Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Public Security mentioned in its press release of Hangzhou Police Reports Work on Cracking Down on Cybercrimes and Achievements in the Cyberspace Cleanup Campaign 2019 released on September 20, 2019 that the phpStudy version released in 2016 was maliciously planted with a backdoor and the person allegedly responsible for it was arrested in early 2019. According to the report, the suspect, with the planted backdoor, had illegally controlled 670,000+ computers and obtained 100,000+ pieces of data, including accounts/passwords, chat data, and device IDs.
phpStudy users are advised to check their installations for this backdoor and take protective measures as soon as possible to avoid any possible threats.
Scope of Impact
Version with the backdoor:
- phpStudy 5.4
The software version with this backdoor is the php 5.4 distribution in the phpStudy 2016 package. Users who have installed phpStudy downloaded from a nonofficial website should check for this issue and delete php 5.4 contained in it.
(1) Change all server passwords and system passwords that may be disclosed.
According to forensics, the backdoor has the function of remotely controlling computers and the suspect had remotely downloaded and executed scripts via the backdoor to collect users’ personal information.
(2) Delete the affected version of phpStudy.
The software writer declared that the php 5.4 distribution of phpStudy 2016 was planted with the backdoor. If users have installed this version downloaded from a nonofficial website, they should check for this issue and delete php 5.4 contained in the package.
(3) Download phpStudy from the official website.
The developer of phpStudy fixed this issue in January 2019 by removing the backdoor from the package that was maliciously tampered with. Users who intend to install phpStudy are advised to download the package from the official download site.
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