Webmasters have only hours to deploy patches, Joomla incident shows

Attacks exploiting a critical Joomla flaw started less than four hours after the patch was released

Four hours -- that's the time Joomla website owners had to apply a patch recently before attackers started to exploit the flaw it fixed. Those who still haven't updated their websites are likely to find them compromised.

On Thursday, the developers of Joomla released version 3.4.5 of the popular content management system in order to fix an SQL injection vulnerability that allows attackers to gain administrative privileges by hijacking an active administrator session.

Less than four hours after the update's release and the publishing of a technical overview by security researchers at Trustwave, attackers were already exploiting the flaw. Web security firm Sucuri said it saw attacks against two of its customers who operate very popular Joomla-based websites.

"What is very scary to think is that neither of these sites were patched at the time," Sucuri's CTO Daniel Cid said in a blog post Monday. "The disclosure happened on a Thursday afternoon (evening in Europe), when many webmasters were already off for the day."

Within 24 hours there were already Internet-wide scans probing for the flaw and the number of attacks continued to increase over the weekend. On Monday, Sucuri recorded 12,000 exploitation attempts against the Joomla sites of its customers.

Based on this incident, the administrator of an average website has a time window of less than 24 hours to patch following a serious vulnerability disclosure. If the website is a highly popular one, the reaction time should be within a few hours.

These fast attack times make the use of Web application firewalls, intrusion detection systems, access control policies and proper logging increasingly important in defending Web properties.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?