NewsMay 15, 2017 @ 3:31 PM

Phony WordPress Domain Steals Cookies to Fool Web Admins

All that’s missing is an “e,” but a fake WordPress site could fool website admins into letting it take over browser sessions and steal information, researchers warned.

A report from consulting firm Securi first revealed that a fraudulent application program interface (API) domain, called WordPrssAPI, was attempting to steal active cookies to impersonate users, including website admins. The researchers explained that while legitimate WordPress sites typically require users to log in again after a certain period of time, the malware in question gathers cookies and sends it back to the fake domain immediately to overcome any time constraints.

Fortunately, the malicious site is now offline and there are no reports of major damage, Securi noted.

WordPress Hit by Typosquatting Attack

The idea of “typosquatting” to dupe web surfers is not uncommon. In this case, however, the cybercriminals were trying to make the domain look like a real WordPress site, according to Threatpost. The malware injected into the JavaScript file can only be detected by looking closely at the bottom of the file, and the cybercriminals used a pattern for tightly packing code to make it more difficult to notice.

SecurityWeek reported that the fraudsters took an extra step to make sure all data that went back to the fake WordPress domain was excluded from search engine crawlers, making it even easier for them to leverage what they stole. It’s really up to web admins to be extra careful in auditing code to ensure they identify illegitimate sites.

CMSs Under Attack

Perhaps due to their popularity as a tool to run websites, cybercriminals are targeting content management systems (CMS) at an increasing rate. Just a few weeks ago, for example, security analysts detected malware that tried to hide within the header of a WordPress file, directing users to more than one fake domain. Around the same time, SC Magazine reported on a piece of malware, called Tusayan, that was aimed at WordPress, Joomla and Magneto.

Given how subtle and creative some of these attacks are becoming, companies may need to invest in more advanced monitoring tools. Otherwise, given the lightning-quick pace of cybercrime, there’s a chance that some attacks may get through.

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Shane Schick

Writer & Editor

Shane Schick is a writer, editor and speaker who focuses on how information technology creates business value. He lives in Toronto.