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Simple local log4j vulnerability scanner


(Written in Go because, you know, "write once, run anywhere.")

This is a simple tool that can be used to find vulnerable instances of log4j 1.x and 2.x in installations of Java software such as web applications. JAR and WAR archives are inspected and class files that are known to be vulnerable are flagged. The scan happens recursively: WAR files containing WAR files containing JAR files containing vulnerable class files ought to be flagged properly.

Currently recognized vulnerabilities are:

  • CVE-2019-17571 (1.x)
  • CVE-2021-44228
  • CVE-2021-45105
  • CVE-2021-45046 (not reported by default due to lower severity)
  • CVE-2021-44832 (not reported by default due to lower severity)

The scan tool currently checks for known build artifacts that have been obtained through Maven. From-source rebuilds as they are done for Linux distributions may not be recognized.

Also included is a simple patch tool that can be used to patch out bad classes from JAR files by rewriting the ZIP archive structure.

Binaries for x86_64 Windows, Linux, MacOSX for tagged releases are provided via the Releases page.

Using the scanner

$ ./local-log4j-vuln-scanner [--verbose] [--quiet] \
    [--ignore-v1] [--ignore-vulns=...] \
    [--exclude /path/to/exclude …] \
	[--scan-network] \
	[--log /path/to/file.log] \
    /path/to/app1 /path/to/app2 …

The --verbose flag will show every .jar and .war file checked, even if no problem is found.

The --quiet flag will supress output except for indicators of a known vulnerability.

The --ignore-v1 flag will exclude checks for log4j 1.x vulnerabilities.

The --ignore-vulns flag allows excluding checks for specific vulnerabilities. e.g. -ignore-vulns=CVE-2021-45046,CVE-2021-44832. To check for all known vulnerabilities, pass an empty list like so: -ignore-vulns=

The --log flag allows everythig to be written to a log file instead of stdout/stderr.

Use the --exclude flag to exclude subdirectories from being scanned. Can be used multiple times.

The --scan-network flag tells the scanner to search network filesystems (disabled by default). This has not been implemented for Windows.

If class files indicating one of the vulnerabilities are found, messages like the following are printed to standard output:

./local-log4j-vuln-scanner - a simple local log4j vulnerability scanner

Checking for vulnerabilities: CVE-2019-17571, CVE-2021-44228, CVE-2021-45105
examining /path/to/vuln/log4shell-vulnerable-app-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war
indicator for vulnerable component found in /path/to/vuln/Downloads/log4shell-vulnerable-app-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war::WEB-INF/lib/log4j-core-2.14.1.jar (org/apache/logging/log4j/core/net/JndiManager.class): JndiManager.class log4j 2.14.0-2.14.1 CVE-2021-44228, CVE-2021-45105

Scan finished

Using the patch tool

Caution: Use this at your own risk and keep the original JAR files.

$ ./local-log4j-vuln-patcher log4j-core-2.14.1.jar log4j-core-2.14.1-patched.jar
Filtering out org/apache/logging/log4j/core/pattern/MessagePatternConverter.class (log4j 2.14)
Filtering out org/apache/logging/log4j/core/net/JndiManager.class (log4j 2.14.0-2.14.1)

Writing to log4j-core-2.14.1-patched.jar done

Building from source

Install a Go compiler.

Run the following commands in the checked-out repository:

go build -o local-log4j-vuln-scanner ./scanner
go build -o local-log4j-vuln-patcher ./patcher

(Add the appropriate .exe extension on Windows systems, of course.)


GNU General Public License, version 3


Hilko Bengen <>