Malaysian Election and DDOS

Malaysia is having an election this weekend that has been surrounded by issues. We won’t go into the politics, but one of our client’s sites (a popular Malaysian news source that we won’t name), started to suffer a very large scale DDOS (distributed denial of service attack). Reuters also has a similar story about another site and we can confirm what they are saying:

(Reuters) – Ahead of Malaysia’s elections on Sunday, independent online media say they are being targeted in Internet attacks which filter content and throttle access to websites, threatening to deprive voters of their main source of independent reporting.

This specific Malaysian site has been targeted for a couple of weeks, but since May 1st, their sites were hit by a very large botnet.

Malaysia site DDOS

To protect the innocent, we won’t go into much details, but the green in the graph is the outbound data and the blue is the inbound. And that means thousands of simultaneous connections per second being sustained for the last 4 days against them.

Technical details

This DDOS is httpd-based and is targeting their web server. It started by targeting their 404 handler by trying to visit pages that do not exist. What was interesting is the choice of URL they decided to use “FloodFloodFLOOD”:

175.137.68.143 – – [01/May/2013:10:00:38 -0400] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2013/05/FloodFLOODFloodFLOOD.png HTTP/1.1″ 404

w – – [01/May/2013:10:00:38 -0400] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2013/05/FloodFLOODFloodFLOODFloodFLOODFLOOD.png HTTP/1.1″ 404 0

183.171.176.221 – – [01/May/2013:10:00:38 -0400] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2013/05/FloodFLOODFloodFLOODFloodFLOOD.png HTTP/1.1″ 404

That can be easily blocked and filtered, so they quickly switched to more complex types of attacks. Since the site is WordPress, they decided to target the search function to bypass any internal caches and make sure that each page is actually loaded:

175.136.214.155 – – [02/May/2013:11:57:30 -0400] “GET /?s=1367683016682 HTTP/1.1″ 200 154 “http://www.erapasca.com/2013/05/pecah-berita-tanda-bn-nak-tumbang.html” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453.56 Safari/537.36″
175.136.214.155 – – [02/May/2013:11:57:30 -0400] “GET /?s=1367683016683 HTTP/1.1″ 200 154 “http://www.erapasca.com/” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1453.56 Safari/537.36″
123.136.106.225 – – [02/May/2013:11:57:30 -0400] “GET /?s=1367682722241 HTTP/1.1″ 200 154 “http://www.erapasca.com/2013/05/pecah-berita-tanda-bn-nak-tumbang.html” “Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.0.3; GT-P5100 Build/IML74K) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.169 Safari/537.22″
175.140.99.225 – – [02/May/2013:11:57:30 -0400] “GET /?s=1367682708689 HTTP/1.1″ 200 154 “http://siaranradioonline.blogspot.com/search/label/” “Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/6.0; BOIE9;ENUS)”
.. thousands more per second ..

Notice that those referers and user agents are likely fake and just being used to try to bypass any security filter.

Size of the DDOS and their Botnet

What is actually impressive about this attack is the number of IP addresses (bots) being used. Just in the last 24 hrs, 36,367 (yes, 36 thousand different IP addresses ) were used to attack this site. It means that the people behind it have good power. What is interesting is that all IP addresses also come from Malaysian IP ranges and it seems to come from compromised desktops.

Since it is an ongoing event, we won’t give more details and we are working with the proper authorities and the Malaysian CERT to stop them.

Joomla 2.5.8 and 3.0.2 Released (Security Updates)

Joomla 2.5.8 and 3.0.2 were just released today fixing a medium severity security bug related to a clickjacking/XSS vulnerability. You can find more details on their release notes:

If you are not familiar with ClickJacking, Wikipedia explains it well:

Clickjacking is a malicious technique of tricking a Web user into clicking on something different to what the user perceives they are clicking on, thus potentially revealing confidential information or taking control of their computer while clicking on seemingly innocuous web pages. It is a browser security issue that is a vulnerability across a variety of browsers and platforms. A clickjack takes the form of embedded code or a script that can execute without the user’s knowledge, such as clicking on a button that appears to perform another function.

