Clean malware from wordpress website in 2019



These days a lot of WordPress websites are getting infected by malware, adware. What they basically do is that open they redirect the WordPress site to some random third party website which is full of ads or sometimes they spread a virus or other such malicious files to the visitors. This mostly happens because most of the times the creator of WordPress based websites are very beginner and they don't know much about security.

Last month a person reached out to me saying that his WordPress website is infected and asked me to help him out. When I checked the website I got to know that an attacker added few lines of codes on his website which redirects the visitors to some other website. You might be thinking what will the attacker gain by doing this.

Well, the attacker redirects the visitor to his malicious website which is full of ads and think if he redirects about 10,000 visitors per day, he will earn a good amount of money. So when this person gave me access to his website I first searched how the site got infected.

Here is how his website got infected :


He used a very week and known username and password so there is an attacker who runs scripts which automatically scans for WordPress based websites and try random password and if they get the access they automatically insert the code. Same this was happening in this case too. So I quickly removed the malicious codes and changed the password and things got alright.

If sometimes your WordPress website too gets infected by malware, here is how you can clean your website :

Scan your Website


This is a very important step. here you need to first scan your website to see if there is any backdoor, vulnerability that exists in your website. Scan your website to see if it redirects to some other website. Also, check if you are using the latest version of WordPress.

Backup your sites, files, and database


Always try to make a full site backup for at least once a month so that even if it becomes impossible to fix your website you can restore it back using the backup. You can backup your website files with FTP, cloud, etc. There are a lot of free plugins to do so.

Check the backup files


Things might get really tricky if your backup file itself contains the malware so always check if your backup is free from malware

Format WordPress files and folders


Login to your cPanel and go to the location where you have WordPress installed and delete all the WordPress files in your installation location. Mostly the WordPress files will be in the public_html folder.

Reinstall Wordpress


Get one-click Wordpress install option from your provider. Get an overview of installing WordPress in server. Fill the necessary information like admin name, password and click the " Install Wordpress" button

Change your WordPress login password


While installing you will be given an option to give a password. For better security, it is advisable to give a new password that you have not used so far on your website.


Reinstall themes and plugins


Download a fresh copy of the theme from the backup or you can use the default theme of WordPress. Once the theme is installed, you can install all the needed plugin once again.

Restore your WordPress files and database


Backups created by popular backup plugins like BackupBuddy and UpdraftPlus can be restored by using the same plugin. USe the plugin to restore the files and database

Scan Again


After all the above steps are done you will have the site up and running once again. Just to check if everything is alright, do a full site checkup to make sure that the site is completely free from malware The best tools to check for malware in WordPress are: Unmask Parasites, Sucuri Site Check, Norton Safe Web, etc.

Clear Google Warnings


After the above steps are done, your website will completely be free from malware. Now submit the blacklist removal request to Google to review your site. Navigate to the crawl tab in search console, Click the fetch as Google section and submit the website to index button below.

After following these steps your website should be completely free from malware in most of the cases. If it's not then contact your  service provider or get help from some professionals.

The Top 3 Reasons to Monitor a Cell Phone


Telephone booths were essential items in the early twentieth century because they facilitated long
distance communication. Then landlines became a reality in the latter years of this century.
Today, we have mobile devices. These devices help you talk to anyone in the globe at any time as
long as the other person accepts the call. Sadly, these devices are as harmful as they are helpful.
Kids are particularly vulnerable to the harm that results from misusing them. Therefore, tracking
mobile devices is critical in many instances. Here are the top 3 reasons to monitor a cell phone.


1. Protect Your Loved Ones from Cyber Bullying
Twenty-five percent of teenagers have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives. Statistics also show that most of this bullying occurs through mobile devices. Shielding them from this vice is critical because bullying devastates children emotionally. Sadly, protecting your kids from cyberbullies is a daunting task because kids are afraid to speak about it. Remember, only 10% of bullied teens report such incidents to their parents. Monitoring their cellular activity is an excellent way of helping them. More specifically, you will discover cases of harassment. Then you will talk to them about it in addition to dealing with the culprit. Protecting fellow adults from cyber bullies is also necessary in some cases.

