VBulletin denies hackers’ claims of zero-day exploit in forum software

Graham cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

VBulletin, who admitted late last week that its site was hacked and users’ credentials exposed, has denied claims by hackers that they exploited an unpatched zero-day vulnerability in the popular web forum software to compromise VBulletin’s systems.

VBulletin takes issue with the Inject0r Team’s claim that they had discovered a critical flaw in the message board software.


VBulletin’s Wayne Luke wrote:

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Given our analysis of the evidence provided by the Inject0r team, we do not believe that they have uncovered a 0-day vulnerability in vBulletin.

These hackers were able to compromise an insecure system that was used for testing vBulletin mobile applications. The best defense against potential compromises is to keep your system running on the very latest patch release of the software.

Inject0r Team, meanwhile, has put the alleged exploit in VBulletin’s server software up for sale online, for the tidy sum of over $700.

Exploit for sale

Of course, there’s great embarrassment for VBulletin in regard to this security breach. If the organisation that *makes* the software can’t keep its own installations secure, what hope do other sites have?

Clearly there’s still some uncertainty about what exactly took place, but some online forums aren’t taking any chances and are closing their message boards until they feel confident things are safe again.

Garage Hackers forum closed

For instance, as well as DEF CON, the message boards of Garage 4 Hackers has been (at least temporarily) shut down.

Do events like this shake your confidence in web server software like VBulletin? Would you change your message board software based upon a security breach? Leave a comment below and have your say.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.

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