The Balada Injector malware continues to thrive, targeting inadequately secured WordPress sites globally and subsequently their visitors, recent findings suggest.
During a standard web surveillance task, the team at Cybernews stumbled upon a compromised WordPress site. This site fell victim to the Balada Injector malware – a Linux-oriented backdoor. This malware exploits known vulnerabilities within WordPress plugins, themes, and other such weak spots. A notable characteristic of the Balada Injector is its periodic, wave-like attack strategy. Roughly every month, it adopts a fresh domain and a new code, attempting to embed this into a WordPress site’s underlying code.
This specific website encountered seven distinct malicious code insertions layered on each other. In essence, it underwent seven consecutive hacking onslaughts. The injected code, strategically placed at the top to execute before the site fully loads, aimed to give attackers remote access to compromised systems. Furthermore, it redirected site visitors to alternate web portals running malvertising schemes.
However, there’s a silver lining for potential targets. The Balada Injector’s capabilities are not entirely foolproof. It doesn’t verify if a website has been previously tampered with malicious code. Consequently, instead of displaying the intended landing page, an unintended PHP file download is triggered. This anomaly caught the attention of the Cybernews team and eventually led to the unmasking of the entire hacking endeavor.