Bots are registering user accounts on thousands of phpBB forums across the Internet, raising concerns that the bot's authors are laying the groundwork for mass exploitation down the road. The activity of a bot named FuntKlakow was discussed in a Digg thread Sunday, with many forum owners confirming that FuntKlakow had created accounts and even posted simplistic messages ("O How nice" and "Wow that is cool").
FuntKlakow's post signatures have included links to proxy surfing and "traffic generator" services, raising the prospect that its goal may be spam rather than exploits. But as noted on a German site that issued an early warning about the bot's behavior, "the next time the phpBB announces a critical vulnerability, the bot would have everything ready (just a post click away) from attacking thousands of sites/forums." Google searches suggested the bot may have created accounts on as many as 33,000 forums.
phpBB has experienced a series of security problems in recent years, and has been banned by some web hosts. That hasn't prevented a 79 percent increase in active sites using phpBB between June and December of 2005, according to data from our Web Server Survey and related datasets.