WordPress Security Problem

This is from the WordPress development blog and worth noting if you run WordPress as your blog software:

Long story short: If you downloaded WordPress 2.1.1 within the past 3-4 days, your files may include a security exploit that was added by a cracker, and you should upgrade all of your files to 2.1.2 immediately.

Longer explanation: This morning we received a note to our security mailing address about unusual and highly exploitable code in WordPress. The issue was investigated, and it appeared that the 2.1.1 download had been modified from its original code. We took the website down immediately to investigate what happened.

It was determined that a cracker had gained user-level access to one of the servers that powers wordpress.org, and had used that access to modify the download file. We have locked down that server for further forensics, but at this time it appears that the 2.1.1 download was the only thing touched by the attack. They modified two files in WP to include code that would allow for remote PHP execution.

This is the kind of thing you pray never happens, but it did and now we’re dealing with it as best we can. Although not all downloads of 2.1.1 were affected, we’re declaring the entire version dangerous and have released a new version 2.1.2 that includes minor updates and entirely verified files. We are also taking lots of measures to ensure something like this can’t happen again, not the least of which is minutely external verification of the download package so we’ll know immediately if something goes wrong for any reason.

Finally, we reset passwords for a number of users with SVN and other access, so you may need to reset your password on the forums before you can login again.

2 thoughts on “WordPress Security Problem

  1. All my sympathy with WordPress.

    After my PC died ona slightly Lazarus basis- it comes back to life for five mins every few hours – I tried to use the dual-core that was given to me. I have nevver seen such a profusion of worms, viruses and backdoor trojans, its like a joke.

    It even successfully started phishing when i managed to manipulate it enough to get ff installed and get ewido. It switched to some Mickey Mouse link. I finally manage dto get the online scan to work. This found about 20 different forms of malware but got taken over half way. It thinks it’s won but the stupid “you have spyware. download blah” notices are still in full flight. will reboot. may be away some time again. Grr.

  2. Well, all I can suggest for the new machine is reformat the disk and re-install. You can attach the HDD from the old machine as a slave drive on the new one (IDE/SATA issues are resolveable).

    Those notices are removable – get ATFCleaner and SUPERAntiSpyWare and a cool bit of software called Smitfraudfix.exe. Disable system restore, reboot into safe mode, ATF Cleaner all temps and prefetch etc. Run Smitfraudfix.exe and reboot again (into normal mode). Run SUPERAntiSpyWare. Reboot one last time and everything should be working.

    Worked here 🙂

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