Almost 2000 WordPress sites are under crypto keylogger campaign exploitation

WordPress the most emerging content management service (cms) which is often preferred by most of the users to develop their websites, again got infected with an encrypted script that can run a keylogger and in-browser cryptocurrency miner.

It was first brought into the limelight by a group of infosec researchers, at Sucuri according to them it’s a cryptocurrency malicious script and a keylogger from Coinhive (a web-based service that provides website owners to embed java scripts on their website to use the resources of its site visitors to mine cryptocurrency) that runs in the background of admin pages on their interface which not only utilises the hardware resources of the users but also logs every keystrokes of the visitors.

Furthermore, back in December last year a similar cryptocurrency campaign occurred which infected more than 5,400 WordPress sites with a keylogger/cryptocurrency malware, here both the campaigns are incorporated to a domain that is used to serve up the malicious scripts known as “Cloudflare”.However, this isn’t that information security firm which deals with network management, as a matter of fact, these numbers of infected sites are just an approx estimation, it could even be higher, according to them.

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Apart from that, later the keylogger was updated into the source code, in November, which uses the name of “cloudflare,” to spread this inevitable catastrophe, after including the keylogger, it tend to act like the previous one in similar way, which lead to a countless exploitation both on the admin login panel and also the frontend facing public sites credentials,

along with that many payment details including address and contact details were also compromised, specially for those who were running e-commerce stores on this platform, thus it created a fiasco over many sites who were unable to protect themselves from the original infection, according to ‘Denis Sinegubko’ a senior malware researcher at Sucuri.

Subsequently after this ravage on 8th December things turned out to be vulnerable when the “Cloudflare” domain was removed. Later on, according to the current reports the attackers who were behind this exploitation, manage to retain their original identity after the previous campaign got registered on three new domains (cdjs[.]online, cdns[.]ws & msdns[.]online) to host that malicious script which eventually ends up loading onto WordPress sites.

“Now attackers started injecting the cdjs[.]online on either WordPress database or theme’s function.php file and the ends[.]ws & the msdns[.]online scripts are injected into the theme’s function.php file, targeting those sites and plugins who didn’t updated to latest version and were comparatively weaker than other sites” according to ‘Sinegubko’

“Other than that he also added that the attacker also manipulated HTML to add Javascript code such as “googleanalytics.js” which loads the malicious scripts “starGoogleAnalytics” from the domain itself. It’s was also figured out that the library jquery-3.2.1.min.js is similar to the encrypted “CoinHive” cryptocurrency mining library from the previous version,”

Yet it isn’t confirmed that what was the actual ratio of infected sites by this campaign, though there are thousands of sites claimed to be infected by msdns[.]online, however, 129 websites and 103 websites were infected by cdns[.]ws and cdjs[.]online as per the reports of code search engine PublicWWW.

Overall keeping sites secure is definitely a hard deal nowadays for webmasters however there are few significant things that could prevent such infections not completely but to some extents.

One should always make sure that their whole site and software’s are properly updated to the latest version along with themes and plugins which in turn makes it helpful for sites to deal with these kinda vulnerabilities, it is also recommended checking if there is any unknown scripts actively running in the background. It’s advisable to change every single password of all WordPress sites and also precisely scan wp_posts table to ensure that there is no injection just for a safer side.