WordPress can be hit with two malicious plugins that can create unwanted pop-ups and pop-unders

Two malicious plugins are used in a new way to infect WordPress. Plugins injectbody and injectscr can be used to inject obfuscated scripts that can create an unwanted pop-up and pop-unders when a user clicks anywhere on an infected web page. Both plugins have very similar functionality

Plugin Location

• injectbody.php: 2146 bytes (the plugin code)
• inject.txt: 2006 bytes (injected JavaScript)

• injectscr.php: 1319 bytes (the plugin code)
• inject.txt: 3906 bytes (injected JavaScript)

Plugin Code Files

The plugins include functions to hide their existence: injectscr_hide and injectbody_hide. These functions are used to remove the malicious plugins from the list of active plugins. Cybercriminals are the only ones who can log into WordPress using the malicious admin users INJECTBODY__ADMIN or INJECTSCR__ADMIN, or use legitimate admin credentials and append “?INJECTBODY__ADMIN=1” or “?INJECTSCR__ADMIN=1” GET parameters in the URL are able to detect the presence of these malicious plugins on an infected website.

Injected scripts
Once a website has been infected, the hidden injectbody plugin begins injecting an obfuscated script into a website page:
var _0xc3ce=[“\x32\x20\x35\x3D\x7B\x61\x3A\x27…removed for brevity… new RegExp(_0xc3ce[7]+ _0xf262x5(_0xf262x3)+ _0xc3ce[7],_0xc3ce[8]),_0xf262x4[_0xf262x3])}};return _0xf262x1}(_0xc3ce[0],27,27,_0xc3ce[3][_0xc3ce[2]](_0xc3ce[1]),0,{}))
It adds a Viglink ad script with the “ca8b3984fdf6c76dc2fe3325feb58eba” key to a page.

The injectscr plugin injects a similar obfuscated script:
var _0x3fdb=[“\x39\x20\x62\x28\x6B\x29\x7B\x33\x20…removed for brevity…new RegExp(_0x3fdb[8]+ _0x3e49x5(_0x3e49x3)+ _0x3fdb[8],_0x3fdb[9]),_0x3e49x4[_0x3e49x3])}};return _0x3e49x1}(_0x3fdb[0],62,63,_0x3fdb[3][_0x3fdb[2]](_0x3fdb[1]),0,{}))

The script adds a handler that opens a popup window with the following URL: hxxp://1aqy.xn--o1aqy[.]xn--p1ai/stats/fri.php?affid=79803 which creates a chain of ad redirects.
When the popup is opened, the script sets the “clickund_expert=1” cookie for one hour and removes itself from the click event handler.

Log Analysis
Our team had analyzed the logs of infected websites, and discovered that the cyber criminals added the plugins after they had logged into WordPress dashboard: – – [08/Feb/2018:10:02:38 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-login.php HTTP/1.1” 200 4571 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/793A” – – [08/Feb/2018:10:02:41 -0500]
“POST https://infected_site/wp-login.php HTTP/1.1” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/793A” – – [08/Feb/2018:10:02:43 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-admin/plugin-install.php HTTP/1.1” 200 83955 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/793A” – – [08/Feb/2018:10:02:49 -0500]
“POST https://infected_site/wp-admin/update.php?action=upload-plugin HTTP/1.1” 200 32291 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/793A” – – [08/Feb/2018:10:02:55 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-admin/plugins.php?action=activate&plugin=injectscr%2Finjectscr.php&_wpnonce=e22822dda4 HTTP/1.1” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/793A” – – [09/Feb/2018:02:59:18 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-login.php HTTP/1.1” 200 4565 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7003” – – [09/Feb/2018:02:59:20 -0500]
“POST https://infected_site/wp-login.php HTTP/1.1” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7003” – – [09/Feb/2018:02:59:22 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-admin/plugin-install.php HTTP/1.1” 200 83025 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7003” – – [09/Feb/2018:02:59:26 -0500]
“POST https://infected_site/wp-admin/update.php?action=upload-plugin HTTP/1.1” 200 31747 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7003” – – [09/Feb/2018:02:59:30 -0500]
“GET https://infected_site/wp-admin/plugins.php?action=activate&plugin=injectscr%2Finjectscr.php&_wpnonce=0c451eb625 HTTP/1.1” 302 – “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7003”

All plugin installation requests are automated. It takes only 10-20 seconds to install and activate the plugins fully.

For better protection against this plugins, please follow this steps:

1. Don’t rely on what you see in the WordPress admin interface. Inspect wp-content/plugins manually, If a malicious plugin is located located, remove wp-content/plugins/inject body/ and wp-content/plugins/injectscr/.
2. Cybercriminals must be logged into WordPress to install the plugins. This means they have your credentials, do the following to stay safe
2.1. Change all WordPress passwords
2.2. Review the list of users, delete any users with the following logins: INJECTBODY__ADMIN or INJECTSCR__ADMIN

3. Make sure your site is not infected with older types of malware associated with these same attackers – or any other malware, also look for any backdoors because this frequently contribute to website reinfections.
4. Always use a cybersecurity solution like antivirus or firewall on the device that you use for accessing your site, an unprotected device could have keyloggers on it, and this is how the cybercriminals managed to steal credentials.

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