Speedlinking – Thank You

by derek on June 9, 2008 · 10 comments

Just days after sharing my rant about how page rank is irrelevant, I discovered one serious cause to the decrease in traffic that one of my sites had been experiencing.
As I caught up on reading my RSS feeds, I came across a post detailing a recent WordPress exploit that redirects the search traffic away from your site. The exploit is rather sneaky in that if you have a cookie on your machine, you will not be redirected but any first-time visitor will be swept away.
So after reading about this exploit and realizing my site was impacted, I spent a fair amount of time purging my entire account, installing a clean version of WordPress, and scouring the database for any altered data. Once that was all complete, I felt it was only right to use this edition of Speedlinking to say thank you to a few people.
1. Nickel from fivecentnickel.com deserves a sincere thanks as this is where I first read about the widespread WordPress hack that was impacting numerous blogs, including one of mine. While my stomach sank when I realized I was impacted, I was also reassured knowing someone like nickel had already gone through the process of recovery and had information to share.
2. After reading about the existence of this WordPress exploit, I was fortunate to find that JD from Get Rich Slowly had already gone through the process of patching the WordPress hack on his blogs as well. Working into the wee hours of the night, JD was kind enough to share this guide of what he had done and it certainly helped me in going through my site and getting things cleaned up.
3. Changing gears, I owe Nick from romandock dot com a thank you for being an understanding community member. Nick recently wrote about what you should do when you are called by the wrong name, which I once did to Nick. After using the wrong last name for Nick, he politely sent me an email to say that wasn’t his last name. I felt terrible, quickly corrected my mistake, and was thankful that Nick was so understanding.
4. I’d like to say thanks to Andrea from According to Andrea not only for being a recent reader in the BlogCatalog widget but for also sharing a few nice IM conversations. Andrea was recently discussing family traditions and I am thankful for a few that we have, such as our annual 4th of July BBQ and reading the kids bedtime stories.
5. Last but not least, I want to say thanks to Leo from Leo Chiang dot com for remembering how to write a blog post and sharing the most recent UFC fight recap. Leo and I like to give each other crap – all in good fun – so be sure to check out my comment and don’t be afraid to add your own.
Of course this Speedlinking edition would not be complete if I did not take a moment to say thank you to each and every one of you. The last few days have been interesting and the support from the community has been unbelievable.
Thank you!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ling@Uptake June 9, 2008 at 10:15 pm

What’s all this about Wordpress exploits and visitors being stolen away from blogs? How do I even know if my blog is affected? Do I have to clear my cookies and visit my own blog? Or is there some more surefire way? And how do we get rid of it?


derek June 9, 2008 at 10:22 pm

The best way to check for the exploit is to investigate your site (via FTP or some other file manager) and your database.
You can quickly test by clearing your cookies, performing a Google search for your site and checking whether you get redirected or not. As others have noted, you may have to clear the cookies and test a couple of times.
I’d recommend looking at #3 and #4 in the guide from JD to determine if you are impacted. That is how I confirmed that I was impacted.
As an FYI, it seems some people on the latest version of WP were also impacted, although that is likely a result of the exploit having been put in place before the upgrade and it not being known.


Nicole Price June 10, 2008 at 5:24 am

Derek, this is astoninshing. I have gone through what JD’s tutorial and have saved it for action at my end too! Thanks for sharing this invaluable information.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Father’s Day Gift Ideas


John @ Washington Mutual Online Banking June 10, 2008 at 9:43 am

Thank you very much for giving me the heads up about this. I am not sure if I am affected yet, but I am going to go through all of my WordPress sites tonight.
Johns last blog post..Washington Mutual Mortgage Rates


Nick@romandock dot com June 10, 2008 at 11:30 am

Thanks for the shout-out! Sorry to hear about your getting hacked :S Glad that you were able to get it corrected in a relatively timely manner, hopefully it won’t have too much effect on your earnings for this month!
Nicks last blog post..Finding A Location For Your Home Office


Andrea June 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

thanks for the shout out too, derek!
I am glad you got your website sorted out and back up. good thing you read that blog about being hacked, who knows how long it couldve continued?!
I enjoy our IMs about family and your pointers for my blog.
So thank you, too!


Leo June 12, 2008 at 4:05 am

Thank you for the shout-out. I will now call off my Turkish hackers.


Steve@Free iPods June 13, 2008 at 5:00 am

Just glad you spotted it Derek. Why people spend their time makeing life difficult for other is beyond me…if they are that cynical, they should just go in to politics!
Lightsabers rule !!!


Paul@bad credit auto loans July 7, 2008 at 8:33 am

Holy cow, I didn’t know about this. I’m going to have to pay attention A LOT more to these hacks. Thanks for the information.


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