Joomla websites attacked en masse using recently patched exploits

Attackers hack into Joomla websites by exploiting two account creation flaws

Attackers are aggressively attacking Joomla-based websites by exploiting two critical vulnerabilities patched last week.

The flaws allow the creation of accounts with elevated privileges on websites built with the popular Joomla content management system, even if account registration is disabled. They were patched in Joomla 3.6.4, released Tuesday.

Hackers didn't waste any time reverse engineering the patches to understand how the two vulnerabilities can be exploited to compromise websites, according to researchers from Web security firm Sucuri.

"Less than 24 hrs after the initial disclosure, we started to see tests and small pings on some of our honeypots trying to verify if this vulnerability was present," Sucuri's CTO, Daniel Cid, said in a blog post Friday. "In less than 36 hrs after the initial disclosure, we started to see mass exploit attempts across the web."

The attacks started Wednesday and rapidly grew in number, reaching almost 28,000 on Friday -- and that's only based on the visibility that Sucuri has into its own customer base. According to the company, virtually every Joomla website on its network has been hit.

"If you have not updated your Joomla site yet, you are likely already compromised," Cid said, adding that Joomla site owners should update immediately and should check their dashboard for newly created accounts. The site access logs can also be checked for requests that contain a "task=user.register" pattern.

Joomla is the second most popular content management system after WordPress and is used by many organizations to create both public-facing and internal websites.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Lucian Constantin

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?