Problems plagueing WordPress

Folks-

Before I go further, I want to assure everyone that I just scanned this site, and it appears safe.

That said, there is a malware campaign that is attacking WordPress based websites. It is not clear how the attackers are getting access to the sites, and unfortunately, if your WordPress site is hosted on a server with someone else’s compromised site, yours has been compromised as well.

The malware infects first time visitors to your site with what is known as ransomware. This is a kind of malware that encrypts your files to prevent you from accessing them, then demands you pay a certain amount of bitcoin, or currency through similar obscuring transaction methods, within a certain amout of time to decrypt your files. Generally, this works. I have even heard that they have “good” customer service, and are willing to negotiate the price. Go figure.

Until this campaign is stopped, I strongly recommend that anyone with a WordPress site perform regular scans and offsite backups of that site. It is not clear that the tresspassers would leave your site unscathed if they think they have been discovered, and backups might save important clues as to who they are.

Sucuri has a good online website scanning tool. I would link to them from here, but my philosophy is that you shouldn’t trust a blogger ona topic like this any more than you should trust a random popup that claims you have “41 viruses on your computer” before asking you to install their malware-laden garbage. Just Google “Sucuri site check” and follow their directions to scan your site.

Which reminds me, I don’t (and won’t) use popups on this site, and I don’t have ads on it either (at this time.) If you ever see popups when you visit here, don’t click them. It means that there is something wrong with this site, or your computer. Some malware insert ads on everything. I strongly recommend the use of malware scanners, antivirus, and good firewalls on any computer hooked to the internet. Microsoft has a free antivirus tool you can add to any Windows 7, 8, or 10 system. I’m sure there are Mac equivalents. Use them.

Windows XP isn’t as lucky. Support has ended for that OS. Upgrade to one of the other versions of Windows, install Linux (Ubuntu is good), or buy a new computer of some kind.

And be sure that I’m doing what I can to watch out for you!

Any comments, updates, or news, are welcome!

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