"They" are watching... even quicker than before

Posted: 2022-05-06 20:45:08 by Alasdair Keyes

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I wrote a blog post in 2019 about the website of a newly registered domain getting visited by a bot within 5 hours of the website coming online. You can read the article here - Security first, "they" are watching.

In short, I had surmised that the Certificate Transparency logs were being monitored to discover new sites so they could be scanned for vulnerabilities before an admin had a chance to harden the website.

I read an article today (https://portswigger.net/daily-swig/wordpress-sites-getting-hacked-within-seconds-of-tls-certificates-being-issued) which looks as if this premonition has come to pass. Wordpress websites are apparently getting hacked 'within seconds' of the TLS certificates being issue.

It looks like the logs are being tailed and visited much quicker than before... from 5 hours 3 years ago to <1 minute today.

I've steered clear of Wordpress for years now and often advise my clients to do the same. Although the usability and extensibility of Wordpress is fantastic, the scope for vulnerabilities in both plugins and the core code is too great to rely on. If you do run it, assess if you really need it for a public facing site and if you don't, add IP or Basic Authentication restrictions to your webserver config to restrict access to only those who need it.

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© Alasdair Keyes

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