Is Apache Web Server Affected by Log4j?


Heather Bennett

Apache Web Server is one of the most popular web servers in the world. It is known for its reliability, performance, and security.

However, recently there has been a major security vulnerability discovered in a widely used Java logging library called Log4j. This vulnerability, known as Log4Shell or CVE-2021-44228, has raised concerns among web server administrators and developers regarding the potential impact on Apache Web Server.

What is Log4j?

Log4j is a powerful logging utility that allows developers to generate log messages from their applications. It provides various features like log levels, log output destinations, and customizable log formats. Log4j is widely used in Java-based applications, including Apache Web Server.

Log4Shell Vulnerability

The Log4Shell vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on the affected server by exploiting a deserialization flaw present in the log message processing functionality of Log4j. This means that an attacker can craft a malicious log message that triggers the execution of arbitrary code when processed by an application using an affected version of Log4j.

This vulnerability has received widespread attention due to its severity and potential impact on various systems across different industries. It has been assigned a maximum CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) score of 10, indicating its criticality.

Impact on Apache Web Server

Apache Web Server itself is not directly affected by the Log4Shell vulnerability. However, many web applications running on Apache Web Server may use Log4j for logging purposes. If these applications use an affected version of Log4j and process malicious log messages, they could be compromised.

The impact on Apache Web Server depends on the specific applications running on it. If you are using Apache Tomcat or any other Java-based application server, it is important to check if Log4j is being used and if so, ensure that you are using a patched version that addresses the Log4Shell vulnerability.

Protecting Apache Web Server

To protect your Apache Web Server from the Log4Shell vulnerability, follow these steps:

  • Identify: Identify if any applications running on your Apache Web Server are using Log4j for logging.
  • Patch: If any of your applications are using an affected version of Log4j, update them to a patched version as soon as possible. The Apache Logging Services project has released versions 2.15.0 and 2.16.0 that address the vulnerability.
  • Monitor: Monitor for any suspicious activities or log messages that could indicate exploitation attempts.
  • Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest security advisories and patches related to Log4j and Apache Web Server.


The Log4Shell vulnerability poses a significant risk to web servers and applications using Log4j for logging. While Apache Web Server itself is not directly affected, it is crucial to ensure that any applications running on it are protected by updating to patched versions of Log4j. Regular monitoring and staying informed about security updates are essential practices for maintaining the security of your web server.

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