Threat Signal Report

Newly Disclosed Vulnerability in Apache Commons Text Allows for RCE (CVE-2022-42889)

description-logo Description

UPDATE #1 2022/10/20: Updated protection section with IPS coverage.

FortiGuard Labs is aware of reports of a recent vulnerability in Apache Commons, which allows for remote code execution. Assigned, CVE-2022-42889, Apache Commons Text prior to 1.10.0 allows remote code execution (RCE) when applied to untrusted input due to insecure interpolation defaults.

What are the Details of this Vulnerability?

According to Apache, version 1.5 and 1.9 of Apache Commons are affected. Apache Commons suffers from default Lookup instance where included interpolators could result in arbitrary code execution or contact with remote servers.

These lookups are: - "script" - execute expressions using the JVM script execution engine (javax.script) - "dns" - resolve dns records - "url" - load values from urls, including from remote servers.

Applications using the defalts in versions 1.5 and 1.9 may be vulnerable to remote code execution or unintentional contact with remote servers if untrusted configuration values are used. Users are recommended to upgrade to Apache Commons Text 1.10.0, which disables the default interpolators.

Have there been Reports of Exploitation in the Wild?

No. There have been no instances reported in the wild according to Apache. This is likely due to unique niche setups and the specific parameters required to successfully exploit this vulnerability.

What is the CVSS Score?


There are Reports that this is Similar to Log4Shell, hence the Designation #Text4Shell. Along with the CVSS Score of 9.8 is there Reason for Concern?

Reports of this issue appear to be minimal, with no evidence at this time of active exploitation or wide install base similar to the Log4Shell event. This is due to the niche usage of Apache Commons and specific parameters that must be passed to successfully leverage this vulnerability. A small subset of open source programs have been observed using the parameters but those that are do not accept user defined parameters, which should limit the amount of exploitation attempts.

Any Recommended Mitigation?

It is suggested to upgrade to Apache Commons Text 1.10.0 as soon as time permits. If this is not possible, it is suggested that all internet facing sites running vulnerable versions of Apache Commons Text are put behind a firewall or removed from the public facing internet.

What is the Status of AV/IPS Coverage?

FortiGuard Labs has released the following IPS signature for CVE-2022-42889:

  • Apache.Commons.Text.Interpolation.Remote.Code.Execution (default action is set to "pass")



Traffic Light Protocol

Color When Should it Be used? How may it be shared?


Not for disclosure, restricted to participants only.
Sources may use TLP:RED when information cannot be effectively acted upon by additional parties, and could lead to impacts on a party's privacy, reputation, or operations if misused. Recipients may not share TLP:RED information with any parties outside of the specific exchange, meeting, or conversation in which it was originally disclosed. In the context of a meeting, for example, TLP:RED information is limited to those present at the meeting. In most circumstances, TLP:RED should be exchanged verbally or in person.


Limited disclosure, restricted to participants’ organizations.
Sources may use TLP:AMBER when information requires support to be effectively acted upon, yet carries risks to privacy, reputation, or operations if shared outside of the organizations involved. Recipients may only share TLP:AMBER information with members of their own organization, and with clients or customers who need to know the information to protect themselves or prevent further harm. Sources are at liberty to specify additional intended limits of the sharing: these must be adhered to.


Limited disclosure, restricted to the community.
Sources may use TLP:GREEN when information is useful for the awareness of all participating organizations as well as with peers within the broader community or sector. Recipients may share TLP:GREEN information with peers and partner organizations within their sector or community, but not via publicly accessible channels. Information in this category can be circulated widely within a particular community. TLP:GREEN information may not be released outside of the community.


Disclosure is not limited.
Sources may use TLP:WHITE when information carries minimal or no foreseeable risk of misuse, in accordance with applicable rules and procedures for public release. Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction.