Feeds

Worm wiggles through weary WordPress

Spam-friendly malware spanks Scoble blog

Security for virtualized datacentres

Hackers are exploiting older installations of WordPress to distribute blog comment spam and disguise links to malware-contaminated sites.

The worm-based attack targets an older version of the popular blog publishing software. Although the worm attempts to hide its tracks, coding errors mean that links on a blog wind up getting broken following an attack, thus revealing something is wrong, as explained in a blog post by Wordpress here.

This particular worm, like many before it, is clever: it registers a user, uses a security bug (fixed earlier in the year) to allow evaluated code to be executed through the permalink structure, makes itself an admin, then uses JavaScript to hide itself when you look at users page, attempts to clean up after itself, then goes quiet so you never notice while it inserts hidden spam and malware into your old posts.

The tactics are new, but the strategy is not. Where this particular worm messes up is in the "clean up" phase: it doesn’t hide itself well and the blogger notices that all his links are broken, which causes him to dig deeper and notice the extent of the damage.

Bloggers are advised to update their software to the latest 2.8.4 version of WordPress. Applying an update might be a chore but it's far easier than fixing a hacked blog, as WordPress points out.

Among those hit by the latest attack was tech blogger Robert Scoble, who lost two months of blog entries as a result. Scoble was hit by a similar attack a couple of months ago, and is now considering a switch to different blogging software.

The Guardian notes that attacks against WordPress are getting more frequent, wondering aloud if security concerns might one day prompt users to move away from the open source PHP application, whose widespread use makes it a tempting target for hacking attacks. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.