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Popular CMS WordPress, Joomla and Drupal threatened by CryptoPHP backdoor

Popular CMS WordPress, Joomla and Drupal threatened by CryptoPHP backdoor

A large proportion of websites are built on a CMS rather than raw HTML. Three of the most common are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and security researchers at Fox-It warn that site administrators are at risk of being socially engineered into installing the CryptoPHP backdoor on their server.

Distributed through pirated themes and plugins, CryptoPHP's spread is thanks to the light-fingeredness of site admins. It was first detected in 2013 and is still actively spreading. The capabilities of the "well developed" backdoor include remote control of an infected server, and Blackhat SEO -- a form of illegal search engine optimization.

Fox-It warns that thousands of websites have been compromised by CryptoPHP. The threat is so named because it uses RSA Public Key cryptography to protect communication with servers. A number of sources have been associated with the spread of the backdoor, which is nulledstylez.com, but numerous other sites dealing in pirated plugins and themes that are involved -- including freemiumscripts.com, wp-nulled.com and mightywordpress.com.

Each of the downloads was flagged by the site providing it as being clean from viruses, but Fox-It points out that the versions made available for download differed in that they had been verified as clean by VirusTotal. Upon examining the contents of the pirated downloads, files with different timestamps to the rest were found to include the backdoor hidden in PHP code.

While there is little to stop CryptoPHP infecting other CMSs, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the main targets due to their popularity. The backdoor installation varies from platform to platform, but in the case of WordPress an extra administrator account is added so that access can be maintained even if the backdoor itself is removed.

Tracing the activity of CryptoPHP seems to lead back to a Moldavian IP address -- specifically in the state Chisinau. Control centers have been identified in the US, Poland, Germany and Netherlands, and Fox-It has produced a white paper that details how to detect the presence of the backdoor.

 


Credits: http://betanews.com


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Attackers Using Compromised Web Plug-Ins in CryptoPHP Blackhat SEO Campaign

Attackers Using Compromised Web Plug-Ins in CryptoPHP Blackhat SEO Campaign

Attackers Using Compromised Web Plug-Ins in CryptoPHP Blackhat SEO Campaign

Researchers have discovered a group of attackers who have published a variety of compromised WordPress themes and plug-ins on legitimate-looking sites, tricking developers into downloading and installing them on their own sites. The components then give the attackers remote control of the compromised sites and researchers say the attack may have been ongoing since September 2013.

The incident came to light through an investigation by researchers at Fox-IT in the Netherlands, who discovered it after noticing a compromised Joomla plug-in on a customer’s site. After a little investigation, they discovered that the plug-in had been downloaded from a site that offers a list of pirated themes and plug-ins.

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What CIOs Can Learn From the Biggest Data Breaches

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A postmortem analysis of some of the biggest recent data breachesoffers IT leaders several pieces of advice for staying a step ahead of hackers.

We keep hearing about them in the news. The tallies are astounding: 145 million user accounts compromised here, 40 million credit cards stolen there. What isn't always as clear with the most high-profile data breaches is how they occurred in the first place and what you can do to prevent seeing your organization in a similar headline.

CIO.com tapped several security professional to summarize the origins of the top five recent data breaches to affect U.S. firms. There are also lessons to learn from AT&T, Community Health Systems, Experian, Michaels, Neiman Marcus, P.F. Chang's and the UPS Store, among many others.

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Understanding Copyrights - What Every Designer Must Know

Copyright basics to help keep your royalty-free designs lawsuit-free.

We have all heard the story, the ‘selfie-taking monkey’ that is pitting the entire internet against itself. We are here to explain it all, and help you avoid all this ‘monkey business’. (Sorry, we had to!)

Royalty-free images exist for a number of reasons—chief among them, to keep designers (and the income they earn from designing) safe from copyright claims.
Still, it’s important to understand a few rough concepts surrounding ownership before sharing or selling your artwork.

How to Protect Your Designs: An Introduction to Copyright

As an overarching guideline, you own the sole right to works of art that you create. Just as strangers don’t have the right to enter your home and take possession of your family photos, they’re generally prohibited from taking possession of your digital artwork online (posting them to websites, using them to advertise products, etc.).

Draw a portrait of your dog and hang it over the couch in your living room, and no one has the right to just walk in and take it—regardless of how cute your dog is. Post a photo of your dog—or a photo of the portrait—to your website, and the same rules apply: if the image ends up in a magazine without your permission, you’ll have the right to claim damages for unauthorized use.

Of course, the reverse holds true. Use someone else’s imagery in your work without express license, and they’ll have the right to claim damages from you. This applies not just to people’s work, but to the mere “likeness” of their work—meaning you’ll still risk litigation for tracing someone else’s pet photo or turning it into a vector image.

Such is the reason we’ve done the work for you:

Expert Tip: You don’t have to actually register a copyright in order to establish ownership over your work—just like others don’t have to register their work in order to
block you from reproducing it; a copyright exists automatically the moment you or they create something. Registering a copyright just makes that ownership easier to prove and litigate, as it generates a public record.

You can register a piece of artwork through an attorney or through the U.S. Copyright Office for as low as $35—but save yourself the postage and ignore any advice to beat the system by employing what’s often called a “poor man’s copyright,” i.e., sending yourself a copy of your work via certified mail. It won’t hold up in court—no matter how well you seal your envelope.

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Hiring an Experienced and Professional Website Development Company

Hiring an Experienced and Professional Website Development Company

Deciding to hire a professional website development company or a freelancer is not an easy task. We'll provide you with useful information based on our experience which may help you make the right decision.

It is easy to hire website developers who not only promise great results, but may also have a great website portfolio of past projects. In such a case, what would make a business or individual settle for an experienced and professional website developer instead of a freelancer? Here are some profound reasons why.

1. Major Complex Projects

Some websites require specialized skill and support to manage. This is true with  solutions such as those offered to gaming clients, financial service providers and dynamic e-commerce online stores. As a result, it is important that such projects are outsourced to companies that can guarantee high levels of quality service and after sales support that in most instances is beyond the ability of modest freelance outfits.

2. Total Quality Management

A fully fledged web development company has the capacity of guaranteeing industry standard quality of work as compared to freelancers. Not only do they have a reputation that they need to maintain, but the fact that they have experience in the web development industry means that they have a workflow process that ensures they get their projects done in similar fashion, adhering to quality benchmarks and within the shortest optimal time.

3. Need for Vast Expertise

Teams in professional website development companies practice specialization and task distribution better that in freelance outfits where most tasks are handled by the same pair of hands. In the former case, the quality of work is higher and the teams are able to cover more aspects of website development that are sometimes overlooked such as search engine optimization, social media optimization and web copy writing and quality content creation.

4. Better Technical Support

Technical support is a big challenge even to well established professional firms. Freelance web developers mostly run their businesses on lean budgets, and since technical support is resource intensive, they may not be able to offer support round the clock especially if the website being developed is custom built and has specialized needs that cannot be handled by new technical persons.

5. Time and Money

Most decisions that settle for freelance developers over experienced professional developers cite cost savings. This is regularly discovered to be untrue when the cost of development, re-work and maintenance are considered. In most cases a professional web designer will submit high quality work within stipulated time limits, and the website may not need re-work over the long run because professional developers always work with quality benchmarks in mind.

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