And remember, the leading cause for website compromises is outdated software! So as a website owner, you have to do your part to minimize risk and keep your site (and your users) safe. Update now!

Sucuri SiteCheck was also updated to alert users not running version 2.5.8/3.0.2 on their Joomla sites.

New Google Chrome Blacklist Warning for Macs

If you go to a site that is Blacklisted by Google, you will see a new (and prettier) malware warning now if you are using a Mac:

The Website Ahead Contains Malware!
Google Chrome Has Blocked access to site.com for now.
Even if you have visited this site safely in the past, visiting it now may infect your Mac with malware.

Nothing major has changed, but we found this new wording to be more clear for the end user. So good move from the Google/Chrome team.

If you have additional concerns regarding getting your site removed from a blacklist the one above, let us know and we will be happy to help.

Joomla 2.5.7 Released (Security Update)

Joomla 2.5.7 was just released today fixing 2 low severity security bugs and added a few other improvements. As always, we recommend all our Joomla users to update to 2.5.7 as soon as they can.

From their announcement page, here are the security bugs fixed:

  • Low Priority – Core – XSS Vulnerability: Inadequate escaping of output leads to XSS vulnerability in language switcher module.
  • Low Priority – Core – XSS Vulnerability: Inadequate escaping of output leads to XSS vulnerability.

Remember, the leading cause for website compromises is outdated software! So as a website owner, you have to do your part to minimize risk and keep your site (and your users) safe. Update now!

Sucuri SiteCheck was also updated to alert users not running version 2.5.7 on their Joomla sites.

WordPress Security Presentation (in Portuguese)

Bruno Borges (from our security team), did a great presentation at WordCamp Sao Paulo (Brazil) about WordPress security and how to keep a site secure.

WordPress Security

The video is in Portuguese (pt-br), and can be viewed here:

Watch live streaming video from primaestudio at livestream.com

Fan of Twilight? Be Very Careful If You’re Looking Online For It

If you like the Twilight series, be careful if you plan to do any “research” on it, or if you plan to visit the site of the series author (Stephenie Meyer). Her site is currently hacked, blacklisted, and redirecting users to the Blackhole Exploit Kit.

You can see the results on the sitecheck:

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Magento Security Update (1.7.0.2) – Zend_XmlRpc Vulnerability

A few days ago, Magento 1.7.0.2 was released to fix a very serious security vulnerability that allows attackers to read any file on the web server where the Zend XMLRPC functionality is enabled. This might include password files, configuration files, and possibly even databases if they are stored on the same machine as the Magento web server.

The Magento team provides the following info in their post:

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Joomla 2.5.5 released (security update)

Joomla 2.5.5 was just released today, with a few bugs fixed and 2 important security updates for a privilege escalation and an information disclosure issue:

1- Privilege escalation

High severity security issue, that allows unprivileged users to get admin access to a site running Joomla.

2- Information Disclosure

This is a low severity security issue that leaks internal information about the database, internal paths and PHP info.

More information about this release here: Joomla 2.5.5 released

Remember, the leading cause for web site compromises is outdated software! So as a web site owner, you have to do your part to minimize risk and keep your site (and your users) safe. Update now!

Sitecheck was also updated to alert users not running version 2.5.5 on their Joomla sites.

Security Vulnerability in MySQL

A serious security vulnerability discovered in MySQL was disclosed this weekend. It basically allows anyone to bypass authentication and log in directly into the database. We tried on a few 64bit Ubuntu systems and were able to replicate the issue (it seems that only 64 bit platforms are affected).

Crazy theory: Could this be related to the LinkedIn, last.fm, eHarmony and other recent breaches? Did any of them have MySQL exposed? Even worse, was this really a bug or a very clever backdoor? What you guys think?

Anyway, back to topic. Sergei Golubchik explained the issue in detail:


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PRWeb Stores Passwords In Clear Text

It is 2012 and with the growing web threats you would expect to see increased measures to protect user credentials. We hope that in the wake of events with LinkedIn and eHarmony others realize the importance of an increased security posture.

Consider the recent LinkedIn, e-Harmony or similar breaches in the past to see how important this topic has become.

Back to the topic at hand…

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