IBM Support

Security Bulletin: Vulnerability in Apache Log4j affects IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Container Backup and Restore for Kubernetes and OpenShift (CVE-2021-44228)

Security Bulletin


A vulnerability in Apache Log4j could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system. This vulnerability may affect IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Container backup and restore for Kubernetes and OpenShift due to its use of the Strimzi operator.

Vulnerability Details

CVEID:   CVE-2021-44228
DESCRIPTION:   Apache Log4j could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system, caused by the failure to protect against attacker controlled LDAP and other JNDI related endpoints by JNDI features. By sending a specially crafted code string, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to load arbitrary Java code on the server and take complete control of the system. Note: The vulnerability is also called Log4Shell or LogJam.
CVSS Base score: 10
CVSS Temporal Score: See: for the current score.
CVSS Vector: (CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H)

Affected Products and Versions

Affected Product(s)Version(s)
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Container Backup and Restore for Kubernetes10.1.9.0
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Container Backup and Restore for OpenShift10.1.9.0



IBM strongly recommends addressing this vulnerability now by upgrading to the fixed level instead of using the manual process described under Workarounds and Mitigations.

Note:  The below fix package included Log4j 2.15.

IBM Spectrum Protect
Affected Versions
PlatformLink to Fix and Instructions



Workarounds and Mitigations

Procedure for manually addressing this vulnerability

The strimzi Operator used by IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Container backup and restore is affected by this vulnerability.
To fix this issue:
For Cluster Operator, edit the Deployment and set the environment variable JAVA_OPTS to -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true
1. oc get deployment -n baas
2. oc edit deployment strimzi-cluster-operator-v0.26.0 -n baas
      - args:
        - /opt/strimzi/bin/
        - name: JAVA_OPTS
          value: -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true
        - name: STRIMZI_NAMESPACE
Editing deployment will cause strimzi-cluster-opreator pod to restart after which the system is patched.
Alternatively run the following command:
kubectl set env deploy/strimzi-cluster-operator-v0.26.0 JAVA_OPTS="-Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true"  LOG4J_FORMAT_MSG_NO_LOOKUPS="true" -n baas
3. Edit the Kafka cluster definition so that the strimzi-entity-operator sets formatMsgNoLookup=true.
oc edit -n baas baas
Under the field spec.entityOperator.topicOperator set the following fields.
     - name: log4j2.formatMsgNoLookups
       value: "true"
Under the field spec.entityOperator.userOperator set the following fields.
      - name: log4j2.formatMsgNoLookups
        value: "true"
Save and close the file. The baas-entity-operator pod will automatically terminate and restart with the new options.
4. Confirm the settings were applied correctly by examining the logs of the baas-entity-operator pod.
The topic and user operator container logs should have lines such as below when starting that the JAVA_OPTS includes the formatMsgNoLookup=true option. See below for an example. Individual container logs may vary.
+ JAVA_OPTS=' -Dlog4j2.configurationFile=file:/opt/topic-operator/custom-config/ -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true -Dvertx.cacheDirBase=/tmp/vertx-cache'
Updating the Strimzi operator in the install namespace from 0.26.0 to 0.26.1 or higher version will fix the vulnerability.

Get Notified about Future Security Bulletins




Change History

15 December 2021: Initial Publication
17 December 2021: Updated Remediation/Fixes section to include the fix
20 December 2021: Updated Remediation/Fixes section to indicate that the fix package included Log4j 2.15

*The CVSS Environment Score is customer environment specific and will ultimately impact the Overall CVSS Score. Customers can evaluate the impact of this vulnerability in their environments by accessing the links in the Reference section of this Security Bulletin.


According to the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is an "industry open standard designed to convey vulnerability severity and help to determine urgency and priority of response." IBM PROVIDES THE CVSS SCORES ""AS IS"" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. CUSTOMERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ANY ACTUAL OR POTENTIAL SECURITY VULNERABILITY. In addition to other efforts to address potential vulnerabilities, IBM periodically updates the record of components contained in our product offerings. As part of that effort, if IBM identifies previously unidentified packages in a product/service inventory, we address relevant vulnerabilities regardless of CVE date. Inclusion of an older CVEID does not demonstrate that the referenced product has been used by IBM since that date, nor that IBM was aware of a vulnerability as of that date. We are making clients aware of relevant vulnerabilities as we become aware of them. "Affected Products and Versions" referenced in IBM Security Bulletins are intended to be only products and versions that are supported by IBM and have not passed their end-of-support or warranty date. Thus, failure to reference unsupported or extended-support products and versions in this Security Bulletin does not constitute a determination by IBM that they are unaffected by the vulnerability. Reference to one or more unsupported versions in this Security Bulletin shall not create an obligation for IBM to provide fixes for any unsupported or extended-support products or versions.

Document Location


[{"Business Unit":{"code":"BU058","label":"IBM Infrastructure w\/TPS"},"Product":{"code":"SSNQFQ","label":"IBM Spectrum Protect Plus"},"Component":"","Platform":[{"code":"PF016","label":"Linux"}],"Version":"10.1.9","Edition":"","Line of Business":{"code":"LOB26","label":"Storage"}}]

Document Information

Modified date:
20 December 2021