Hack in the Past: How Ancient CMS Flaws Fuel Modern SEO Scams

Hold onto your mouse pads, folks! Cyber nogoodniks are dusting off a CMS editor older than your last cell phone upgrade to outsmart Google. They’re turning search results into a scammer’s paradise, all thanks to an ancient plugin that should’ve been in the digital graveyard yesterday. #OldSchoolHacks #OpenRedirects

Hot Take:

Oh, the nostalgic trip down memory lane, where we reminisce about tech relics like the FCKeditor—except this time, it’s not a warm fuzzy feeling, it’s an “Oh FCK” moment for universities and government sites worldwide. It’s 2023, and hackers are throwing it back to 2009, taking advantage of an editor that’s so old it probably needs a virtual walker. Let’s take a stroll through this digital antique store where the only thing being bought is trouble!

Key Points:

  • Threat actors are channeling their inner history buffs by exploiting the FCKeditor, a CMS tool discontinued in the late 2000s, for nefarious SEO poisoning and scamming.
  • Open redirects are like the shady back alleys of the internet, leading unsuspecting users from reputable domains to the internet’s dark corners.
  • Search engines, those innocent librarians of the web, are unwittingly indexing these redirects, giving the bad links a VIP pass to the top of your search results.
  • Education and government websites, in a bid to prove vintage is cool, are using software so old it’s at risk of digital decomposition.
  • The FCKeditor’s developers have basically said, “We broke up with that software years ago, stop calling us about its issues.”

Need to know more?

The Old Editor's New Tricks

Our digital sleuth @g0njxa was on a routine patrol through the cyber streets when they spotted a scam more vintage than vinyl: Google searches leading to "Free V Bucks" hosted on university sites. The culprit? The ancient FCKeditor, now donning a new face as CKEditor. It's like finding out your favorite childhood toy is part of a crime syndicate.

School's Out for Hackers

In the digital playground, it's not just students pulling pranks; it's also hackers targeting the alma maters of the world. We're talking about the Ivy Leagues, the big fish, the crème de la crème of education, all caught with their cyber pants down. And it's not just schools, governments and businesses too are unwittingly hosting the decade-old party.

SEO Poisoning: The New Snake Oil

Remember when snake oil salesmen would peddle their wares as cure-alls? Well, hackers have taken a leaf out of their book, except this time they're peddling fake news articles and scams under the guise of legitimate domains. They've turned the once benign redirects into a search engine optimization (SEO) poison, and Google's just there taking notes, blissfully unaware.

The Relic Strikes Back

It's a tale as old as time (or at least as old as the internet): outdated software being used as a dark arts spellbook by hackers. In this chapter, we see universities and governments clinging to the FCKeditor like a life raft, not realizing it's actually a torpedo. The software's own creators have washed their hands of it, but it seems no one sent the memo to the webmasters.

Historical Reenactments: The Cybersecurity Edition

Our trip through the cyber museum isn't complete without acknowledging the previous exhibits. We've seen this story before: open redirects on government sites leading users to the seedier side of the net. It's like hackers are reenacting historical events, but instead of dressing up in period costumes, they're dressing up URLs in malware and phishing hooks.

And there you have it, folks. It's a classic case of 'what's old is new again' in the cyber world, where even a 14-year-old editor can become the belle of the ball for hackers looking to dance their way through security protocols. Let's hope our webmasters start spring cleaning and dust off their cyber defenses before the next ancient artifact gets unearthed.

Tags: Deprecated CMS Plugin, FCKeditor Exploit, Government Site Hacking, Open Redirect Vulnerability, phishing attacks, SEO poisoning, University Website Security