It has come to our attention that some of our customers have attempted to use ‘nulled’ (cracked/pirated) plugins and themes on WPX Hosting; this is grounds for immediate and permanent non-refundable termination of hosting accounts, as per our Terms of Service.
Some commercial plugins and themes can be found for free on seemingly legitimate websites where it seems safe to download. Nothing on these safe-looking websites appears to suggest that the plugins or themes offered there are infected with a very powerful backdoor script called CryptoPHP.
What can CryptoPHP do?
After being installed on a web server, the backdoor has several ways of being controlled, including command and control server communication, mail communication, and even manual control.
Backdoors of this type are mainly used for illegal search engine optimization, also known as Blackhat SEO. The backdoor is a well-developed piece of code and dynamic in its use. The capabilities of the CryptoPHP backdoor include:
- Integration with popular content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
- Public key encryption for communication between the compromised server and the command and control (C2) server.
- The backup mechanism is in place against C2 domain takedowns by using email communication.
- Manual control of the backdoor besides the C2 communication.
- Remote updating of the C2 server list.
- Ability to update itself.
When installed, it can integrate itself deep into your website and use its functions, code, and database. It can add additional administrator users, add/delete/modify the content of the website, change your website’s settings and do anything you can or can’t imagine.
So we HIGHLY recommend ONLY using plugins from TRUSTED SOURCES.
Here is a list of some of the websites that distribute plugins with CryptoPHP backdoor:
The following websites host the actual plugin and theme files used for direct download:
If you have installed a nulled plugin or theme from one of these websites, your website could likely be infected with CryptoPHP.
The least you can do is delete the dangerous plugins/themes, check whether you have an additional admin user-added, and ensure that all your websites look like they should for search engines.
You can do that from Google Webmasters Tools → Fetch as Googlebot.
For more detailed information on this topic, read CryptoPHP-Whitepaper-FoxSRT.
If you have any other questions on the topic, don’t hesitate to contact the WPX Support Team via live chat (use the bottom right-hand widget) and they will respond and help within 30 seconds or less.