Category: WordPress security Page 6 of 16

LoopConf 2017: Advancing WordPress Development and Community

We’ve just returned from LoopConf, a WordPress developer-focused event that SiteLock was lucky enough to sponsor. It was an amazing three days, packed with informative sessions around open source software and leading-edge technologies – everything the WordPress community loves, all in one place! As usual, I’ve provided a summary of just some of the awesome sessions I attended while at the conference.

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Defacement Trend via REST API Exploit

SiteLock Research shield

This article was co-authored by Security Researcher Wyatt Morgan from SiteLock Research.

 

SiteLock Research has identified a trend of defacements impacting thousands of WordPress websites. This trend of defacements appears to be exploiting a vulnerability in the WordPress REST API present in versions 4.7 and 4.7.1. The attack overwrites existing WordPress posts with a defacement, of which there are already many variations, with hackers even overwriting each others’ defacements in many cases. Customers using the SiteLock TrueShield™ Web Application Firewall (WAF) are protected against this exploit.

Trend characteristics:

  • This attack vector impacts WordPress sites running versions 4.7 and 4.7.1 with the REST API enabled.
  • The attackers are sending the defacement payload over the REST API to modify and deface existing posts.
  • Post keywords are being modified in many cases, possibly for blackhat SEO purposes.
  • We’ve identified at least six different defacement
    campaigns through this vector.

Examples (hackers’ handles redacted):

WordPress defacement | hacked by

WordPress defacement example | hacked byWordPress defacement | hacked by with loveWordPress defacement | Hacked by HaCk3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This attack targets existing posts in WordPress, which means that a successful attack is overwriting data inside the WordPress database and data may only be recoverable via backup. If you have been impacted by this attack, your best course of action is to follow these steps:

1. Perform a file and database backup of the impacted website and save it to a secure location. This will ensure your data is safe if any critical failures occur in the following steps.
2. Update WordPress to the latest version, version 4.7.2.
3. Login to /wp-admin/ and verify which posts have been impacted by the defacement by looking in the title and body of the post for content that you did not put there. From the “edit post” menu, for each impacted post, check the revision history of the post to see if the original content is intact in a previous revision. If a previous revision is available, restore the post to that revision. Be sure to also check if the permalink for the post has been modified.

In many cases, following the above steps will remove the defacement and no further action is required. If you were not able to recover all of your post content, please continue with the following steps.

4. Locate your most recent database backup from before the attack and restore it to the production database.
5. Login to /wp-admin/ to check if any database clean-up is required to synchronize to the current WordPress version on the production site.
6. If WordPress indicates database changes are needed, allow it to run through the changes.

7. Audit your website for any incompatibility with the new WordPress version you’ve installed. Issues with updating are most commonly evident in the look and feel of the website.

We advise reaching out to your hosting provider as they may have a backup of your website stored on file. Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns about this email, please contact us at 877.563.2832 or email support@sitelock.com.

Please check this article regularly for updates as more information becomes available.

Critical WordPress REST API Vulnerability

This article was co-authored by Security Researchers Gregory Bloom and Wyatt Morgan from SiteLock Research.

As you may have heard by now, WordPress 4.7.2 has arrived! This emergency patch was released by the diligent WordPress contributors following the discovery of a rather nasty vulnerability in the new WordPress REST API functionality. The vulnerability discovered allowed for unauthenticated privilege escalation, which in layman’s terms means it’s potentially harmful as it could allow an adversary to gain unauthorized administrator privileges to any post on most WordPress websites running versions 4.7 or 4.7.1.

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A Beginner’s Guide to the SiteLock Plugin for WordPress

From malware and vulnerability scans to real-time security updates, the SiteLock WordPress Plugin provides complete website security management without ever having to leave WordPress. In December 2017, the SiteLock WordPress Plugin was updated to v4.0.4. For those of you already using the plugin, you can update your version within your WordPress Dashboard. For newbies, you can download and install the plugin here.

Read the WP Buffs review about SiteLock.

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Ask a Security Professional: DDoS Attacks — Part Four: Volumetric Attacks

So far in this #AskSecPro DDoS series we’ve covered both Application Layer DDoS Attacks and Protocol-Based DDoS Attacks. We’ve also identified  the differences between a DoS and a DDoS attack. In this final segment of the DDoS series, we’ll discuss the third category of DDoS attacks, Volumetric Attacks, also known as Volume-Based Attacks

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Ask a Security Professional: DDoS Attacks — Part Three: Protocol-Based Attacks

Continuing our #AskSecPro DDoS series where we last discussed Application Layer Attacks, today we’ll focus on some of the most popular protocol-based DDoS attacks we’ve seen hit our customers’ web application firewall, SiteLock TrueShield™, over the years. TrueShield™ is SiteLock’s distributed cloud-based web application firewall (WAF) with the capability of defending against attacks across layers 3, 4, and 7.

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Ask a Security Professional: DDoS Attacks — Part Two: Application Layer Attacks

In our last #AskSecPro article we discussed the differences between a DoS and a DDoS attack. Now that we understand what a DDoS attack is in concept, let’s learn a little more about the mechanisms involved in these attacks. In Part Two of the DDoS Attacks series we’ll focus on some of the attack vectors utilized by adversaries when launching a denial of service attack.

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Case Study: The Blogging 911

Company Background

Rena McDaniel is a self-proclaimed WordPress aficionado and a technology buff. She is also a successful WordPress designer, mother, wife, and grandmother.

Five years ago, McDaniel’s life changed when she was in a serious car accident. Unfortunately, the accident resulted in her becoming physically disabled. After a year of rehabilitation, her husband accepted a new job in South Carolina. They sold everything and made the move. Motivated by the change and inspired by her new environment, McDaniel channeled her energy into her personal passion, WordPress. Her blog quickly grew beyond the simple joy of writing, and developed into a natural curiosity for WordPress design. With continued focus on her passion, McDaniel soon mastered her craft and her friends and family began to take notice. With their encouragement she decided to found TheBlogging911.com.

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Ask a Security Professional: DDoS Attacks — Part One: DoS vs DDoS

There’s a lot of buzz going around in many online communities concerning the recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks the world has witnessed. In many of my own circles I’m often the only security guy in the room so I end up fielding a lot of questions, the most common of which is, “how do they do this stuff?!” In this District #AskSecPro series, I’ll be explaining the anatomy of D/DoS attacks and the practical weaponization of regular computers.

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Ask a Security Professional: Understanding Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards

There are times when a website may want to send a visitor to another page either immediately or after a specified amount of time (usually seconds). As an example, consider an outdated page that you believe your visitors have bookmarked – You don’t want to lose the traffic, so you just automatically redirect them to another page. While less common today, these redirects and forwards do still exist, but if not setup properly, they could pose an outside risk to your online presence.

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