EtherHiding Takes Aim at Blockchain Contracts | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A Stealthy Attack Targeting WordPress-Powered Sites Puts Digital Assets at Risk

In a report released on October 15, security firm Guardio Labs unveiled a novel cybersecurity threat known as “EtherHiding,” which cybercriminals are employing to surreptitiously embed malicious code aimed at siphoning partial payments from blockchain contracts.


A Clandestine Assault: The EtherHiding Technique


EtherHiding is a stealthy assault strategy that entails infiltrating WordPress websites by inserting code designed to retrieve fractional payloads from blockchain contracts. Subsequently, these extracted payloads find their way into Binance Smart Chain (BSC) smart contracts, which essentially operate as covert, anonymous hosting platforms for malevolent code.


This attack’s menacing nature lies in its adaptability. Malefactors possess the capability to amend the code and alter their attack methodologies as they see fit. Their most recent modus operandi involves employing counterfeit browser updates as the delivery mechanism. Victims are lured into updating their web browsers through deceptive landing pages and links. Concealed within this payload is JavaScript code that fetches supplementary directives from domains under the control of the assailants. This, in turn, leads to the complete defacement of the targeted website, with bogus browser update notifications serving as vectors for distributing malware.


Unpredictable and Agile: The Challenge of EtherHiding


The inherent “flexibility” of the EtherHiding technique empowers cybercriminals to modify the attack sequence with each new blockchain transaction. This dynamic nature makes mitigating these threats a formidable task for security professionals, as traditional defense mechanisms may struggle to keep pace with the rapidly evolving tactics of the attackers.


Guardio Labs’ Insights


Nati Tal, the Head of Cybersecurity at Guardio Labs, in conjunction with security researcher Oleg Zaytsev, underscored the vulnerability of WordPress sites, emphasizing that they frequently fall prey to cyber intrusions. They are, in essence, a “primary gateway” for these types of threats to wreak havoc on a considerable number of individuals. Notably, WordPress powers an estimated 43% of all websites, rendering it a significant target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit its widespread use.


Challenges Posed by the EtherHiding Threat


The EtherHiding technique represents a multi-layered threat, as it combines elements of website infiltration, blockchain exploitation, and malware distribution. Hackers gain unauthorized access to WordPress sites, implant code to pilfer fractional blockchain payments, and then utilize BSC smart contracts to obscure their malicious activities. This complexity makes it challenging to detect and combat the EtherHiding attack effectively.


Counterfeit Browser Updates: A Trojan Horse for Malware


One of the most alarming aspects of the EtherHiding attack is the use of counterfeit browser updates as a delivery mechanism. By enticing victims to click on fake browser update notifications, hackers successfully manipulate users into unknowingly downloading malicious payloads. These payloads are designed to operate covertly, undermining the website’s integrity and potentially compromising sensitive data.


The Vulnerability of WordPress-Powered Sites


Nati Tal and Oleg Zaytsev’s assertion regarding the susceptibility of WordPress sites underscores the critical need for heightened vigilance and security measures within the WordPress ecosystem. As the content management system underpins a substantial portion of the internet, ensuring its security is imperative to prevent cyberattacks like EtherHiding from proliferating.




The emergence of EtherHiding as a cyber threat poses significant challenges for the security community. This stealthy, adaptable technique capitalizes on the vulnerabilities of WordPress websites to infiltrate, compromise blockchain contracts, and distribute malware. As security experts work to counter these threats, it is essential for website administrators and blockchain users to remain vigilant and implement robust security measures to safeguard their digital assets. The dynamic nature of EtherHiding demands continuous innovation in cybersecurity strategies to protect against ever-evolving attack vectors.

Once these compromised smart contracts are deployed, they operate autonomously, leaving Binance with little recourse other than relying on its developer community to flag malicious code within contracts when detected.


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