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50ft Under Attack (Updated)

It has been brought to my attention that 50ft’s wordpress installation has been compromised and some readers are being forwarded to annoying virus protection sites and equally annoying other sites. If this happens to you at any point browsing the site PLEASE send me an email john(at)twistedsun.net to let me know. I found a bunch of malicious code in my database and cleaned it out but something is apparently still lingering. This is affecting some users sometimes but not all the time. Im not sure if its on any browser or just select ones.

I know very little about such things and I am doing all I can to track down the problem so if you have any suggestions or have any troubles let me know. I am sorry for the mess, it is really really frustrating that hackers would exploit simple wordpress pages for their own gain… Thanks for understanding and bearing with me as I get through the issues at hand.

UPDATE: Things are under control now as far as I know, I have cleared out nearly every file in the site and replaced them as well as cleaning out my database of all hacked code. Took some time to find it all but it seems to be taken care of and more security has been put in place to prevent future incidents.

I am so very sorry to anyone effected by this, the reason for it happening, turns out, was a server venerability where hundreds of wordpress users on my server were effected. I will be keeping a close eye on measures they take to prevent it from happening again. I can’y have my readers at risk because of that!

Thanks for everyones help with the matter, it was greatly appreciated.


  1. Lisa Blair - July 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Yeah this happened to me last night around midnight. I was about to leave a comment when that pop-up tried to “scan for viruses”. I’m using Firefox v4.0b1.

  2. john - July 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hmmm…. I THINK I have gotten rid of the infected code… please report any other messes… Sorry for this.

  3. john - July 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Well, I think I will leave it at that for now, I have to get going to work, what a waste of my time this whole mess has been. ah well, keep an eye out for weirdness.

  4. Nick - July 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I noticed this afternoon that the site was down. As I refreshed, it was clear that someone was going through the WordPress install. The first time through they encountered “Error establishing database connection,” which means either the MySQL user or database were incorrect.

    I don’t know whether or not that was you, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Might be worth checking your configuration file.

    Using Firefox 3.6.6, if it matters.

  5. John - July 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks nick, yep that was me reinstalling things on the site. Thanks for the heads up though!

  6. Jeff Byrnes - July 19, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Oof, no fun when this happens. Keep everything up to date, and check out some of the general security things, as well as security plugins, to try & batten down the hatches:


  7. Paul Anthony Webb - July 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

    This always seem to happen to really popular sites that people *love* . . . why do hackers feel a need to get rid of that happy feeling? I just don’t get it.

    Good luck John.

  8. Tom - July 29, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Yeah thanks for this, my computer got a virus by going to your site and I just today got my laptop back from the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Nice wallpapers aren’t worth getting a virus.

  9. john - July 29, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Ugh, Tom, I am so so very sorry to hear that happened as a result from visiting! I really hated that it happened and after reading more about it I discovered that thousands of other wordpress blogs had been infected in the same way.

    As mentioned above I have taken a LOT of measures to make sure that it does not ever happen again and greatly tightened security within wordpress and my host as assured me that they are solid on their end as well and I will most likely be changing hosts soon due to that attack.

    The worst part was that it was beyond my control when it did occur and its unfortunate there are people out there taking advantage of users of the web like that.

    So again, I am more than sorry about the trouble caused to you and anyone else it may have effected and I have done all I can within my power to make sure it does not ever happen again!

  10. Suyash Sonwalkar - August 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

    You might consider switching to Posterous.

  11. John - August 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Suyash, I opened an account with them when they first popped onto the scene and while I did admire the simplicity of it it’s not quite as flexible as I would like it to be. The reason for using word press is because it is easy to manipulate and customize and I like having that kind of control over the site. If this were more of a traditional personal blog of sorts I would have no problem using a service like that, sort of like how I use tumblr for my around the web found photo sharing and for my iPhone photos. But because i plan on slowly expanding the site to include different customized content and capabilities in the future I feel i should stick with word press.

    This mess mentioned in this post was the only time anything negative has come from using it and i have taken measures to stop it from happening again.

    I appreciate the idea though! Who knows, maybe one day I will move to a different service. :)

  12. Vladimir - August 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Hello. you’re doing really excellent work. That there. SUPER classroom. Your photos are awesome. Thank you !

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