site, first reported the content of the call.

This is the harshest warning issued by U.S. officials of the software defect since news broke late last week that hackers were using it to try to break into the organization’s computer network. This is also a test of a new channel established by federal officials to collaborate with industry executives after exposing widespread hacking attacks using SolarWinds and Microsoft software last year.

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Experts told CNN that it may take several weeks to resolve these vulnerabilities, and it is suspected that Chinese hackers are already trying to exploit it.

The vulnerability exists in a Java-based software called “Log4j” that is used by large organizations (including some of the world’s largest technology companies) to log information in their applications. Tech giants such as Amazon Web Services and IBM have taken action to resolve errors in their products.

It provides a relatively simple method for hackers to access the organization’s computer server. From there, attackers can devise other methods to access systems on the organization’s network.

The Apache Software Foundation, which manages the Log4j software, has released security fixes for organizations to apply.

Race against time to solve defects

However, according to the cybersecurity company, the attacker had used the vulnerability more than a week before the software vulnerability was publicly disclosed. Cloud flare.

Organizations are now racing against time to figure out whether they have computers running vulnerable software exposed on the Internet. Government and industry cybersecurity executives are working day and night to solve this problem.

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Another CISA official, Jay Gazlay, said on the phone: “We will have to ensure that we continue to work hard to understand the risks of this code in critical infrastructure throughout the United States.”

Charles Carmakal, senior vice president and chief technology officer of the network security company Mandiant, said that hackers associated with the Chinese government have begun to exploit the vulnerability. Mandiant declined to elaborate on the organizations targeted by the hackers.

“Over time, everyone can arm this damn thing,” Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia told CNN, referring to the loophole. “That’s the problem. And there may be great hackers hiding in not too much noise.”

“Noise” is a real problem. For cybersecurity professionals, Twitter has always been a constant loss of useful information and, in some cases, misinformation that has nothing to do with vulnerabilities.

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To solve this problem, CISA stated that it will establish a public website that provides information about which software products are affected by the vulnerability and information about the technology used by hackers to exploit it.

Eric Goldstein, CISA’s executive assistant director of cybersecurity, said on the phone: “This will be a multi-week process, and new participants are taking advantage of the vulnerability.”

The ubiquity of the software forces network security professionals across the country to check their systems for vulnerabilities on weekends.

“For most of the information technology world, there are no weekends,” Rick Holland, chief information security officer of cybersecurity company Digital Shadows, told CNN. “This is just another long day.”

CNN’s Geneva Sands contributed to the report.

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