Quotulatiousness

September 6, 2009

Some good advice from the WordPress developers

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:04

WordPress blogs (like this one) have been recently under attack by a worm tailored to a weakness that existed in older versions of the blogging software. Here’s the scoop.

Right now there is a worm making its way around old, unpatched versions of WordPress. This particular worm, like many before it, is clever: it registers a user, uses a security bug (fixed earlier in the year) to allow evaluated code to be executed through the permalink structure, makes itself an admin, then uses JavaScript to hide itself when you look at users page, attempts to clean up after itself, then goes quiet so you never notice while it inserts hidden spam and malware into your old posts.

The tactics are new, but the strategy is not. Where this particular worm messes up is in the “clean up” phase: it doesn’t hide itself well and the blogger notices that all his links are broken, which causes him to dig deeper and notice the extent of the damage. Where worms of old would do childish things like defacing your site, the new ones are silent and invisible, so you only notice them when they screw up (as this one did) or your site gets removed from Google for having spam and malware on it.

In short, if you haven’t already upgraded your WordPress blog to the current version, you’re inviting trouble.

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