msgbartop
Unmask Parasites - Check your web pages for hidden links, iframes, malicious scripts, unauthorized redirects and other signs of security problems.
msgbarbottom
Loading site search ...

Careless Webmasters as WordPress Hosting Providers for Spammers

18 May 12   Filed in Website exploits with 8 Comments

Foks, a frequent contributer to my investigations, recently pointed me at an interesting black hat SEO campaign where thousands of hacked WordPress blogs and Joomla sites were used to create doorways promoting online stores selling various “slimming pills” and fake luxury goods.

doorway blogs

During the last few years I saw many attacks where cyber criminals created large spammy sites in subdirectories of hacked legitimate sites. It’s an easy way to create millions of doorway pages on thousands of established domains with good reputation for free (owners of hacked sites pay for hosting, bandwidth and domains) — typical parasitic behavior. Webmasters normally only visit pages they created themselves and rarely check what happens in subdirectories so they may not notice spammy sections for months. Sometimes such sections may be significantly larger than legitimate sections of hacked websites and attract much more search traffic.

The back end of such rogue sections is usually some doorway generating script along with rewrite rules in .htaccess or a simple blogging engine like FlatPress that doesn’t require a database. The only requirement of such solutions is PHP so they will work on most websites.

However this time spammers chose WordPress as a back end for their doorways. After all, if they hack a WordPress blog, the server is guranteed to be compatible with WordPress and all they need to do to install a new instance is get MySQL password from existing wp-config.php and chose a different table prefix for their WordPress database.
Here’s how the attack works »»

/tmp/wp_inc or Not Your Typical WordPress Attack

09 Nov 11   Filed in Website exploits with 21 Comments

This post will provide a very detailed and rather technical description of the latest massive WordPress hack. I find it interesting in many ways. Mainly because it’s so atypical.

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, you can head directly to the short description of the attack and then to the Summary section where I talk about what’s new, strange and uncommon in this attack. Or if you are a webmaster of a hacked blog, go to the “To Webmasters” section – it will help you resolve the problem.
Continue »»

Malicious “ads” and “bars” on RackSpace & MediaTemple

08 Aug 10   Filed in Website exploits with 21 Comments

Right before this week-end I noticed an increased number of sites hosted on MediaTemple and RackSpace coming to Unmask Parasites with the same problem — their sites are blocked by Google and their diagnostic pages mention the following five domains: “myads .name“, “adsnet .biz“, “toolbarcom .org“, “mybar .us“, “freead .name“.
Continue »»

Network Solutions and WordPress Security Flaw

11 Apr 10   Filed in Website exploits with 48 Comments

I first noticed this hidden iframe from hxxp://networkads .net/ grep/ on April 7. It instantly drew my attention with these weird “iframe_style” scripts in Unmask Parasites reports (I even thought it was a bug in Unmask Parasites, but when I checked the infected site, I found those scripts there).

weird scripts

However it was a single incident and I didn’t see any obvious pattern back then. Two days later, when I noticed David’s (Sucuri Security) article about this very issue and the follow-up by Brian Krebs, I decided to take a closer look at it. What I found is quite interesting and raises a few serious questions about security of websites on shared servers.
Continue »»