More than 5,000 WordPress websites plagued with Keylogger

More than 5,000 WordPress website plagued with Keylogger

WordPress is one of the most used platforms in the world with more than 75 million websites using its content management system (CMS), and that is good enough reason for hackers to target WordPress-based websites.

Old malware new capabilities

Recently, researchers at website security platform Sucuri discovered that 5,500 WordPress websites are infected with malware that was initially identified in April this year as At that time, the malware had cryptomining capabilities, but now, it is equipped with keyloggers.

The malware works in such a way that it exploits functions.php file used by WordPress themes. It queues Cloudflaresolutions scripts and uses a fake CloudFlare domain in the URLs who loads a copy of a legitimate ReconnectingWebSocket library.

What has changed since April

Previously when researchers identified the fake domain; its homepage displayed the message “This Server is part of Cloudflare Distribution Network, ” but the new message claims “This server is part of an experimental science machine learning algorithms project.”

Another change identified by researchers is the cors.js script. Upon decoding, there is no outright suspicious code like those banner images in the previous version. However, the script loads Yandex.Metrika, Yandex’s alternative to Google Analytics.

Furthermore, Sucuri researchers found two fake CloudFlare domains, one of which contains long hexadecimal parameters. These domains might look legitimate, but one of those domains does not exist while the other one ( delivers payloads that are hexadecimal numbers after the question mark in the URLs. Moreover, the script according to researchers decodes and injects the result into web pages making it a keylogger.

(Image Credit: Sucuri)

This script adds a handler to every input field on the websites to send its value to the attacker (wss://cloudflaresolutions:8085/) when a user leaves that field, wrote Sucuri’s malware researcher Denis Sinegubko.

What does this keylogger do

The keylogger is designed to steal login credentials from WordPress sites while its prime target is e-commerce platforms to steal customers banking and card payment details. In case the platform requires users to log in with their social media details, personal email address or any other sensitive and useful data, the keylogger will also steal and send them to the attackers. 

Websocket traffic on an infected login page (Image Credit: Sucuri)

The malware also injects websites with CoinHive cryptocurrency miner scripts that uses visitor’s CPU power to mine Monero digital coins

What WordPress site owners should do

Since the malicious code for this malware exists in the function.php file of the WordPress theme, users are advised by Suciri to “remove the add_js_scripts function and all the add_action clauses that mention add_js_scripts.” 

It is highly advised that WordPress site owners should check if their site is infected with malware and change all login credentials including username and password. In case you are looking for tips on how to secure your WordPress site from ongoing threats follow this link.

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