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Web service automates WordPress password cracking

Malefactors debut Hacking as a Service

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hackers have developed a distributed Wordpress admin account cracking scheme that poses a severe risk for the security of blogs whose owners select insecure passwords.

PHP scripts located on a virtual server run bruteforce (password guessing) attacks on targeted sites. Many sites can be attacked at the same time by the system, with results written into an associated database.

The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre notes that brute force attacks against Wordpress are commonplace. The distributed nature of the latest attack marks an evolution towards blog hacking as a web service, however, thus marking it out from the crowd.

"While this particular version is relatively simple, the power behind the script and the MySQL database allows the attacker to distribute the attacks not only by sites, but also by passwords tried as well," ISC security watcher Bojan Zdrnja writes.

Blog administrators are advised to use strong (hard to guess) passwords and to limiting access by IP address as a security precaution to prevent getting pwned. ®

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