Patching The Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

Security Researchers have discovered a very serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL library that is used to power HTTPS on most websites. Many news sources are now covering the story, and we recommend reading their articles to understand the scope of what is happening and the impact of the threat:

To summarize: It is big. It allows an attacker to extract information that was supposed to be private, including SSL private keys themselves. ArsTechnica explains it well:

The bug, which has resided in production versions of OpenSSL for more than two years, could make it possible for people to recover the private encryption key at the heart of the digital certificates used to authenticate Internet servers and to encrypt data traveling between them and end users. Attacks leave no traces in server logs, so there’s no way of knowing if the bug has been actively exploited. Still, the risk is extraordinary, given the ability to disclose keys, passwords, and other credentials that could be used in future compromises.

The Tor team summarizes their recommendation by saying, “If you need strong anonymity or privacy on the Internet, you might want to stay away from the Internet entirely for the next few days while things settle.”.

What Should I do as a WebMaster?

If you own a website, you must do your part and patch your operating system. If it is a dedicated server, it is your responsibility. If you are on a shared hosting platform, contact your hosting provider to remind them to update their servers. To update your server with the patch follow these step by step directions:

1- Check if your site is vulnerable

We first recommend that you check your site on this page to see if it is vulnerable. If it is, keep reading to see what you need to do.

2a- Patching Ubuntu/Debian dedicated servers

If you run Ubuntu or Debian on a VPS or dedicated server, you will likely need to patch it yourself. A quick way to do that is by updating all packages on your operating system with the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Then restart Apache.

2b- Patching RedHat/CentOS/Fedora and most cPanel dedicated servers

If you run any RedHat-based server, you can patch your server by running:

yum update

Once all packages are updated, you should see inside /var/log/yum.log that OpenSSL was fixed:

# tail /var/log/yum.log |grep ssl
Apr 08 03:49:26 Updated: openssl-1.0.1e-16.el6_5.7.x86_64
Apr 08 03:49:27 Updated: openssl-devel-1.0.1e-16.el6_5.7.x86_64

Once that is done, you need to restart Apache for the fix to take effect.

2c- Other servers

If you are on a shared host, you can’t do anything. You’ll need to contact your hosting company and wait for them to run the patch for you.

If you are using any other Linux (or BSD) distribution on a dedicated server, you need to follow their steps to update OpenSSL.

3- Restart Apache

Do not forget to restart Apache (or Nginx). We are seeing many patched servers still vulnerable because they forgot this simple step.

4- Generate new certificates

This vulnerability was just disclosed a day ago, but it is possible that a malicious party has known about it for longer than that. If you run a popular web site or take confidential information, you might want to generate new certificates and encryption keys just to be on the safe side.

CloudProxy users Protected

If your site is behind our CloudProxy web site firewall, you are already protected against this and any exterior threat. Anyone can sign up for it, regardless of host or CMS and get their sites protected in just a few minutes.

Sucuri CloudProxy Website Firewall Improvements

If you are are a regular reader of our blog you probably know about our CloudProxy Website Firewall, it launched publicly a year ago. Since then, our team has been extremely focused on improving it, making it more effective and efficient for everyday website owners.

If you are not familiar with CloudProxy, I highly recommend reading some of the documentation and benefits of it:

In fact, if you have a website, why not try it out?

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Layer 7 DDOS – Blocking HTTP Flood Attacks

There are many types of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks that can affect and bring down a website, and they vary in complexity and size. The most well known attacks are the good old syn-flood, followed by the Layer 3/4 UDP and DNS amplification attacks.

Layer 7 DDOS

Today though, we’re going to spend a little time looking at Layer 7, or what we call an HTTP Flood Attack.

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Stealing Credit Cards – A WordPress and vBulletin Hack

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to share an interesting case that involves two of the most popular CMS applications out there – vBulletin and WordPress.

Here is a real case that we just worked on this week, involving an attacker dead set on stealing credit card information. Enjoy!

The Environment

The client runs a fairly successful e-commerce website. They run two main applications within their architecture – vBulletin and WordPress.

vBulletin is used for their support and collaboration forums, while WordPress for their main website and e-commerce. This appears to be a pretty standard configuration across most larger web application environments these days.

Everything is sitting on a LAMP (Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP) stack, so nothing too special there. For the most part, things are up to date, they might be a version or two behind, but none of it earth shattering or something worth writing home about.

In regards to security, they are running CloudFlare.

All in all, it probably sounds a lot like your environment[s].

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Google Bots Doing SQL Injection Attacks

One of the things we have to be very sensitive about when writing rules for our CloudProxy Website Firewall is to never block any major search engine bot (ie., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc..).

To date, we’ve been pretty good about this, but every now and then you come across unique scenarios like the one in this post, that make you scratch your head and think, what if a legitimate search engine bot was being used to attack the site? Should we still allow the attack to go through?

