I don’t feel safe with WordPress, hackers broke in and took things

A few weeks ago some hackers broke into my blog here (this was before 2.8.4 was released). At first I thought they just left some porn sites in a couple of blog entries. So we upgraded WordPress (I was on 2.7x back then). Deleted a fake admin account. Deleted the porn sites. And thought we had solved the problem. We didn’t.

They broke back in, but this time they did a lot more damage. They deleted about two months of my blog. Yes, I didn’t have a backup. I should learn to do backups (we’re doing them now). Life has a way of beating you if you don’t have backups.

Anyway, this time they also put some malicious code on my archive pages. Google sent me an email saying they had removed my blog from its index. That got a whole team to look into how they broke in. Now thanks to TechCrunch and Mashable you know there was a vulnerability in WordPress which let them break in. Even more good details on Lorelle’s blog.

We’ve done some other things now to make it harder for them to break in (for instance, my admin account has been deleted and a new one doesn’t use the name “admin”), but the damage is done and I feel the same way when our childhood home was broken into. I don’t feel safe here, which might explain why I’ve been posting more over on a new Posterous blog I’ve setup.

Hopefully we’ve caught all the damage and hopefully other WordPress users haven’t had worse damage happen to them. Have you been hit by WordPress vulnerabilities? If so, what did you do to lock down the system?

Oh, and please upgrade your WordPress immediately to the latest version. That seems to have fixed the hole that the jerks got in through on my blog. Knock on wood.

So, once this happens, how do you feel safe again?

UPDATE: Matt Mullenweg, who is the guy who runs Automattic, the company that produces WordPress, wrote that I never had the problem on WordPress.com (hosted version of WordPress). That’s true. Interesting conversation going on over there with Matt.