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Weekly News: Catastrophic Log4j Security Fail Threatens Enterprise Systems & Web Apps Worldwide

Catastrophic Log4j Security Fail Threatens Enterprise Systems & Web Apps Worldwide

A serious code execution vulnerability in Log4j has security experts warning of potentially catastrophic consequences for enterprise organizations and web apps.

The vulnerability, listed as CVE-2021-44228 in the Apache Log4j Security Vulnerabilities log, enables remote attackers to take control of an affected system.

What is Log4j?

Log4j is an open source Apache logging system framework used by developers for recordkeeping within an application.

Who Is Impacted By The Log4j Security Issue?

The issue is so severe that the United States Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency released a notice December 10 that states, in part:

“CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Apache Log4j 2.15.0 Announcement and upgrade to Log4j 2.15.0 or apply the recommended mitigations immediately.”

Security Expert Recommendations For Combating Log4j Vulnerabilities

Kevin Beaumont warns that even if you had upgraded to log4j-2.15.0-rc1, there was a bypass:

catastrophic log4j security fail threatens enterprise systems & web apps worldwide

Marcus Hutchins from MalwareTech.com offers a workaround for those who can’t upgrade Log4j:

marcus hutchins

Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, announced Friday:

“We’ve made the determination that #Log4J is so bad we’re going to try and roll out at least some protection for all Cloudflare customers by default, even free customers who do not have our WAF. Working on how to do that safely now.”

Chris Wysopal, co-founder and CTO at Veracode, recommends upgrading to a minimum of Java 8:

chris wysopal

He also warns, “There may be only 5% of apps still on Java 7 but that is the long tail that will be exploited over the next months. Don’t have one of these in your org.”

Figuring out which applications in your organization use Log4j should be mission critical.

Source: Catastrophic Log4j Security Fail Threatens Enterprise Systems & Web Apps Worldwide

Exclusive: The most popular Yelp search filters

Yelp has provided Search Engine Land with the most popular search filters among users. “Open Now” was the most used filter across all categories, which speaks to the intent of customers browsing local reviews platforms like Yelp. “Request a Quote” was the second-most used filter for services businesses and the “Open to All” filter was also among the most popular filters for businesses in the Healthy & Beauty, Active Life and Shopping categories.

Yelp’s most popular search filters. The most used filters on Yelp, by category, are as follows:

Services businesses (Auto, Home, Local, and Professional Services)

  1. Open Now
  2. Request a Quote
  3. Accepts Credit Cards
  4. Fast-responding
  5. Offering a Deal

Restaurants, Food and Nightlife businesses

  1. Open Now
  2. Reservations
  3. Offers Takeout
  4. Outdoor Seating
  5. Offers Delivery
  6. Good for Dinner

Health & Beauty businesses

  1. Open Now
  2. Accepts Credit Cards
  3. Offering a Deal
  4. By Appointment Only
  5. Good for Kids
  6. Open to All

Active Life businesses

  1. Open Now
  2. Good for Kids
  3. Dogs Allowed
  4. Open to All

Shopping

  1. Open Now
  2. Open to All
  3. Accepts Credit Cards

Don’t overlook “Open Now.” As mentioned above, local reviews platforms are used by high-intent consumers that are likely to need a local business sooner rather than later. What’s open, at the time of their search, can determine which businesses they’ll eventually visit or contact.

While this may seem like a basic point, it underscores the importance of maintaining up-to-date business hours, which, for some businesses, may change frequently due to safety measures or staffing challenges related to the COVID pandemic or holiday schedules. Both Yelp and Google offer the ability to indicate special hours so that you can keep customers informed that you may not be operating as usual.

Filters reveal consumer priorities in different verticals. In the Restaurants, Food and Nightlife categories, “Offers Takeout,” “Outdoor Seating,” and “Offers Delivery” accounted for three of the top-five filters. This may be due to the pandemic’s effect on consumer preferences and speaks to the pivot in services that many food and nightlife businesses had to undergo to support these new expectations.

“Offering a Deal” was another popular filter for services businesses (auto, home, local and professional services) as well as health and beauty businesses. This may indicate that competitive pricing or other incentives are a priority for consumers looking for businesses in these categories.

