Posts Categorized: Website owners


Managed DDoS WordPress-targeting, XML-RPC API abusing service, spotted in the wild

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With WordPress continuing to lead the CMS market segment, with the biggest proportion of market share, cybercriminals are actively capitalizing on the monocultural insecurities posed by this trend, in an attempt to monetize the ubiquitous (for the cybercrime ecosystem) TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures). Despite actively seeking new and ‘innovative’ ways to abuse this trend, cybercriminals are also relying on good old fashioned reconnaissance and ‘hitlist’ building tactics, in an attempt to achieve an efficiency-oriented ‘malicious economies of scale’ type of fraudulent/malicious process. We’ve recently spotted a managed WordPress installations-targeting, XML-RPC API abusing type of DDos (Denial of Service) attack service, […]

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Commercially available database of 52M+ ccTLD zone transfer domains spotted in the wild

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For years, cybercriminals have been building ‘hit lists’of potential targets through automated and efficiency-oriented reconnaissance TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures).  The aim is to fraudulently/maliciously capitalize on these databases consisting of both corporate and government users. Seeking a positive return on their fraudulent/malicious activities, cybercriminals also actively apply basic QA (Quality Assurance) processes, standardization, systematic releasing of DIY (do-it-yourself) cybercrime-friendly applications – all to further ensure a profitable outcome for their campaigns. Thanks to the active implementation of these TTPs, in 2014, the market segments for spam-ready managed services/blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) continue to flourish with experienced vendors starting to ‘vertically integrate’ within the cybercrime […]

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Malicious campaign relies on rogue WordPress sites, leads to client-side exploits through the Magnitude exploit kit

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In a cybercrime ecosystem populated by commercially available WordPress brute-forcing and mass vulnerable WordPress installation scanning tools, cybercriminals continue actively capitalizing on the platform’s leading market share within the Content Management System’s market segment. Successfully exploiting tens of thousands of installations on a daily basis, for the purpose of utilizing the legitimate infrastructure to achieve their fraudulent/malicious campaign objectives, the tactic is also largely driven by the over-supply of compromised/accounting data, usually embedded within sophisticated Web-based attack platforms like the ones we’ve profiled in the past. We’ve recently intercepted a malicious campaign exclusively relying on rogue WordPress sites, ultimately serving client-side exploits to users […]

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Fully automated, API-supporting service, undermines Facebook and Google’s ‘SMS/Mobile number activation’ account registration process

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Operating in a world dominated by millions of malware-infected hosts acting as proxies for the facilitation of fraudulent and malicious activity, the Web’s most popular properties are constantly looking for ways to add additional layers of authentication to the account registration process of prospective users, in an attempt to undermine automatic account registration tactics. With CAPTCHA under automatic fire from newly emerging CAPTCHA solving/breaking services, re-positioning the concept from what was once the primary automatic account registration prevention mechanism, to just being a part of the ‘authentication mix’ these days, in recent years, a new (layered) authentication concept got the attention […]

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DIY Python-based mass insecure WordPress scanning/exploting tool with hundreds of pre-defined exploits spotted in the wild

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Throughout 2013, we not only witnessed the re-emergence of proven mass, efficiency-oriented Web site hacking/exploitation tactics, such as, the reliance on Google Dorks scanning, good old fashioned brute-forcing, but also, the introduction of new concepts, successfully utilizing/standardizing, both, compromised accounting data, and server-farm level access, in an attempt to fraudulently monetize the hijacked traffic from legitimate Web sites. As we’ve seen on numerous occasions throughout the years, despite sophisticated ‘innovations’, cybercriminals are no strangers to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Case in point in terms of Content Management Systems (CMSs) is WordPress, whose market share is naturally proportional with […]

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Cybercrime Trends 2013 – Year in Review

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It’s that time of the year! The moment when we reflect back on the cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) that shaped 2013, in order to constructively speculate on what’s to come for 2014 in terms of fraudulent and malicious campaigns, orchestrated by opportunistic cybercriminal adversaries across the globe. Throughout 2013, we continued to observe and profile TTPs, which were crucial for the success, profitability and growth of the cybercrime ecosystem internationally, such as, for instance, widespread proliferation of the campaigns, professionalism and the implementation of basic business/economic/marketing concepts, improved QA (Quality Assurance), vertical integration in an attempt to occupy […]

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Malicious multi-hop iframe campaign affects thousands of Web sites, leads to a cocktail of client-side exploits – part two

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Ever since we exposed and profiled the evasive, multi-hop, mass iframe campaign that affected thousands of Web sites in November, we continued to monitor it, believing that the cybercriminal(s) behind it, would continue operating it, basically switching to new infrastructure once the one exposed in the post got logically blacklisted, thereby undermining the impact of the campaign internationally. Not surprisingly, we were right. The campaign is not only still proliferating, but the adversaries behind it have also (logically) switched the actual hosting infrastructure. Let’s dissect the currently active malicious iframe campaign that continues to serving a cocktail of (patched) client-side […]

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How fraudulent blackhat SEO monetizers apply Quality Assurance (QA) to their DIY doorway generators

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How are cybercriminals most commonly abusing legitimate Web traffic? On the majority of occasions, some will either directly embed malicious iFrames on as many legitimate Web sites as possible, target server farms and the thousands of customers that they offer services to, or generate and upload invisible doorways on legitimate, high pagerank-ed Web properties, in an attempt to monetize the hijacked search traffic. In this post I’ll profile a DIY blackhat SEO doorway generator, that surprisingly, has a built-in module allowing the cybercriminal using it to detect and remove 21 known Web backdoors (shells) from the legitimate Web site about to be abused, just in case […]

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Webroot’s Threat Blog Most Popular Posts for 2012

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It’s that time of the year! The moment when we look back, and reflect on Webroot’s Threat Blog most popular content for 2012. Which are this year’s most popular posts? What distinguished them from the rest of the analyses published on a daily basis, throughout the entire year? Let’s find out.

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A Primer for Secure Coding in PHP and MySQL

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PHP is an incredibly popular language for creating dynamic web applications — websites such as Facebook are built on it. This can be attributed to many reasons; it is easy to learn, easy to install and does not require the user to compile code. An unfortunate side effect of the ease of development with PHP is a tendency to ignore security during the development process. In this post I will discuss some of the ways to make your PHP apps more secure. I will go through creating a PHP web app that connects to a MySQL back end database. The […]

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