Log4j impacts for Cognos

Cognos Analytics 11.1.7
Microsoft Windows 2019 server

Should i do something for Cognos products because of the Log4j vulnerability?

There is now a “patch”….. read more here https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6526474

Security Bulletin: IBM Cognos Analytics: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228)



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. The attacker must get the Cognos Logger software to process a string to the log file, that active the function JNDI to contact LDAP server xxxx and download information, that in real can be java code, and execute it. Gives the possibility to install Trojans and other software, but he need to trick cognos to send the information to the logger.

How Log4j Vulnerability Could Impact You

Suggested Solution:
First check what IBM say, if needed for cognos, they will release patch or instructions on there page.


Things you can do:
Ensure that the Cognos servers do not have contact with Internet, so any application on the server can reach out and download other software.
Creating a default-deny firewall rule will prevent servers from creating unapproved connections and can help reduce your risk of a compromise.

Ensure that only the people and computers that need it, have access to your cognos servers.

You can use tools, to see if you have the vulnerability;




Log4j is a tool to create log files, used by WebSphere and maybe Cognos software.
Check version of WebSphere with this command:

Above is from CA11.1.x  CM_version=11.1.7-41.
In a CMD prompt, go to the java bin folder (path depends on version of Cognos Analytics)
Enter command C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\analytics\wlp\bin\productinfo  version
CA11 uses WebSphere Liberty Server, where the version number is the year it was released.
WebSphere Application Server (WAS) latest version is 9, that should correspond to WLP 20.


Above is from CA11.0.x  CM_version=

You can search your cognos folder, to see if you have Log4j files that can contain this issue.

You will find it in several folders, but it is only the top one \bin that is the default. The others are cached versions in folders like C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\analytics\wlp\usr\servers\cognosserver\workarea\org.eclipse.osgi\61\data\cache\com.ibm.ws.app.manager_157\.cache\WEB-INF\lib

Log4j-core and Log4j-api can contain this issue. Above picture from CA11, we see that we use version 2.7 of Log4j program. That is old, so the LOG4J_FORMAT_MSG_NO_LOOKUPS  parameter will not work.

Versions of Log4j is listed here:

If you can not wait for IBM instructions for Cognos, https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6526474,  you can test this in your LAB.

“the mitigation is to remove the JndiLookup class from the classpath, with command: zip -q -d log4j-core-*.jar org/apache/logging/log4j/core/lookup/JndiLookup.class. ”

Stop the IBM Cognos service.

Copy the log4j-core-2.7.jar file to a new folder e.g. c:\tempfix

Unzip the jar file.

Go down in the unzipped folder structure to C:\tempfix\log4j-core-2.7\org\apache\logging\log4j\core\lookup folder

Remove the file JndiLookup.class

Go back to your top folder, and zip it again.

Rename your log4j-core-2.7.jar to log4j-core-2.7.org.jar ( to keep a backup ).

Rename your log4j-core-2.7.zip file to log4j-core-2.7.jar.

Copy the new log4j-core-2.7.jar file to your C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\analytics\bin folder.

Start IBM Cognos.

Check that you can login and run reports.
The Log4j is used to create the cognosserver.log files, so carefully check that the log files work as expected.




If your test work out well, you can update the C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\analytics\bin\log4j-core-2.7.jar file on your other CA11 servers.

PAW have a fix at:

Security bulletin: Security Bulletin: IBM Planning Analytics Workspace: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228)



For the latest Cognos Controller version there is a new version out…  but it may come more information from IBM.

Security bulletin: Security Bulletin: IBM Cognos Controller 10.4.2 IF16: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228)

TM1 may also not use the affected version. You have to check with IBM Support, what they say.

IBM SPSS have a fix at https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6526182

IBM ILMT have a different version of Log4j, and therefor a different workaround:

Most product will have a “patch” to upgrade to later Log4j versions.


