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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been noticing an increase on hack attempts on wordpress installs and other CMS’s (eg joomla).

Most of these attack attempts are from Russian IP space (typically Ukraine), although there are also a lot of botnet attacks from hosed windows computers also (these come from a variety of countries).

To counter this, we have been pro-actively implementing a number of different mitigation solutions, ranging from upgrading clients CMS installs and adding captcha plugins where possible to prevent brute force password attacks, through to scanning for vulnerable files throughout all clients website, and updating them to non-vulnerable versions (timthumb.php being the major issue/problem child that we’ve found to be vulnerable/exploitable).

We have also implemented server-wide lockout systems for failed logins for wordpress using one of our existing protection mechanisms (fail2ban).

Some of you may already have noticed an additional question or captcha being asked during login to your systems.

(example below)

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 10.42.02 PM

This is for your safety – if someone hacks into an install, they typically then attempt to run additional items within an install such as malware.

We also have live monitoring for malware running on all servers, and have been quite proactive in upgrading installs which are capable of being compromised.

In the case of a site being compromised and malware being dropped into the site, our live scanner sends us an automated email and we actively investigate.

If we cannot resolve the immediate issue, and find the security hole, we disable the clients site and inform them of an issue, and the need to take further action.
(To date, we haven’t had to go that far though).

We’re not the only people seeing this, although its not well known outside of the web hosting community at this present time.

We believe in proactive solutions for these kinds of attacks, and our multilayered approach appears to have spared us from most of the problems facing others at this time.

Lawrence.

References:

http://blog.hostgator.com/2013/04/11/global-wordpress-brute-force-flood/
http://blog.sucuri.net/2013/04/protecting-against-wordpress-brute-force-attacks.html
http://blog.cloudflare.com/patching-the-internet-fixing-the-wordpress-br

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Seems that when it rains, it pours.

The gods were not content to give us only one issue today from an external provider, but two!

At approximately 7pm the network that includes our mail server was on got hit by a massive denial of service attack.
The nice people at Shanghai Telecom decided that they would simply shut off routing for the entire subnet as their optimal solution.

We have a nice graph of that happening here:

net01.day

Note the sudden precipitous drop in network traffic starting at approximately 7pm, which lasted until approximately 8pm.

We also have images of the DoS attack [although not completely, as our network was null routed (shut off) for the brunt of the attack]

You can see the sudden increase in incoming traffic in this image below (which occurred before they killed the network completely).
The green line which indicates incoming packets suddenly goes sky high before the network people shut off the network.

net02z.day

Some of the other servers also got hit by this – notable our web servers, although they didn’t cut those off thankfully.
See below for a view of that traffic.

net02z.88.213.day

As the old curse goes – may you live in interesting times.
Some days are more interesting than others!