2. Catch Unscrupulous People Including Predators
Unscrupulous people often use smartphones to harm or defraud their victims. Remember, these people rely on isolating their targets. Then they can manipulate them without their loved ones knowing about it. For example, imagine someone blackmailing your spouse over an embarrassing incident that occurred years ago. Another person can take advantage of an employee at your office convincing him or her to reveal sensitive information about your organization. Moreover, predators rely on the impressionable nature of children. That is how they lure them away from home. Did you know that 8% of teenagers have met someone they came across online? Monitoring cell phones would help you catch these unscrupulous people so that you can protect your spouse, employees, and kids.

3. Discovering the Truth about Events and Situations
People often lie about specific events and situations. Unfortunately, they fail to realize the impact of those lies on everyone involved. Usually, explaining to them why telling the truth is essential bears no fruit. The only recourse you have under such circumstances is monitoring their cellphones. Doing so is especially critical in cases where someone is suffering from depression, negative influence from peers, or addiction among other problems. You need to know what kind of websites this person is visiting. What plans does his peer group have? What kind of purchases is your child making? Relationships are worth monitoring as well. For example, is there an inappropriate workplace relationship that is happening under your nose? Is your daughter dating someone? What is his intention towards her? In this post, you will discover a highly specialized spy app that will enhance your monitoring capabilities.

List of must have security apps for your mobile [ 2018 ]



Mobile security is increasingly important. We all keep plenty of data on our phones, and some of that data is either personal or sensitive. From the credit card info that’s attached to your Amazon app, to the login data from your banking app, there stuff that we just don’t want other people to know. Or maybe your web browsing history isn’t quite as squeaky clean as it should be. Getting the right kind of security apps for your mobile is essential, but which ones should you choose?

What We’re Looking For.


We’re looking for apps that increase the security on your phone. Useful apps. We’ve dismissed anti-virus or malware apps from this list, since there are tons of them as well as plenty of resources telling you which are the best. So we’re looking at more specialised apps. In addition, a couple of our choices aren’t marketed as security apps as such, they simply have a side effect of increasing security. But if you’re looking to make your data secure, then these are the apps you should think about downloading.

Find My Device


We’re starting out with a no brainer here. Find My Device is by far one of the most useful security apps around. Originally using the name Android Device Manager, Find My Device is a simply little app that tracks your phone. That’s useful if you’ve lost your mobile, had it stolen, or simply can’t remember where it is. You just head to the Find My Device web page on your computer and you’ll get a little blip on a map telling you where your phone is.

But that’s not the real reason we’ve chosen Find My Device. Because the app also has extra features. It allows you to remotely lock your phone, so if you happen to have left it at the office no one can pick it up and get your data. It also allows you to remotely wipe your phone, so if it has been stolen you can erase all that personal data with the press of a button and thieves will never get hold of it. Find My Device is free, and is an absolute essential if you’ve got a mobile phone.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser


We all know how much data websites collect about us, and if that thought bothers you, then DuckDuckGo should be one of the first apps that you download. It’s a free, super secure web browser that doesn’t track your web history. It’s sort of like constantly browsing in incognito mode. Once you exit the app, it will no longer remember anything about your last web session. It’s a basic browser and doesn’t have many features other than privacy, but it’s great at what it does. It’s also free, though there are some (non-intrusive) ads.

Haven


Haven is a very unique addition to this list, but also a very cool one. Essentially, it lets you turn a secondary device into a security phone. You download Haven onto an old mobile that you no longer use and that mobile will become your security device (you will need a SIM card for certain notifications so your best bet is looking for a low cost rolling sim only deal). It will record sound through the phone’s microphone, it detects light (if someone opens a door, or opens your luggage, for example). And if you stick that secondary phone into your suitcase or handbag it will set off an alarm when that case or bag is moved. Okay, it’s pretty specialised, but it’s also free and could be a great addition for frequent travellers.