This is exactly what happened a few days ago on a client site; we began blocking certain Google’s IP addresses requests because they were in fact SQL injection attacks. Yes, Google bots were actually attacking a website.

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Sucuri CloudProxy WAF Plugin for WordPress

If you are using our CloudProxy WAF to protect your WordPress websites, we highly recommend that you also install our new CloudProxy plugin for WordPress. It has been public for a few weeks, and now we feel it is ready for production use, hence the announcement. :)

sucuri-cloudproxy-wordpress-waf-plugin

You can download the plugin from WordPress Plugin Directory, or directly in your WordPress wp-admin panel by searching for CloudProxy from the “Add New Plugin” page.

The Sucuri CloudProxy WAF plugin is free from the WordPress repository, and allows direct access to your CloudProxy dashboard from within your WordPress wp-admin panel. It allows you to see your audit logs and security events, clear caching, and overall easier management of your CloudProxy account without the need to login to Sucuri.net.


Note:The CloudProxy plugin doesn’t add any additional security measures beyond what’s offered in the CloudProxy service. The plugin is not required for CloudProxy use.

*ps: if you are not using CloudProxy, you should. Go check out CloudProxy today!

WHMCS SQL Injection Vulnerability in the Wild

A few days ago, a zero-day SQL injection vulnerability in WHMCS was disclosed by localhost.re, along with the exploit code. It was quickly patched by the WHCMS team and rated as critical since it allows an attacker full access to the database hosting WHMCS:

The vulnerability allows an attacker, who has valid login to the installed product, to craft a SQL Injection Attack via a specific URL query parameter against any product page that updates database information.

Creating a valid login is very easy and allowed by default through the registration page.

WHMCS is very popular amongst hosts, and if you use it, you need to update/patch it ASAP!

Attacks in the wild

Due to its severity, we knew it wouldn’t take long before attackers started to use it in the wild. Yesterday we detected the first cases of servers getting compromised due to it. This is an example that was triggered on our honeypots:

First Name: 'USERX' to 'AES_ENCRYPT(1,1), firstname= (SELECT GROUP_CONCAT(id,0x3a,username,0x3a,email,0x3a,password SEPARATOR 0x2c20) FROM tbladmins)'
Last Name: 'LASTNAME' to '1'
Company Name: 'COMPANYNAME' to '1'
Address 1: 'USA' to '1'

As you can see, it is leveraging the SQL injection (by modifying the first name) to dump the user database along with hashed passwords from the database.

If you are using WHMCS, you have to update it now! Our users running our CloudProxy WAF are already protected by it, but we still recommend the update.

CloudProxy WAF – September Report

*By Tony Perez and Daniel Cid

As many of you are aware we released a website protection tool, CloudProxy WAF/IDS, at the beginning of the year and over the past few months we have been working with the data we’ve been accumulating. We’re finally at a place where we think we can provide better insight into the world of website attacks.

What we’re hoping to do is provide a monthly summary, similar to what you’ll read here that helps you understand the various website attacks we see via our CloudProxy WAF/IDS. It will also, hopefully, shed insight into the growing online threats that website owners face daily.

September 2013

We have some very small and some big sites with us. And the first thing we noticed is that even the smaller sites get attacked quite often. All sites do.

Every web site gets attacked. And that happens daily. Many times per day.


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Sucuri CloudProxy Web Application Firewall (WAF) – Out of Beta

We are happy to announce that after more than a year in testing, Sucuri’s CloudProxy is out of beta.

CloudProxy

CloudProxy is currently available to Sucuri customers, so if you have an account with us, you can subscribe to CloudProxy from your dashboard.

Here is a quick testimonial:

I inherited a couple of websites that were hand coded and getting hacked on a daily bases. Hooked them up to CloudProxy last week and so far the sites have been protected and are not being hacked anymore. At this point, I’d highly recommend this service if you are running an out of date CMS or code and are getting hacked often! Great service!

Linda Kimble Long


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Sucuri CloudProxy WAF – Fake Bots Explained

One of the most common questions we have been getting since launching our CloudProxy WAF is regarding bot activity and why it appears that we are blocking Google and / or Bing bots. Inside the CloudProxy dashboard we provide a full audit log of any request that gets denied access and when a client see’s something like the following in their logs they tend to get concerned:

13/May/2013:09:20:29 +0000] 80.72.37.156 “IP Address not authorized” “POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.1″ 403 “” “Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)”

In this specific instance they are concerned that we are blocking Bing because of this reference: bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm. They are especially concerned when it says Googlebot, like this one:

13/May/2013:18:27:14 -0400] 198.50.161.234 “Spam comment blocked” “POST /blog/wp-comments-post.php HTTP/1.0″ 403 “Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)”

Nobody wants to block Google out of their sites.

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