PS:295 — Cleanup on Isle WordPress

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had some customers and customer’s customers who have had their WordPress installs hacked. Bad.

It happens now and again, sites get abandoned, and by abandoned I mean this: WordPress was built to be a blog. Its primary mechanism of updates is to do pushed WordPress upgrades upon visitors coming in, NOT plugins & themes – while this sucks for customers, it is hours for me.

Lately, the hacks infect some benign files like the index.php’s that prevent director indexes in wp-content (so themes & plugins primarily) but today’s was a doozy!

Thie was incredibly basic, literally a theme, a framework, and Akismet. That’s it. Couple pages but it’s one of those “Set it and forget it” style sites, someone, isn’t coming in daily to write, post or check in. They made their content, why do anything else?

Well, it appears the customer downloaded an “Awesome theme!” which was pirated. They didn’t know! I say this was knowing a good chunk of customers sadly who hit this rut are small churches who aren’t out to steal, but when you goto a random site, and it says it’s “Free!!!!” how can you say no? It looks great, pro features and zero cost? Sign me up.

So actually having a legal developer license for this, I got things cleaned up, scanned with maldet, Wordfence, and ClamAV. Their site is now being updated daily by me, well my WordPress management routine which updates WordPress installs with a few clicks of a button, in about 5-10 minutes I’ve run updates and things are safe once again.

While I love hours, and I love getting things done, I do hope tonight wraps up earlier than 5-7am – I’ve had too much going on lately! Next big project is, of course, figuring out a way to get a customer to pay his $1000+ design bill sigh the joys of small business.

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