“Open to All,” a filter and attribute indicating that a business is a “safe and welcoming place for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability,” was also among the top filters for Health & Beauty, Active Life and Shopping businesses.

Over the last few years, ethics and personal values have taken on more important roles in determining which businesses consumers are willing to support. To that end, Yelp has introduced numerous diversity attributes, including the Asian-owned, Black-owned, Latinx-owned, Women-owned and LGBTQ-owned attributes. Similarly, Google Business Profile owners can self-identify as Black-owned, Veteran-led, Women-led and LGBTQ-friendly.

Source: Exclusive: The most popular Yelp search filters

Meta Introduces Professional Mode For Facebook Profiles

Facebook Profile Updates – New Professional Mode

facebook professional mode

A new professional mode for Facebook profiles in the US includes revenue earning opportunities and insights on content performance.

New Ways To Earn Money

The first monetization option available with Facebook’s professional mode is the Reels Play bonus program.

This allows eligible creators to earn revenue based on the views of qualifying Reels.

The program is currently invite-only, but interested users can fill out a signup form to be notified when its more widely available.

Features From Pages Come To Profiles

Professional mode makes Facebook profiles more like Pages.

Withthis mode activated, anyone can follow and see your public content in their feed without sending you a friend request.

However, you’ll still have control over who can see the content in individual posts.

With each post you publish you can choose if it goes out to the public or if its visible to friends only.

This is being tested with a limited number of profiles starting today in the US, with plans to expand to more users soon.

Professional mode will be available to more countries in the coming months, and more tools will be added including more monetization options.

New Features For Facebook Pages

facebook page unit

In a limited test, some admins will see a new unit at the top of their Page’s feed that provides a snapshot of post engagement and follower count.

The new unit may also show tips on how to create high performing content.

facebook follower count

Lastly, Facebook is testing an updated post composer for Pages that offers a variety of creator-focused features.

The initial test will include the ability to schedule posts, which was previously only available through Facebook Business Suite.

facebook post composer

With this update it’s now possible for admins to schedule posts regardless of their existing workflow and which tool or app they’re using.

Source: Meta Introduces Professional Mode For Facebook Profiles

Google Ads refreshes custom columns UI and adds new metrics

Google Ads is rolling out a new user interface for custom columns as well as new metrics, a Google spokesperson has confirmed to Search Engine Land. “The update will be rolling out to all advertisers in the next few weeks,” a Google spokesperson said.

Tip of the hat to PPCGreg on Twitter for first bringing this to our attention.

custom columns in google ads

The new metrics coming to custom columns. With this update, the following metrics will be available for custom columns:

  • Spreadsheet functions.
  • Calculate/compare metrics across date ranges (example).
  • Non-metric columns (like Campaign name or Budget).
  • Reference other custom columns.
  • Search, Click and Display impression share.
  • Three phone call metrics, and others.

Source: Google Ads refreshes custom columns UI and adds new metrics

10up Releases the Publisher Media Kit WordPress Plugin

Earlier today, version 1.0 of 10up’s Publisher Media Kit went live in the WordPress plugin directory. It is a preconfigured set of blocks and patterns for jump-starting a media kit page for small and medium-sized publications.

Given that WP Tavern just launched its new design yesterday, this might be an opportunity for us to lead the way. The plugin does give me a few ideas on what we could do with a similar page here on the site.

Publisher Media Kit has been tested with Twenty Twenty-One, Newspack, and several Newspack child themes. I did run it through most of those to check for compatibility, and the plugin worked admirably. However, I primarily tested it with Twenty Twenty-Two, the upcoming default WordPress theme. Aside from a few layout alignment quirks, it worked well.

The plugin automatically creates a new “Media Kit” draft page on the website once it is activated. The content is a set of pre-defined sections built from eight patterns and an accompanying Tabs block.

This allows users to quickly fill in their own content and make customizations. Once done, it is just a matter of hitting the publish button.

However, end-users can take things into their own hands by using the various patterns on any post or page of their site. The cover, stats, and questions/contact patterns work well as general-use patterns.

Source: 10up Releases the Publisher Media Kit WordPress Plugin

More News:

Google Updates Search Results For News Stories On Desktop

Meta Makes It Easier To Run Cryptocurrency Ads

Google drops its mobile-first indexing deadline, leaves it open-ended

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