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20080410 Thursday April 10, 2008

Trustworthy Blogging

The WordPress hack pandemic continues. Sampling the data from Technorati's crawler, I'd estimate there are at least 2500 blogs that did not get updated in our index in the last 24 hours due to being compromised. So while Rome is burning, the WordPress developers continue their violin serenade; the WordPress front page and blog still has nothing new posted alerting the vast majority of WordPress users how vulnerable they are. There's a huge, escalating problem for their community but instead the site is just the usual marketing fluff. It's really past time for the WordPress developers to exhibit some leadership. If Bill Gates can get off his butt to prioritize security, you'd think these dudes could. OK, here we are six years later; I never believed the "trustworthy computing" crap from Microsoft but at least they said something. What we're sorely missing from WordPress is trustworthy blogging.

Check your WordPress blogs and check your friend's. If you're not sure how to talk to your friends about it, perhaps these tips on How To Stop a Friend From Driving Impaired might help:

  • Be proactive. Don't wait for them to get around to realizing that they have a problem
  • Politely, but firmly, tell them you cannot let them drive home because you care. Direct them to upgrade wordpress quickly (YMMV with those instructions).
  • Drive your friend home. Upgrade their blog for them if they're too lame to do it.
  • Call a cab. Tell them to shutdown their blog and use Facebook instead.
  • Have your friend sleep over. Sex sells.
  • Take the keys away. Help them migrate to Movable Type.
  • Whatever you do, don't give in. Kick their asses.

read the original list
Seriously folks, send them to the WordPress post about the vulnerability.

We at Technorati have discussed resumption of indexing vulnerable WordPress installations but treating all of the links like nofollow links. This might cause more misunderstanding about the issues than we currently have but it's worth consideration.

By the way, Google's Matt Cutts posted a nice write up with some basic security measures WordPress users should take, Three tips to protect your WordPress installation. These steps won't help you if you're WordPress installation is running a vulnerable version but they won't hurt. I disagree with Matt's recommendation to remove the generator tag - rather than removing it, I would recommend advertising that you're using a secure version of WordPress (2.0.11, 2.1.3, 2.3.3 or 2.5).


( Apr 10 2008, 02:33:42 PM PDT ) Permalink