Under attack (continued)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Blogging
November 15th, 2008 • 6:01 pm

I am afraid that I have to report that, after a 10-day reprieve, the successful attacks on my blog have resumed. Once again, yesterday morning, the same hacker (obviously) was able to hack into my blog’s database and change my WordPress admin user’s e-mail account to the address of his choosing (the same one as before).

I have no idea how he does it. As I reported in my previous post on the topic, I had rebuilt everything from scratch and eliminated the two remaining potential security weaknesses that I could think of.

I have the latest version of WordPress. I have no plug-ins, no customizations of any kind. I have protected my wp-admin/ folder with a password (via htaccess), and blocked access to the wp-content/ folder except for pictures/css/JavaScript (required for the theme). I have changed the names of the admin user and the WP tables to unguessable things.

I have contacted my provider and they are not really providing any help. They don’t feel that there is any security issue on their end, so obviously to them the problem is my responsibility.

I have consulted a few people who had offered to help and have a few more suggestions for things to try. One of them involves shutting down the reader comments feature in WordPress altogether. So that’s what I have just done. Existing comments can still be viewed after each post, but the option to post new comments is gone, including for existing, legitimate registered users.

It is unfortunate that it has to come to this, but I don’t really have much of a choice here. I am pretty much on my own when it comes to figuring out what is going on, and I simply do not have the time to try and turn myself into a web security expert.

This hacker is obviously very persistent, so if this continues and I am unable to keep things under control by myself, I am afraid I am just going to have to give up on the whole thing and shut down my blog altogether. I don’t know what he can or cannot do beyond what he’s doing now, but he’s obviously able to break all the barriers that I am able to put up against him.

It is rather ironic that the attacks would resume on the very same day that my readership goes through the roof because of the post about the Adobe CS4 installer. It suppose it is a fresh reminder of the cost of “success.”

That said, this blog is not a business venture and I simply do not have the means or the time to acquire the expertise that is apparently required to be able to successfully repel such persistent attacks. Am I going to spend thousands of dollars on the services of a security expert to help me secure the Betalogue web site? I don’t think so. If the security issues involved in maintaining the Betalogue web site become too much of a burden, I will have to make a decision and choose to preserve my sanity and my personal well-being.

For now, I will try and keep going with the user comments feature turned off and see what happens. If you have any suggestions or are able to provide any kind of help, feel free to contact me directly by using the “Contact the Author” link in the sidebar.

Thanks for reading.

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