MongoDB Ransomware Hack – What Did We Learn?

Early on Jan. 9, about 12,000 MongoDB database servers were compromised. Later the number rose to 28,000 servers.  As many as 46,000 servers are vulnerable to this attack.

A cyber-criminal using the alias “Harak1r1” exploited a weakness in the default installation of the popular database solution, MongoDB.  He demanded a 0.2BTC ransom ($220) to return the data he exfiltrated from thousands of victim systems.  Older installations of MongoDB that were deployed via cloud hosting services in an insecure default configuration were ...

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End of the Road for SHA-1?

sha-1SHA-1 or Secure Hashing Algorithm 1 was developed in 1993 by the National Security Agency (NSA).  It has been used to provide both hashing functions and digital signatures that validate that a certain document, web site, or other resource is genuine, original, and unchanged.

SHA-1 is used in common services such as SSL (secure websites) and TLS (secure email).  There has been discussion about the low security of SHA-1 going back to 2005. ...

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Shields Up For WordPress Websites and Blogs

mbclogofinal-smallI will be a featured presenter at the MN Blogger Conference, on Saturday October 15, at Concordia University in St.Paul, from 8:15 am to 5:15 pm.  Tickets are $20.

My presentation is titled Shields Up For WordPress Websites and Blogs.

In this presentation you will learn why WordPress sites are an attractive target for cyber-criminals and attackers, why they want to hijack your site, and how ...

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HTTPoxy Poses New Threats For Web Site Owners

A recent article in Naked Security caught my eye the other day about a new web site vulnerability called HTTPoxy.  This stands for HTTP requests and poisoned proxy settings.  Most web site use a technology called Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to run applications such as site search, collect information submitted on web forms, display comments, run a forum, or to display database queries such as pricing in a usable form on a web page.

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Two Factor Authentication for WordPress

Hardening and securing WordPress websites is one of my specialties.  We have reported previously on three of the best WordPress security plugins, Sucuri, Bulletproof, and WordFence.  I can tell you that each of these plug-ins performed admirably against the continuous barrage of brute force and password reset attacks that my sites have endured.  Security appeared to be strong, but I wanted more.

I have been deploying two-factor authentication (TFA) everywhere I can, in order to overcome the inherent weakness of password ...

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What Happens When Your Website Gets Hijacked part 2

The fine people at WordFence Security have also recently published information on what happens when web sites get hijacked.  They gathered this information by surveying their client and blog readers.  The results are in the infographic below.

what_attackers_do_to_wordpress_sites-1024x573

Taking a site down or site defacement makes up 25% of the malicious actions, which I found surprising.  The other items on the list ...

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What Happens When Your Website Is Hijacked?

I don’t often re-post other people’s web content, but the video below from Sucuri is worth the look if you are interested in learning why an attacker would want your website, and what they could possibly do with it, how that affects your reputation, and most importantly, what you could do to prevent it in the first place.  If you have the time, take a look.  The running time is 25 minutes.  With the Q&A Session, it goes out to 40 ...

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No Fooling – How to Secure WordPress

WordPresslogoI know it’s April Fool’s Day, but this is a straight up serious post.  If you own, operate, host, support, or develop WordPress sites, this article is for you.

We have written a few articles covering the subject of WordPress security.  I recently received an email from John Stevens over at HostingFacts.com, inviting me to review their excellent tutorial, 28 Ways ...

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Crypto-Ransomware Round-Up

cryptolockerSome of the nastiest exploits going around are the many variants of the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware that encrypt all your personal files and hold them for ransom.  Payment in bitcoin is required, in amounts starting at $200 and ranging upward to the $17,000 (400 BTC) that Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital just paid to unlock their files.  Or even more.  The amount will be whatever the attackers think they can extract from the victim.

  • The latest ...
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Alert: WPEngine User Credentials Breached

WordPresslogoJust received an email from WordFence, the WordPress security plugin-developer, that popular WordPress hosting company WPEngine had a breach that may have included customer user name and password information.  The full text of the email I received follows.

“We learned about an hour ago that there has been a data breach at WPEngine. Some of their customer login credentials have been exposed. If ...

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