Yesterday, phpMyAdmin security team has been notified about backdoor being distributed together with phpMyAdmin zip file on one of SourceForge mirrors.
We quickly analyzed the issue and confirmed that the backdoor is indeed present in
phpMyAdmin-184.108.40.206-all-languages.zip file. It allowed anybody to execute arbitrary PHP code, there was file called
server_sync.php which simply called eval on passed data:
var icon ;
icon = document.createElement("img");
All in all looks like simple, but quite effective way to install backdoor, if they would be able to spread this more widely. We've immediately released PMASA-2012-5 to notify our users.
Luckily this was spot quite fast (looking at used domain, the exploit could not be alive before 22th September 2012) and not on much frequent mirror (based on SourceForge official statement about 400 users have downloaded the file with backdoor).
What still remains unclear is whether this was really only targeted on phpMyAdmin, or there were more modified file on this mirror (SourceForge hosts thousands of projects). I've randomly tried few our other download options from this mirror and none of them was affected, but the mirror was taken offline before I could do some more systematic analysis, so this question can now be answered only by SourceForge.