A few days ago, security experts disclosed a critical SQL injection vulnerability in the Joomla Content Management System (CVE-2015-7858), but as expected, threat actors in the wild are exploiting it in attacks against websites running old, unpatched versions of the popular CMS.
According to the researchers at Sucuri, it is quite easy to exploit the SQL injection flaw and to gain full control of a website in order to execute several kinds of attacks.
The experts at Sucuri observed the attacks only four hours after disclosures from both Joomla and the Trustwave security firm. In the following graph is reported the number of exploit attempts over the time, it is possible to note the rapid rise in just four days following the disclosure of the SQL injection vulnerability.
“Within 4 hours of the initial disclosure by Joomla and TrustWave, we saw direct attacks against 2 very popular Joomla sites that use our network. The attack tried to extract the current session from any logged in admin user and were blocked by our generic SQL Injection signatures:”
” wrote Daniel Cid, the founder and CTO of Sucuri.
The expert explains that attackers carry on the attacks by executing two scans, a first one searching for the default Joomla SQL syntax error page,
the second one is a request trying to get the admin user from the jos_users table.
/index.php?option=com_contenthistory&view=history&layout=modal&tmpl=component& field=jform_contenthistory&item_id=1&type_id=1 &type_alias=com_content.article&e11ddf616076d12a929967862cb0dd3c=1& list[ordering]=editor&list[select]= (select%20group_concat(username,%27|%27,email,%27|%27,name,%27|%27, registerDate,%27|%27,lastvisitDate,%27|%27)%20 from%20jos_users)%20as%20`version_note`
The flaw affects Joomla 3.x versions, the Joomla development team released a patch last week, but many websites still result vulnerable.
“What is very scary to think is that neither of these sites were patched at the time. The disclosure happened on a Thursday afternoon (evening in Europe), when many webmasters were already off for the day,” Cid wrote.
(Security Affairs – Joomla, hacking)