compromised to serve malware

October 25, 2013 – 5:00 AM

On Thursday, Google’s Safe Browsing service began warning visitors to that the website was discovered serving malware. Initially, most people and PHP maintainers thought that it was a false positive, but subsequent investigation confirmed that some of the project’s servers did get compromised.

The hackers succeeded in injecting malicious JavaScript code (userprefs.js) in four of the site’s pages. When visitors landed on them, the code allowed for automatic detection of vulnerable plug-ins, and the serving of malicious SWF files. It’s interesting to note that only desktop browser users were targeted – those who visited the compromised pages with a mobile browser were safe.

Barracuda Networks researchers managed to get their hands on a packet capture file, and provided it to other researchers for analysis. Kaspersky Lab’s Fabio Assolini noted that the malicious iFrame pointed to the Magnitude Exploit Kit and dropped a variant of the Tepfer information-stealing Trojan with a low AV detection rate.

The PHP team is still investigating the intrusion and has commented that they first thought the compromise was a false positive due to the offending JavaScript being only periodically injected.

In a recent update on the situation, they confirmed that the server which hosted the and domain, and the server hosting have been compromised, but that they still don’t know have it happened.


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