Hackers are using a bug in PHP7 to remotely hijack web servers

Hackers are using a bug in PHP7 to remotely hijack web servers 1

The PHP programming language underpins much of the Internet. It forms the basis of popular content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, as well as more sophisticated web applications, like Facebook (kinda). Therefore, it’s a huge deal whenever researchers identify a security vulnerability within it.

A couple of days ago, Emil ‘Neex’ Lerner, a Russia-based security researcher, disclosed a remote-code execution vulnerability in PHP 7 – the latest iteration of the hugely popular web development language.

With this vulnerability, which has the CVE-ID of 2019-11043, an attacker could force a remote web server to execute their own arbitrary code simply by accessing a crafted URL. The attacker only needs to add “?a=” to the website address, followed by their payload.

As pointed out by Catalin Cimpanu in ZDNet, this attack drastically lowers the barrier to entry for hacking a website, simplifying it to the point where even a non-technical user could abuse it.

Fortunately, the vulnerability only impacts servers using the NGINX web server with the PHP-FPM extension. PHP-FPM is a souped-up version of FastCGI, with a few extra features designed for high-traffic websites.

While neither of those components are necessary to use PHP 7, they remain stubbornly common, particularly in commercial environments. Cimpanu points out that NextCloud, a large productivity software provider, uses PHP7 with NGINX and PHP-FPM. It’s since released a security advisory to clients urging them to update warning them of the issue and imploring them to update their PHP install to the latest version.

Site owners who are unable to update their PHP install can mitigate the problem by setting a rule within the standard PHP mod_security firewall. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the website of appsec startup Wallarm.

This vulnerability has all the hallmarks of a security perfect storm. Not only are multiple environments at risk, but it’s also trivially simple for an attacker to exploit the vulnerability. And while patches and workarounds currently exist, as we’ve witnessed previously, not everyone is particularly proactive with their security. Two-and-a-half years after the well-publicized Heartbleed OpenSSL bug was disclosed, over 200,000 servers remained vulnerable.

And there’s evidence to suggest that hackers are already exploiting this critical PHP issue. Threat intel firm BadPackets has already confirmed to ZDNet that bad actors are already using this vulnerability to commandeer servers.

Things are going to get worse before they get better.

Nasty PHP7 remote code execution bug exploited in the wild on ZDNet

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews

Crypto Scams

Beanstalk Farms Loses $80M In A Massive DeFi Governance Flash-Loan Hack
Beanstalk Farms Loses $80M In A Massive DeFi Governance Flash-Loan Hack
April 23, 2022
Joon Pak Head of Crypto at Prove talks to Us about Crypto Fraud And More
April 11, 2022
Mintable CEO Zach Burks Talks to Us about the Opensea Stolen NFTs and Their Recovery
March 21, 2022
Crypto Crime
Crypto Crime Surges To Record Highs As Thieves Follow Market Buzz – Chainalysis 2022 Report
February 24, 2022
Bots Circumvent 2FA Login At Coinbase And Other Crypto Exchanges In 2022
Bots Have Circumvented 2FA Logins At Coinbase And Other Crypto Exchanges In 2022
February 17, 2022

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

Roundtable Interview-What is the Effect of The Russia-Ukraine War on Cryptocurrency Prices?
March 4, 2022
How Does Bitcoin Casino Work + 2021 Beginner’s Guide
November 8, 2021
How to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
November 8, 2021
What Are Bitcoin Futures And How Will They Work In 2022?
November 4, 2021
The Unconventional Guide to Ethereum
October 28, 2021

CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin28,798 0.77 % 2.80 % 5.21 %
Ethereum1,739.3 1.00 % 9.41 % 14.06 %
Tether1.000 0.21 % 0.17 % 0.06 %
USD Coin0.9989 0.16 % 0.08 % 0.04 %
BNB294.60 1.41 % 7.02 % 4.24 %
XRP0.3949 0.71 % 1.53 % 6.33 %
Binance USD1.003 0.14 % 0.52 % 0.11 %
Cardano0.9566 0.22 % 0.68 % 6.96 %
Solana40.62 1.79 % 12.20 % 22.38 %
Dogecoin0.07679 1.20 % 4.48 % 11.81 %

Bitcoin (BTC) $ 28,927.00
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,745.80
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
USD Coin (USDC) $ 1.00
BNB (BNB) $ 297.22
XRP (XRP) $ 0.395898
Binance USD (BUSD) $ 1.00
Cardano (ADA) $ 0.456862
Solana (SOL) $ 40.39
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.077318