Technology Weblogging

WordPress attacks

I’m usually good about reminding (nee nagging) my friends about updating their WordPress weblogs, but in case any of you missed the last upgrade, there’s a good chance your weblog may have been seriously compromised. Lorelle covers the exploit and how you can tell if your site has been compromised.

From other discussions, I gather that if your site has been compromised, it’s going to be a mess to try to fix the problem, because the hacked software is now a part of the database, so exporting your data and re-building won’t help.

It’s not unusual for CMS to develop security problems that need fixing, but I am a little surprised that there’s been no official statement from the WordPress folks and the parent company, Automattic about this issue. Regardless of notification, it’s really important to always update your sites when security releases are issued, no matter what software you use. When I get an update notice for my Drupal sites, I update immediately. If updating is too much of a hassle, or you’re intimidated by the process, then you need to hire someone to help you with upgrades, go with a hosted solution, or change your software.

update Robert Scoble’s site was one that was hacked. There’s an interesting discussion on this at FriendFeed though how long that link will be viable, is hard to say.

I found it disingenuous of Matt Mullenweg to blame Rackspace for the problem Scoble had because of the WordPress exploit. Having said that, security updates rarely impact on plug-ins, and if a plug-in is broken, disable it and do the security update, anyway. I don’t know of any module in Drupal, outside of core, that I am so dependent on that I can’t upgrade Drupal based on a security release. But then, the modularization architecture with Drupal is different than that for WordPress.

As for Scoble, I feel for him, but he’s got plenty of free support. I feel worse for the folks who have to go it alone when trying to fix their sites. Hopefully some of the new articles on this story will provide the help you need, including one just released by Matt at WordPress. I’d offer to help, but I don’t run WordPress now, and I’m becoming less familiar with the tool with each new release. Still, if you’re desperate, holler, and I’ll see what I can do.

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