Workaround 1. Manually upgrade Log4j library included in VM Manager Tool in versions – to version 2.15.0

  1. Download the Log4j library package in version 2.15.0 from this page: https://logging.apache.org/log4j/2.x/download.html and extract them.
  2. Copy the following files to the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/lib/ directory.
    • log4j-api-2.15.0.jar
    • log4j-core-2.15.0.jar
  3. Stop the VM Manager Tool by using the -stop switch of the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh|bat script. For more information, see: VM Manager Tool command-line options.
  4. Remove the following JAR files from the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/lib/ directory.
    • log4j-api-2.13.3.jar
    • log4j-core-2.13.3.jar
  5. Depending on your operating system, modify one of the following files.
    • LINUX: In the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh file, find the following lines:
      VMM_CLASS_PATH=$VMM_CLASS_PATH:$VMM_LOCAL_LIB/log4j-core-2.13.3.jarChange them to:
    • WINDOWS: In the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.bat file, find the following lines:
      SET VMM_CLASS_PATH=%VMM_CLASS_PATH%;%VMM_LOCAL_LIB%/log4j-api-2.13.3.jar
      SET VMM_CLASS_PATH=%VMM_CLASS_PATH%;%VMM_LOCAL_LIB%/log4j-core-2.13.3.jarChange them to:
      SET VMM_CLASS_PATH=%VMM_CLASS_PATH%;%VMM_LOCAL_LIB%/log4j-api-2.15.0.jar
      SET VMM_CLASS_PATH=%VMM_CLASS_PATH%;%VMM_LOCAL_LIB%/log4j-core-2.15.0.jar
  6. Start the VM Manager Tool by using -run switch of the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh|bat script. For more information, see: VM Manager Tool command-line options.

Workaround 2. Mitigate the issue on the current version of the Log4j library included in VM Manager Tool in versions – by the configuration change

  1. Depending on your operating system, run one of the following:
    • LINUX: In the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh file, find the following line. It might not contain all the parameters starting with -D string, for example, it might not contain the -Dsun.net.http.allowRestrictedHeaders=true substring.VMM_PROPERTIES_DEFS=”-Dhttps.protocols=TLSv1.2,TLSv1.1,TLSv1 -Dcom.ibm.jsse2.disableSSLv3=false -Dcom.ibm.tools.attach.enable=no -Dsun.net.http.allowRestrictedHeaders=true”Add the following text at the end of the found line, just before the double quotation mark that ends this line.“ -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true” (including the space character at the beginning of the text)For example:
      VMM_PROPERTIES_DEFS=”-Dhttps.protocols=TLSv1.2,TLSv1.1,TLSv1 -Dcom.ibm.jsse2.disableSSLv3=false -Dcom.ibm.tools.attach.enable=no -Dsun.net.http.allowRestrictedHeaders=true -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true
    • WINDOWS: In the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.bat file, add the following entry as the last line of the ####### PROPERTIES DEFINITONS ####### section:SET VMM_PROPERTIES_DEFS=%VMM_PROPERTIES_DEFS% -Dlog4j2.formatMsgNoLookups=true
  2. Stop the VM Manager Tool by using the -stop switch of the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh|bat script. For more information, see: VM Manager Tool command-line options.
  3. Start the VM Manager Tool by using the -run switch of the <VM_Manager_Tool_home_dir>/vmman.sh|bat script. For more information, see: VM Manager Tool command-line options.









More Information:












Reference material can be found at the Apache.orgLog4j Security Vulnerability page.
IBM X-Force also has provided an analysis of the Log4j vulnerability, which can be found on the IBM Security Intelligence blog.

You have to decide how you will handle this possible threat in your organization.
This is only a list of information, on the subject.
You should check your logs from your antivirus / firewall software, if you are already compromise.


The IBM Cognos Analytics team have developed a “no-upgrade” option for our “On Prem” (local installation) customers.

To get the patch, click this link: CA-11.x-Log4jSafeAgent

For detailed instructions, see Mitigate the Apache Log4j vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) in Cognos Analytics 

Affected Version Fix Version Bundled Customers
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.x Cognos Analytics 11.2.1 Interim Fix 1


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.1 Interim Fix 2 (Bundled)
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.x


Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 Interim Fix 6


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 Interim Fix 7 (Bundled)
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.6 to 11.0.13 FP4


Cognos Analytics 11.0.13 Interim Fix 3


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.13 Interim Fix 4 (Bundled)

New version from 13 Jan 2022:

Affected Version Fix Version Bundled Customers
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.x IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.1 Interim Fix 3


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.1 Interim Fix 3 (Bundled)
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.x


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 Interim Fix 8 IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 Interim Fix 8 (Bundled)
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.6 to 11.0.13 FP4


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.13 Interim Fix 5


IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.13 Interim Fix 5 (Bundled)