Having a WordPress-based blog about computer security, it would be a bit of an oversight if I didn’t mention the recent problems encountered by my gracious hosts.
Last week the server hosting the WordPress 2.1.1 download was hacked, and the code was modified to include code for remote PHP execution. According to Matt Mullenweg it appears that only two files were changed and measures have been implemented to try to prevent a recurrance. Any users of 2.1.1 should immediately upgrade to WordPress 2.1.2.
This is obviously a serious issue for WordPress, but in fairness they appear to have responded in the right way, publicising the attack and doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again. http://wordpress.org/development/2007/03/upgrade-212/
The point of this blog is that everyone can do all the simple things to protect themselves from the casual attack. This type of attack however sounds like Wordpress was a very specific target, which makes it much more difficult to defend yourself against.
I’m sure WordPress had already invested heavily in their security infrastructure, (Firewalls, Intrusion Detection etc), so now they’re going to have to go back and look at that investment and see where it failed them. Do they need to spend more on technology to prevent a recurrance, (not necessarily always the answer), or is it a matter of ensuring more effective processes are in place.
According to Matt’s blog, a number of measures have already been implemented to stop the same thing happenning again. Time will tell if they’ve done enough.