Finding exploited wordpress pages

WordPress seems to be hilariously easy to compromise (this might be a bad place to write that) and the general form of an exploit is to inject code like this

  1. < ?php $a = base64_decode(YSBsb25nIHN0cmluZyBvZiBiYXNlNjQgdGV4dAo=.......);

right at the top of a script. base64_decode is rarely used by the Good Guys outside of mailers and doing tricks with images, but it's almost never found right at the top of a script. I did write a really convoluted script that found calls to base64_decode and exec and guessed whether they were nefarious (generally, for example, base64_decode is called with a variable (base4_decode($mailBody)), not just a string (base64_decode(dGV4dAo=)) but that just ate all my I/O and didn't really work.

So I came up with a much cruder way of doing it. Have a script called ~/bin/base64_in_head

#! /bin/bash
file=$1
head $file | grep base64 2>&1 >/dev/null || exit 1;
echo $file
exit 0;

And then run it like this:

$ ionice -c3 find /home/user/public_html/ -name \*.php -exec ~/bin/base64_in_head {} \;

I've not yet had a situation where that's missed a file that later manual greps have found.