Feeds

Titsup WHMCS calls the Feds after credit-card megaleak

Web billing biz ransacked, smashed offline by hacktivists

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

WHMCS, which provides billing and customer support tech to many web hosts, was comprehensively hacked on Monday and remains offline.

Hackers tricked WHMCS's own hosting firm into handing over admin credentials to its servers. The group that carried out the hack, UGNazi, subsequently extracted the billing company's database before deleting files, essentially trashing the server and leaving services unavailable in the process. The compromised server hosted WHCMS's main website and supported customers' installations of its technology.

UGNazi also gained access to WHMCS's Twitter account, which it used to publicise a series of posts on Pastebin that contained links to locations from which the billing firm's customer records and other sensitive data might be downloaded. A total of 500,000 records, including customer credit card details, were leaked as a result of the hack.

Card information was salted and hashed, but reports allege that a decryption key to recover the details was stored in clear text in the root directory of WHCMS's compromised server and also leaked. The billing firm warned that "credit card information although encrypted in the database may be at risk". Password records, by contrast, ought to be safe but WHCMS still recommends a password refresh as a precaution.

Hacktivists justified the attack by making unsubstantiated accusations that WHMCS offered services to shady characters, via an update to WHMCS's compromised Twitter feed:

Many websites use WHMCS for scams. You ignored our warnings. We spoke louder. We are watching; and will continue to be watching. #UGNazi

WHMCS was able to restore service on Monday night within hours of the attack - although the website has fallen offline again apparently to a distributed denial of service attack. WHMCS has yet to regain control of its Twitter feed.

The billing firm posted a blog post explained how the attack took place and apologised to its customers for the inconvenience cause by an interruption in their services. A spokesman wrote:

Following an initial investigation I can report that what occurred today was the result of a social engineering attack.

The person was able to impersonate myself with our web hosting company, and provide correct answers to their verification questions. And thereby gain access to our client account with the host, and ultimately change the email and then request a mailing of the access details.

This means that there was no actual hacking of our server. They were ultimately given the access details.

This is obviously a terrible situation, and very unfortunate, but rest assured that this was no issue or vulnerability with the WHMCS software itself.

We are immediately reviewing all of our hosting arrangements, and will be migrating to a new setup at the earliest opportunity.

WHMCS added that it had reported the breach on its systems to the FBI. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?