Feeds

phpBB forum offline after defacement

Monkey business

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The popular phpBB forum has been taken offline after hackers cracked into its server and defaced its website yesterday. The open source project's website was attacked using a vulnerability in a package called AWStats announced 17 January. The same exploit has also been used to attack several popular weblogs in recent days, Netcraft reports.

phpBB is a popular bulletin board package, with more than 150,000 registered members on its forum. The attack on the phpBB forum saw its website replaced by an image of that face of US President George Bush grafted onto the body of a baby monkey. It's unclear why defacer simiens picked the forum for attack. The phpBB forum runs off a single server, which is undergoing analysis. This has left phpBB's development team temporarily unable to use the project's primary server.

phpBB intends to recover its database from the server and rebuild its website, but this will take time. It hopes to have its website back to something close to normal operation by later today (8 February) or at least the end of the week.

In the meantime, users in need of support with phpBB 2.0.x can visit a development board, area51.phpbb.com. An IRC support channel, #phpbb on the irc.freenode.net network, is also available. A holding page on the phpBB forum's web site provides updates on the site's progress back to normal operations.

phpBB has been a target for attack before. In December 2004 malware authors created a worm that attacked web servers running the popular phpBB discussion forum software to deface vulnerable systems. The Santy worm hit thousands of sites. ®

Related stories

Santy worm defaces thousands of sites
Root kit surfaces after Jabber attack
GNU servers owned by crackers for months

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.