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Hacked Drupal Sites Deliver Miners, RATs, Scams

The Drupal websites hacked by cybercriminals using the vulnerabilities known as Drupalgeddon2 and Drupalgeddon3 deliver cryptocurrency miners, remote administration tools (RATs) and tech support scams.

The Drupal websites hacked by cybercriminals using the vulnerabilities known as Drupalgeddon2 and Drupalgeddon3 deliver cryptocurrency miners, remote administration tools (RATs) and tech support scams.

Two highly critical flaws were patched in recent months in the Drupal content management system (CMS). The security holes are tracked as CVE-2018-7600 and CVE-2018-7602, and they both allow remote code execution.

Malicious actors started exploiting CVE-2018-7600, dubbed Drupalgeddon2, roughly two weeks after a patch was released and shortly after a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit was made public.

CVE-2018-7602, dubbed Drupalgeddon 3, was discovered during an analysis of CVE-2018-7600 by the Drupal Security Team and developer Jasper Mattsson, who also reported the original vulnerability. Hackers started exploiting CVE-2018-7602 immediately after the release of a patch.

Cybercriminals have exploited the vulnerabilities to hijack servers and abuse them for cryptocurrency mining. Some websites have been targeted by botnets known to also be involved in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Researchers at security firm Malwarebytes recently conducted an analysis of client-side attacks involving Drupalgeddon2 and Drupalgeddon3, i.e. the threats pushed by the compromised sites to their visitors.

Experts noticed that nearly half of the hacked Drupal sites had been running version 7.5.x of the CMS, while roughly 30 percent had been running version 7.3.x, which was last updated in August 2015.

Unsurprisingly, more than 80 percent of the hacked sites had been serving cryptocurrency miners, mostly through Coinhive injections.

“We collected different types of code injection, from simple and clear text to long obfuscated blurbs. It’s worth noting that in many cases the code is dynamic—most likely a technique to evade detection,” researchers said in a blog post.

Hacker plant cryptocurrency miner on university site via Drupal vulnerability

Just over 12 percent of the attacks observed by Malwarebytes delivered RATs or password stealers disguised as web browser updates.

Tech support scams accounted for nearly 7 percent of the client-side attacks spotted by the security firm. In these attacks, website visitors are typically redirected to a page that locks their browser and instructs them to call a “tech support” number.

Malwarebytes says it has notified the organizations whose websites have been compromised.

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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