LastPass


If you’re serious about security, then a password manager is a must, and LastPass is the grand-daddy of them all. It stores your individual passwords, so you don’t have to remember all of them (thus encouraging you to use different passwords for different sites, as well as longer, more complicated and therefore more secure passwords). It will also generate super secure passwords for you. It syncs across platforms, so it’ll work on your computer too. And it’s free. There’s a pro version available, but the free version should do everything that the average user needs. Having a password isn’t enough to ensure security. Having a password manager is.

ProtonVPN


A VPN isn’t just an excuse to be able to watch US Netflix from the UK, or to hide your illegal streaming activity. A good VPN will hide everything you do, from inputting a password into a site, to your web browser history. And ProtonVPN, despite being pretty new, is an excellent choice. It’s free, and has full encryption, so anything you do on your mobile whilst the VPN is switched on will be scrambled. The disadvantage here is that speeds on your phone will be a little slower with a VPN switched on, but that’s a small price to pay for complete privacy.

Resilio Sync


Resilio Sync is another fairly unique app. In basic terms, it allows you to create your own cloud storage system. Let’s say that someone sends you a sensitive document on your phone. You want to be able to back up that document, but you don’t want to send such sensitive info to your DropBox or G Drive account. Resilio Sync creates a cloud of storage on your home computer. So you can back up that document from your phone straight to your own PC without it going through the cloud first. Now that’s security. Resilio Sync is free.

Signal Private Messenger


Finally, if you want to send text messages in absolute privacy you actually have a few options. But with the drama surrounding Facebook, WhatsApp (owned by FB) might not be your first choice anymore. And that’s where Signal Private Messenger comes in. Complete end to end encryption of your messages, group messaging, the ability to have messages disappear after a certain amount of time, and absolutely zero data storing in the app, this is the king of private messaging. It’s free, and the only real downside is that you’ll have to persuade all your friends to download the app too.

Private Browsing - What Are The Benefits?



It is not entirely possible to use the Internet without leaving a digital footprint behind. However, private browsing can offer a lot of protection and keep you relatively safe. Web browsers are equipped with private browsing capabilities, e.g., Internet Explorer has an 'InPrivate' mode for secure browsing, and Google Chrome has 'InCognito' mode for private sessions. 


With private browsing, you can keep your search data and other information protected. Private browsing alone cannot provide you complete protection against data theft, but it is an effective measure you must take. 

What Is Private Browsing?

Data related to every website you visit is stored in your Internet browser's history, cache, and cookies. The browser remembers the URLs of the websites you visit and files you download. Cookies track your activity on different sites to provide you a better and faster user experience. 

It's all fine if you use a private computer and your data does not contain any valuable information. However, if you use a public computer and you are concerned about your data getting stolen, or you are uncomfortable knowing that your digital footprint is trackable and don't want to leave any breadcrumbs behind then use Private browser. 

If you use the browser's private mode, all the information is stored until your session completes. Once you close your private session, you don't leave any trail behind, and none of your data remains stored on the system. 

How To Stay Safe Online?

i. Good Digital Habits

Don't download anything or click anywhere if you are not sure about the website. Avoid downloading pirated content and software as they are often loaded with spyware and other malicious software. 

Avoid using public Wi-Fi network if it offers unfettered access to the network. If you connect to a genuine public Wi-Fi network, avoid exposing sensitive data such as banking passwords and login information. 

ii. SSL Certified Websites


SSL certificate provides secure connection for the exchange of information between browser and server. Make sure that you are dealing with URL of the website begins with 'HTTPS' instead of 'HTTP.' A green padlock icon in the address bar confirms that the site is SSL certified with SSL certificate like Positive SSL certificate.


SSL stands for 'Secure Sockets Layer', and it provides encrypted link between web broser and server to handle sensitive information, such as customer names, phone numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, and more.


iii. Keep Your System Guarded And Updated 


Developers use updates to fix any security vulnerabilities. That's why it is important to keep your system updated. A good anti-virus program will keep your system protected from most potential attacks. 

