Support » Plugins » Is there a current NextGEN Gallery exploit?

  • The hosting company where one of my clients’ sites is located turned one site off because of what they were telling my client was a WordPress vulnerability. Some further examination of the access logs turned up something weird.

    Someone accessed /wp-content/gallery/library/thumbs/wp-thumb.php several times with arguments that showed they were executing various directory listings for wp-admin, wp-includes, and wp-content/plugins

    Once they saw what plugins were installed, they started poking around in wp-dbmanager and somehow started accessing the file class.mail.php that suddenly appeared in that directory, and from there I don’t know what they attempted to do, since the hosting company turned the site off a few hours later.

    I’m still waiting to hear from them what behaviors they observed, but my first concern is with the wp-thumb.php script that was accessed from the thumbs directory of one of the galleries on that site. It looks like it might have somehow been added by the intruder, but I won’t know for sure until I talk to someone at the hosting company about what they found.

    I’ve looked on several other sites I have running NextGEN Gallery, and I don’t see that script in any of the galleries (though the other ones I checked that are running on sites with that same hosting company are still running NGG v1.3.5 or 1.3.6), so I’m assuming that those sites are untouched as of now.

    Another concern of mine is that while wp-dbmanager was installed, it wasn’t an active plugin, and that has me wondering if there was a reason that it was specifically targeted.

    Has anyone else seen this behavior on their sites? Is this an NGG exploit, or something related to wp-dbmanager? I know it’s not a WordPress vulnerability as the host was claiming, but I’d like to know sooner rather than later if I need to either downgrade or upgrade my various sites running NextGEN Gallery.

    Exploited site:
    WordPress 2.9.2
    NextGEN Gallery 1.4.3
    WP-DBManager 2.50 (plugin not active)

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  • wp-thumb.php is no file from NGG, anyway I suggest to upgarde alway to latest 1.5.3 version and delete the file if you didn’t now from where it is…

    It looks like this site is a victim of an attack similar to the recent rash of attacks that hit GoDaddy, because it matches up with the pattern of php scripts mysteriously appearing in directories, being executed for a short time, then being remotely deleted.

    I don’t have server access to do more digging through the access and error logs to see where they might have come from, but there is no trace of how they planted that php script there.

    I have notified the webhost, and gave them all the breadcrumbs I found, including some security site articles about the latest rash of attacks at GoDaddy. They will do more digging, since it’s more likely that another PHP-based site on the server was the one that was hacked, and not my client’s WP site as they’d previously thought.

    I will also state that I surprised to find out that the nextgen-gallery, wp-dbmanager, and datafeedr-ads plugin directory were set to world-writable by default upon installation.

    Is that done to allow for the one-click updates, or just an oversight? Because I’m eliminating that “feature” now, to prevent those directories from being infected again.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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