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SiteLock Threat Intercept blog

Threat Intercept: Passwords Publicly Exposed by Malware

By Ramuel Gall
This article was co-authored by Product Evangelist Logan Kipp.

THREAT SUMMARY

High Threat
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Category: Shell / Information Disclosure

Trend Identified: 4/20/2017

CVE ID: N/A

Trend Name: Trend Tusayan

Vector: Application Vulnerability, Multiple

The threat rating was determined using the following metrics:

Complexity:

LOW: The vectors used to infect websites appear to be well-documented vulnerabilities in older versions of website platforms.

Confidentiality Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides complete control of the target website, including credential disclosure and database contents.

Integrity Impact:

HIGH: This infection provides the adversary administrator-level access to impacted website applications, making total data loss a possibility.

The SiteLock team has discovered a dangerous malware trend that not only provides website administrator level access to the bad actors involved, but exposes sensitive website credentials publicly over the internet.

Tags:   cpanel, idx shell, Joomla!, magento, malware, password, shell, threat intercept, trend, vulnerability, WordPress
Categories:  Website Security, WordPress, WordPress security
website security scientist

Ask a Security Pro: Encryption Explained

By Logan Kipp

Over the last year I’ve led a multitude of security workshops aimed to educate entry-level WordPress users about website security. Some of the questions I regularly field in these workshops are related to the mechanics of SSL certificates, and their role in protecting website data from prying eyes. As you may know, the installation of an SSL certificate on a web server allows the server to accept traffic on the hypertext transfer protocol (secure), or simply ‘HTTPS,’ the primary form of encrypted data transfer between websites and visitors. I’d like to share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I’ve had on the subject.

SSL is the Armored Truck

The first thing I’d like to clarify on the subject of HTTPS and SSL certificates specifically is that the use of SSL certificates and HTTPS do not in any way, shape, or form protect the data on your website itself. HTTPS encrypts data in transit only. Neither does it protect data resting on visitors’ computers. You should consider HTTPS the armored truck of websites, not the bank vault. It acts as the protection against adversaries while data travels from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.

Tags:   #AskSecPro, Encryption, HTTPS, SSL
Categories:  Ask a Security Pro, Website Security, WordPress security

Pressnomics – Remaining Steadfast

By Adam Warner

Last week the SiteLock team gathered at the Tempe Mission Palms to attend and sponsor Pressnomics. If you’re not familiar, Pressnomics is a conference focused squarely on entrepreneurs and influencers who are committed to the WordPress community.

Tags:   business, events, pressnomics
Categories:  WordPress

Malware and WordPress Auto Login

By Michael Veenstra

Malware comes in a great deal of unique shapes and sizes.  Most people know someone who has had the misfortune of an infected computer at some point. Ransomware, trojans, and viruses that affect consumers’ physical devices are generally built with compiled code, which means you can’t easily “take a look under the hood” to get a solid idea of how it works.

The types of malware we work with at SiteLock behave a little differently, however. The web-ready files we encounter most frequently are written in Interpreted Languages like PHP and JavaScript. This means that the files involved contain plain, human-readable code, allowing anyone who understands the language to see what the files do.

Tags:   malware, PHP Code, WordPress
Categories:  Website Security, WordPress security

WordCamp San Diego – Kind of a Big Deal

By Adam Warner

This past weekend we found ourselves at WordCamp San Diego…and it was classy. This came as no surprise as the WordCamp theme was “Stay Classy,” a line taken from the comedy gem Anchorman set in the same city. SiteLock was a Gold sponsor (classy!) and along with our seasoned WordCamp goer Adam Warner, our own Web Security Consultant Managers, JC Bustillos and Evan Richardson, also attended the event.

Categories:  WordCamp
SiteLock Threat Intercept blog

Trending: Fake WordPress SEO Plugin Provides Backdoor Access

By Jessica Ortega

We recently discussed a particularly sneaky piece of malware that’s been disguising itself as fake plugin and targeting Joomla! users. While this phenomenon is not unique to the Joomla! content management system, SiteLock has discovered a recent trending fake plugin for WordPress, one of the world’s largest open source applications.

The fake plugin the SiteLock Research team found is called WP-Base-SEO. It is a forgery of a legitimate search engine optimization plugin, WordPress SEO Tools. Malicious content was found in /wp-content/plugins/wp-base-seo/wp-seo-main.php.  At first glance, the file appears to be legitimate, including a reference to the WordPress plugin database and documentation on how the plugin works.

WordPress fake SEO Plugin header

Fake plugin header

Tags:   fake plugin, Joomla!, SiteLock, WordPress
Categories:  SiteLock News, WordPress security
WordCamp Atlanta 2017 Recap

Setting a Gold Standard – WordCamp Atlanta

By Adam Warner

 

This past weekend we found ourselves at WordCamp Atlanta, one of the largest WordCamps in the country. Because this event fell on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the theme was “Find your Pot of Gold with WordPress.” This theme was pervasive throughout the entire weekend, even the various speakers built this theme into their sessions!
SiteLock was lucky enough to  sponsor the event (no pun intended) and Adam Warner, one of our staples in the WordPress community, had the pleasure of presenting his own story of finding WordPress.

Tags:   atlanta, community, inspiration
Categories:  WordCamp
website security scientist

Ask a Security Professional: Feature-Based Malware Detection

By Logan Kipp

Last year we published an #AskSecPro series where we explained how signature-based malware analysis works, as well as how traditional signatures are created. An area we don’t often talk about in public channels, but has played a pivotal role in SiteLock becoming a global leader in website security solutions, is our research and development efforts in new security technologies. In addition to our more traditional approaches to malware detection, SiteLock continues to explore new frontiers in technological improvement to push the field of security research forward. For some time SiteLock has been developing machine learning mechanisms as part of its process for discovering new malware iterations on an automatic basis. Our research in the field has shown that machine learning promises to be an important part of early malware detection and preliminary identification. One of the most significant breakthroughs we’ve had in machine learning as it pertains to malware detection and signatures, has been in feature-based signature analysis.

Tags:   #AskSecPro, analysis, behavioral analysis, feature-based, machine learning, malware, research, signatures, unsupervised learning
Categories:  Ask a Security Pro, Website Security, WordPress, WordPress security
A Day of REST Boston 2017

Wide Awake at A Day of REST

By Adam Warner

A Day of REST Boston was a one-day conference all about the WordPress REST API. Speakers included members of the team who are building the REST API, and developers using it in production websites. Attendees learned how to use the REST API for their projects, along with insights into best practices, tools, coding, and specific use cases.

Tags:   events, REST API
Categories:  WordPress
website security scientist

Ask a Security Professional: WordPress Database Security Part Two — Best Practices

By Logan Kipp

In Part One of our #AskSecPro series on WordPress Database Security, we learned about the anatomy of WordPress. Now that we have a firm understanding of the role the WordPress MySQL database plays in a WordPress installation, we can take a look at the various ways an adversary can exploit the mechanisms involved. We’ll also explore some of the ways to defend your database against compromise.

Tags:   #AskSecPro, best practices, database, mysql
Categories:  Ask a Security Pro, Website Security, WordPress, WordPress security