What Is the AnonymousFox Hack and How Does It Infect Websites? – MUO – MakeUseOf

A vulnerability that commonly targets WordPress, the AnonymousFox can compromise your website and prevent you from logging into your account.
As a website owner, getting your site hacked can be your worst nightmare. While a large number of sites are considered safe because they rely on WordPress, that doesn't mean they're not prone to attack by hackers. In fact, many are being targeted by a widespread WordPress vulnerability known as the AnonymousFox, which targets the system files by exploiting vulnerable plugins to gain unauthorized access.
So, what is this incognito hack, and how does it attack? What type of damage can it inflict on your website and on your visitors?
True to its name, AnonymousFox has been successful in concealing its identity as no one is sure about which hacking group owns or operates it.
What we do know is that this vulnerability is usually found sites running WordPress version 5.0 and is notorious for changing the login credentials of the afflicted website. This prevents the website owners from logging into or editing their websites.
AnonymousFox takes advantage of vulnerable plugins that are used on different Content Management System (CMS) platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, etc., to infiltrate the websites.
Since WordPress is the most widely used platform for developing and hosting websites, it gets affected the most.
AnonymousFox attacks in precise steps, so here's how it typically works:
You might not realize that your website got hacked by AnonymousFox—that is, until you notice the changed email and contact address, or you might start receiving emails from internet security companies stating that your website has been compromised.
AnonymousFox hacks cPanel based websites, such as WordPress. So what is the cPanel? Is it to blame for this vulnerability?
cPanel is a Linux-based control panel used for web hosting. It has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and works like a desktop application, letting you perform interactive options without the need to execute complex commands. Basically, it lets even those with limited tech skills to control their own sites.
Even though AnonymousFox is not a cPanel issue per se, the hackers do gain access to WordPress and other CMS-based websites through the cPanel, usually by editing the contact address file and resetting the password.
Everything has its faults, and that's true of cPanel too; nonetheless, it has plenty of positives, chiefly that it's a user-friendly interface, has lots of handy features for all skill levels, and works across all the mainstream browsers.
The biggest concern with AnonymousFox is that it allows hackers to gain access to a website by exploiting cPanel security issues.
It achieves this by editing the contact address file and then resetting the account password in the cPanel, giving hackers free rein over your blog.
A website hacked by AnonymousFox will not only affect you but your site visitors as well. You will not be able to secure your customer data, and if you are hosting a shopping platform, your customers can fall prey to credit card leaks and other data breaches. This damage can have a serious impact on your business reputation.
Related: Effective Tips to Remove Malware From a WordPress Site
Building a website on WordPress is easy. The challenging part is keeping the hackers at bay.
Most people make the mistake of installing plugins in batches and not updating them. Always keep them updates to install patches for discovered exploits and trash the ones that are not needed. The best way to mitigate the deceptive AnonymousFox is to keep an eye on your plugins, especially the ones that are not being updated by their developers anymore.
Learn how to set up a WordPress website from start to finish with our guide to hosting, customization, and theming.
Kinza is a technology journalist with a degree in Computer Networking and numerous IT certifications under her belt. She worked in the Telecommunications industry before venturing into technical writing. With a niche in cyber-security and cloud-based topics, she enjoys helping people understand and appreciate technology.
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