An unknown cracker broke into a server hosting downloads of the popular WordPress blogging software and rigged the file with a remotely exploitable code execution vulnerability.
News of the hack comes directly from WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg:
"If you downloaded WordPress 2.1.1 within the past 3-4 days, your files may include a security exploit that was added by a cracker, and you should upgrade all of your files to 2.1.2 immediately."
Mullenweg described the code planted into the download as "unusual and highly exploitable" and stressed that the 2.1.1 download was the only thing touched during the attack.
"This is the kind of thing you pray never happens, but it did and now we're dealing with it as best we can. Although not all downloads of 2.1.1 were affected, we're declaring the entire version dangerous and have released a new version 2.1.2 that includes minor updates and entirely verified files. We are also taking lots of measures to ensure something like this can't happen again, not the least of which is minutely external verification of the download package so we'll know immediately if something goes wrong for any reason, he added.
He did not say how the attacker was able to breach the server.
Now, WordPress is trying to get the word out to any user who may have downloaded the rigged version 2.1.1.
If your blog is running 2.1.1, please upgrade immediately and do a full overwrite of your old files, especially those in wp-includes. Check out your friends blogs and if any of them are running 2.1.1 drop them a note and, if you can, pitch in and help them with the upgrade.
If you are a web host or network administrator, block access to "theme.php" and "feed.php," and any query string with "ix=" or "iz=" in it.