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Technorati no longer indexing hacked or vulnerable WordPress blogs

Technorati no longer indexing hacked or vulnerable WordPress blogs

Earlier this week, we reported on a deliberate effort to hack a large number of blogs for SEO and cash – a story originally broken by Tony Hung over at Deep Jive Interests.

It appears now that this issue is more significant than what anyone originally imagined.

Tony has discovered that ZDnet appears to have been impacted. In addition, Kevin Burton who is the founder & CEO of Tailrank comments on the significant impact of what he calls a ‘blog spam epidemic’. CenterNetworks also has some coverage of the issue.

The seriousness of this blog spam epidemic became evident earlier today when Technorati announced that they would stop indexing blogs that are vulnerable due to not having upgraded or patched their wordpress installation. Their announcement reads:

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Because of this ongoing problem, we’re discontinuing processing crawls of blogs that exhibit common symptoms of being compromised. We strongly recommend upgrading your WordPress installation. Even if you haven’t been afflicted by a compromise, by the time you are aware that you have been a number of negative consequences may have already occurred (for instance, flagged spam by Technorati, Google or Yahoo!) — this has been reported by many WordPress users.

Technorati warned users as far back as February 12th, 2008 of this security issue. It’s amazing that many blogs have not yet been upgraded.

View Comments (7)
  • Upgrading self-hosted blogging software is probably something that a lot of bloggers don’t factor in when setting up their blog.

    Unfortunately, though upgrading is usually fairly simple (unless you have a heavily modified system), it’s not quite point-and-click yet, which presumably puts people off.

    I think there may well be an element of laziness, fear of breaking the blog, belief that your own blog won’t get hacked/spammed, and so on.

    I liken people’s reluctance to upgrade due to a belief that the time and complexity involved is too great to other overlooked tasks, such as maintaining backups, ensuring antivirus software is up-to-date and functioning, and so on.

    I wonder if this announcement will really kick people into acting? Some, perhaps, but I’m not convinced about the masses.

  • Well, we still need to ugprade here on BH too :)

    But I agree with you – alot of folks that self-host (like me) don’t always factor in the support costs like this in terms of time and energy when choosing to use software like WordPress or other blog software.

    ~m

  • Hi Matt,

    My domain was stolen for about a month at the end of last year. This resulted in Technorati stopping the updates of my rank. I’ve contacted them on a few occasions to say everything’s fine now, but I’ve not heard a thing from them. Shame.

  • More people should be using Typepad, WordPress.com’s offering or Blogger. People have their techie friend install WordPress via Cpanel and NEVER look at it again. I’m technical enough, I just have better things to do with my time than stay ahead of WordPress vulns. But like with a lot of software features trump security for many.

  • The lengths these so called seo guys go through to essentially cheat the system is amazing. And if you are not updating your wordpress install you are just asking for trouble. The updates are to help patch exploits. I agree with jay Thomas Typepad is a better choice than using wordpress especially if you are not very technical and do not plan on updating your blog.

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