Colombia Government sites hacked (and spreading malware)

You would expect that a security-related web site would be secure, no? What about an official web site from a Government? Should that be safe? What about a government web site about security? Shouldn’t that be ultra super secure? (yes, I am joking 🙂 )

That’s not always the case… At Sucuri Security we have two main goals: Monitor your visible Internet presence (via DNS, site content changes, whois, blacklisting status, etc), and to also monitor what is not visible (or easily accessible). So we run multiple honey pots, we monitor IRC chats used by botnets and attackers, multiple forums, etc. All with the goal to protect our clients and notify them if we see any issue in the “underground”.

With this work, we get to see a lot of sites being exploited and attacked. Most of them are small sites, but sometimes we see big companies, .govs and many .edus in there.

One of those government web sites are from Colombia. And they are not a normal .gov site, they are about security and about cyber crimes.

They have two web sites that are currently hacked: (related to solving cyber crimes) and (related to security in general). We tried to contact them and got no replies. We would wait a little more to publish it, but since clem1 mentioned them on our post about Georgia government sites hacked, I think it is time to use full-disclosure to get them fixed.

The first time we saw them was on Dec of last year:

a.b.147.154 – – [22/Dec/2009:15:08:51 -0200] “GET //init_basic.php?GALLERY_BASEDIR= HTTP/1.1″ 404 36 “-” “Mozilla/5.0”
a.b.147.154 – – [22/Dec/2009:15:08:51 -0200] “GET /xxx/init_basic.php?GALLERY_BASEDIR= HTTP/1.1″ 404 36 “-” “Mozilla/5.0”

They were being used in an RFI (remote file inclusion) attack:

$ lynx –source –dump< ?php /* Fx29ID */ echo("FeeL"."CoMz"); echo("FeeL"."CoMz"); /* Fx29ID */ ?>

We kept seeing the same attack for a while, with just a few variations (using file id.txt instead of the respon1.txt):

a.b.21.76 – – [27/Jan/2010:09:22:07 -0200] “GET /index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid;=&mosConfig.absolute.path;= HTTP/1.1″ 404 36 “-” “Mozilla/5.0”

That seemed to have stopped on January 28th. Their web sites even went offline, which I hope they were fixing it. However, on February 14th, it started all over:

a.b.147.154 – – [14/Feb/2010:02:49:47 -0200] “GET /xxx//delete_comment.php?board_skin_path= HTTP/1.1″ 404 36 “-” “Mozilla/5.0”
a.b.147.154 – – [14/Feb/2010:02:49:47 -0200] “GET //delete_comment.php?board_skin_path= HTTP/1.1″ 404 36 “-” “Mozilla/5.0”

Same RFI attack:

$ lynx –source –dump
< ?php /* Fx29ID */ echo("FeeL"."CoMz"); die("FeeL"."CoMz"); /* Fx29ID */ ?>

Plus, in addition to be hosting the malware, it is also actively scanning/attacking others (their IP is /xxx///bbs//skin/sirini_simplism_gallery_v4/setup.php?dir=http://xx?? /xxx///wedding//index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid;=&mosConfig.absolute.path;=yy??

What’s next? Hopefully they will read it and fix the problem.

  1. no they will not, im pretty shure they even dont know whats going on or just dont care (yeah they dont really care)

  2. I have posted that in the Colombia's biggest virtual community. But as everybody says, knowing the colombian goverment they will say they need 2 million dollars to fix that, they will spend that money (obviously it will magically appear in their pockets), and finally won't do anything, as usual.

  3. Wow, I'm colombian, and though I came here because of the GoDaddy incidents, I'm quite surprised these two hack attempts haven't been mentioned anywhere (besides LANeros). While I can't consider myself an expert in security (that's what you are), I don't think we have good (trained, and capable) personnel dealing with security. There are good electronic and telecommunications engineers, but "good" system engineers, NONE.

    By the way, is it Joomla! CMS fault? Any way to avoid future intrusions like this?

    Thanks for your very informative blog.

  4. Anonymous: A bug in Joomla is definitely how they got in, but it is not the CMS fault per se… The system admins probably forgot to patch and monitor their box, so I would probably blame them 🙂

  5. Or rather they "exposed" their site so they could easily track "wanting-to-do-evil" hackers… in any case, the sites are working again.

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