Benefits Of Browsing Internet Privately


·         Privacy


When you use a shared computer and browse the internet in private mode, the websites you visit will never appear in the search history, no matter how many times you visit a website.


·         Minimize History


Whether it’s your work computer or personal computer, having as little personal data stored as possible is the best way to protect your information. It reduces the risk of your data getting stolen, and it saves space on your disk as well.


·         Security


Any cookies generated during a private browsing session gets automatically deleted when you close the window. If you are concerned about your accounts' security while signing in on a shared computer, a private browsing session can help you with that. Even if you forget to sign out of your account, the sign-in cookie will be deleted when you close the browsing session. With the deletion of the cookie, your account will be automatically signed out, and nobody could log into your account maliciously.


·         Testing


If you want to open a website you are not so sure about, but still, you want to give it a try, private browsing is the way to go.


·         Multiple Sessions 


Cookies are not shared between the normal window and a private browsing window. You can login to the second account on the same website without first signing out from your first account. For instance, if you are signed in with your Google account, and your friend wants to check his Gmail account, a private browsing session is a way to go.


·         eCommerce Tracking


Many websites use your search data and cookies to bring deals according to your needs. For instance, airline websites have data about your previous search history if you tried to check the price of a ticket. From the user data, they can find out which customer is highly likely to purchase a ticket. Sometimes, they offer higher discounts to new customers. You can check the price of the ticket using a private browser session to make sure that you are paying the minimum amount on your tickets. 

Same way, if you want an e-commerce platform to list your prices without accessing your data, you can use a private session. 


How To Enhance Privacy Further?

You can use TOR browser and a VPN connection from a reliable provider for enhanced privacy. Your browsing will still not be completely private, but these options can improve your privacy further. 


How To Browse the Internet Privately?


Chrome's Incognito Mode

1.      You can click the Google Chrome's 'Control Google Chrome Button' in the top-right corner with three dots and select 'new Incognito Window' for private browsing.
2.      Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+N to launch a new Incognito window.
3.      While right-clicking a link, you will see an option to open link in Incognito window.

Firefox's Private Mode

1.      Click the control button in the upper right corner and click 'New Private Window'.
2.      Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl+Shift+P to launch a private window. 




Microsoft's Edge's InPrivate Mode

1.      Click the '...' button in the top-right corner of the window and select new 'InPrivate Window'.
2.      Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl+Shift+P or Ctrl+Shift+N to launch a private window.


Conclusion 


Browsing the Internet in private mode comes handy in many different scenarios. Private browsing prevents your data from getting saved and enhances your information security. It reduces the chances of data theft and offers you the privacy that you need if you are using a shared network.

Sarahah App Secretly Uploads your Entire Contact List



I'm sure most of you have used Saraha or atleast saw your friends sharing the 'Feedbacks' they received from this app/website. This app became viral in US and even in India in a very short time. Even if the app was to receive honest feedback from friends, people used it to abuse and bully other people.

I remember when the app was first released many people questioned why this app is asking for so many permissions ? An app requesting access to the user's phonebook is quite common if the app provides any feature that works with contacts, but what shocking is that, there is no such functionality in Sarahah is available right now.

Zachary Julian, a senior security analyst at Bishop Fox, discovered something serious about Sarahah. He found that the app is uploading private information from the phone to its server. Zachary tested the app on his Galaxy S5 running Android 5.1.1 and used BURP Suite to intercept traffic. He found that the app is uploading his private data.

He confirmed that the app transmits all of your email and phone contacts stored o Android phone. He also verified the same with iOS and found the same thing.

Here is a video demonstration by Zachary Julian


Sarahah uploading address book data from The Intercept on Vimeo.

As soon as the news broke out,  the creator of Sarahah, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, responded to the story by saying his app actually harvests and uploads the contacts from users to the company's servers for a feature that will be implemented at a later time.

