Sep 20 2009

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wordpress security

At about the time I decided to move trivia to my own VPS, there was a lot of fuss about a new worm which was reportedly exploiting a vulnerability in all versions <= 2.8.3. Even the Grauniad carried some (rather inaccurate) breathless reporting about how the wordpress world was about to end and maybe we should all move to a rival product. Kevin Anderson said on the technology page of 9 September:

“.. the anxiety that this attack – one of a number in the past year against WordPress – has engendered may create enough concern for someone to spot the chance to create a rival product.”

Rubbish. Besides the fact that there are already several rivals to wordpress (blogger, typepad and livejournal in the hosted services domain alone, plus others such as textpattern if you wish to host your own) what Anderson apparently fails to realise is that all software contains bugs, and any software which is exposed to as hostile an environment as the internet is going to have problems. Live with it. Sure it would be good if we could find and fix all vulerabilities before they are exploited, but as far as I am aware, that hasn’t happened for any other piece of code more complex than “printf (“hello world\n);” (and even that could have problems). Why expect wordpress to be any different?

Amongst all the brouhaha I did find one site which offered some commentary and advice I could agree with, take a look at David Coveney’s “common sense” post of 6 September.

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