Hackers gain root access to WordPress servers

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, says hackers may have pilfered source code

Hackers have compromised several servers that support WordPress and may have obtained source code, according to the founding developer of Automattic, the company behind the popular blogging platform.

Matt Mullenweg wrote on the WordPress blog that Automattic has been reviewing log records to determine how much information was exposed and re-evaluating "avenues to gain access."

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"We presume our source code was exposed and copied," Mullenweg wrote. "While much of our code is open source, there are sensitive bits of our and our partners’ code. Beyond that, however, it appears information disclosed was limited."

Mullenweg wrote that the company had no specific advice for WordPress users besides using strong passwords, not using the same password for multiple sites.

In the comment section of the blog post, a user asked if WordPress stores passwords in plain text or stores hashes of passwords. Mullenweg wrote that WordPress uses the Portable PHP password hashing framework.

"Our investigation into this matter is ongoing and will take time to complete," he wrote. "As I said above, we’ve taken comprehensive steps to prevent an incident like this from occurring again."

The intrusion follows what Automattic described as its worst distributed denial-of-service attack in its history last month, although the attack was thwarted soon after it started.

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