All newer Android operating systems (starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow) allows users to limit permissions for apps, users can limit permissions so that apps do not gain access to contacts or other information that doesn't have anything to do with the app's functioning.

So next time when you use such an app, have a look at the permissions that it is asking for.

Toka Poisa, A big security disaster ?

 

 

Disclaimer:


This is not a hacking attack. Yesterday ( 11/1/2017) government of assam launched an e-Wallet, Tokapoisa.in, to enable the people of the state for hassle-free online transactions in local language.

I have found a serious security flaw in it yesterday itself ,which could be used to completely take over anyone's account. I reported it to Amtron through Special Branch of Police,  Assam as the email id that was mentioned in the official website ( http://tokapoisa.in/ ) was not working and i also tried to contact amtron from the email id that was provided in amtron's official website ( http://amtron.in/ ) which too was surprising not working. 

The flaw is fixed now . Since the flaw is fixed I'm making a public disclosure here so that others in the community can learn from it . This is ethical hacking ( healthy and legal ). Please do not misunderstand it to be hacking attack. 




On 11th January 2017, Assam Government launched an e-wallet Tokapoisa.in, to enable the people of the state for hassle-free online transactions in local language. The e-wallet is a joint venture developed by State's Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited ( Amtron ), and ICICI Bank. Soon many news portals covered the news . So as a security researcher I too was curious to see how this platform works.

Since it involves money transaction I was sure that it will be secured one but i was mistaken. The security level of the platform was too poor. Anyone with a little knowledge of hacking could easily bypass its security features and misuse it. Such flaws can be considered if the app is in testing phase but the app was launched and made public which clearly indicates that they failed to recognise such basic flaws during their testing phase !

So here are the flaws : 


( I have reported the flaws and it has been fixed today )

Flaw 1 ( Serious )


Flaw name : Bypass OTP Verification while sign in

The best thing about the site is that there is no password verification, user needs to enter their phone number and an OTP is sent to their phone and once they enter the OTP, user can sign in.

Only one level of authentication is used which is OTP. So if an attacker bypass the otp he can have access to anyone's wallet and misuse it. Once he is inside , he can make payments , steal money etc.
While registering it does not ask the user to verify, which means an attacker can register anyone's number.

Now let us assume that an user have already created an account ,then an  attacker can  login to a specific user's account to make payments on his behalf or steal money etc.

Here is the Proof of concept 




This was possible because there is no limit set for the number of times an attacker can enter invalid otp due to which an attacker can easily brute force it and get full access to anyone's account and money.


Flaw 2 ( low impact )


Flaw name : Directory listing

There was a directory listing flaw in the website by which an attacker can see all the files that are in the directory . this flaw can be used to know about files that are inside the directory even if they are not mentioned anywhere in the site. So it gives a good idea about all the files that are hosted in the directory.



Flaw 3 ( medium)


There is no SSl certificates in the site. The site deals with money and transaction and yet it runs on http and not https. SSL Certificates provide secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, the protocol which provides the encryption. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages that require end-users to submit sensitive information over the internet like credit card details or passwords. But here in tokapoisa site there is no SSL which means that the connection is not secured and is unencrypted and anyone can perform a man in the middle attack and get sensitive information from it.  This is the first website i have seen which deals with money and dont have a SSL certificate.

Miscellaneous


Tokapoisa have launched an Android app which is not exactly an app because it is just an web viewer which displays the site. there is nothing special in the android app. When you open the app it just shows you the webpage thats all, which means anyone can create the exact same app. This can be dangerous because they have not yet launched it in any app store so if an attacker creates an app which displays the website inside the app no one can differentiate it with the original one and the attacker can take this advantage and add malicious codes in his version.


When I Found the flaw I first prepared a report on it and mailed it to the email ID that was provided in the tokapoisa website ( appsupport@amtron.in ) but the delivery failed as they have not configured the mail service.

Then I mailed it to the General Manager of Amtron (



30.94 million ( population of assam - 2012 ) could be at risk .

So I did my bit to secure the platform. Hope it benifits the people of assam.