MMM Has Been Hacked… and Fixed!
Evening Update by Mrs. MM: It’s been a long day of researching and looking through everything, but I believe I finally found the culprit hiding in pluggable.php, which was mysteriously updated on Aug 20. Upon viewing the file, it contained a crazy long string of nonsensical garbage, so I updated it with a brand new pluggable.php. This seems to be the only file affected, so hopefully we got the whole thing. Plan B is to do a fresh re-install of WordPress, which might be wise to do anyway. To double check the fix, I ran the site through a fun little utility called Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer which shows that all looks good and that Google will soon catch on and fix its cache. Luckily both MMM and I are former software developers… Phewf!
Well, Shitty McPants. It looks like some virusy script out on the Internet has hacked into the WordPress system which runs this blog and changed a bunch of obscure php files within.
We looked it up and it’s a common WordPress exploit called the Pharma hack. What happens is that when you look up “mr money mustache” and many other things in the search engines, you will now see a bunch of bullshitty spam stuff about fake pharmaceutical products. The actual site is unaffected for readers – this exploit only changes the results that your website delvers to search engines, as a way of manipulating search engine results in favor of the spammers.
Repairing this damage is not as easy as I had hoped. I changed the passwords for the site and the web server, but there are an infinite number of little files that could contain the fake code that needs to be removed.
If you know any other wordpress bloggers who have found and fixed this problem, please let me know. Meanwhile we will just keep fiddling around here. If I can’t fix it eventually, I may have to take down the whole site, since there’s no sense continuing to use a zombie infected pharmaceutical advertising machine as an ongoing blog platform!
Thanks to reader zero3blur for pointing this out to me this morning.
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