Many PHP-based web shells are still making the rounds, and while many of them are based on old code, mutations, customizations and updates abound. They are so common, that new variants and modified versions are often seen at the rate of about 10 a day in our TigerTrax Threat Intelligence systems and honeypots.
Variants exist for a wide variety of platforms and human languages, many with some very nasty features and even some cool ASCII art. There are many variants for attackers to choose from for just about any of the popular PHP-based content management platforms. From WordPress to Joomla and beyond to the far less common apps, there are easily used exploits and shell kits widely available.
If you run a PHP-based site or server, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the file system changes and watch closely for new files being uploaded or added. Pay particular attention to those using the “base64_decode” function, since it is so common among these tools.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, stay safe out there!
This morning I was checking through my usual HoneyPoint deployments and it was a normal day. As usual, the last 24 hours brought a large number of web application bug scans from hosts in China. They are the normal PHP discovery probes, some basic malware dropper probes against known web vulnerabilities and a ton of web server fingerprinting probes from various Chinese hosts.
China has now surpassed the US as the source of most global probes and attacks, a least according to Arbor. Check out the China profile here.
One of my close friends, JK, claims that there is a massive initiative underway in China to map the Internet on a global scale and to have a fairly up to date global vulnerability matrix for the world’s systems. While this could be true, and is certainly possible, with a large enough set of bot-infected hosts that dropped data back to a centralized database, it is an interesting thought.
For sure, these probes and scans exist on a global basis. Our international HoneyPoints pick up much of the same Chinese traffic as our US ones. Perhaps a quick check of some of your logs will show the same. Much discussion of pro-active blocks against Chinese address space is underway in several organizations. Perhaps this is something we should all think about?