WordPress Blog hacked, All admin username changed to “CIHAN” and Emails deleted

I felt embarrassed when I found my WordPress blog was hacked. Here is what happened. It was on August 26th, 2012 at around 10 PM IST, I tried to login to my wordpress blog and found that my WordPress Admin account was unable to login. After some investigations i found that the usernames, email address of the WordPress administrator accounts have been changed.

Usually I have two users as Administrators. I tried with both, but failed to login. I ran through some basic steps/tests with the assumption that I would have lost the password, which I ended up as password lose was not the reason.

Sequence of the steps I followed:

1. First I tried to reset my password with my email id: result: WordPress gave a message that my Email id is not valid. And for other admin email I did not receive any password reset mail.
2. Since my email Id was stated as invalid. I suspected a Hack and logged into Hosting cPanel.
3. Opened phpMyAdmin and shocked to see that my username and email were changed. I found both the usernames were changed to “cihan”, the email address was deleted for one user. but the other email remained same.
4. I updated the DB and reset my password using WordPress. Still I am unable to receive mail to my Yahoo account because of some problem with my hosting account.

My Observations:
1. I have logged into my account and updated a comment on 8th August 2012 for the last time.
2. I have a plugin which send a email on every 404 error page to the Administrator email address (the email which was deleted in the Hack). The last email which was send to the Admin mail id is on 10th August 2012 – The day after 10th should be the ideal hack time.
3. WordPress does not allow any user to edit/delete username from its control panel, so this is either updated directly in the Database or it should be done through a Script from the web page – But I do not find any scripts or files updated in these days.
4. I changed my hosting accounts password and other details just few days back to the Hack suspect date. I updated the password from my laptop, which is very personal. There was no body using my Lap and my password is brand new which nobody could easily guess, I did not login in any other public machines. so I don’t think this to be hack based on Password Theft of cPanel.
5. I do not find any other changes in the settings or passwords or data loss in my website/Account/cPanel.
6. I do not find any moto of data stealing.

Atlast I backup all my data from the webserver to my local and put the site into maintenance, Sent a detailed mail to my service provider. Few days back I received a mail stating that they do not find anything suspicious in logs but they insisted to changed My custom wordpress Theme as they suspected it. Later i updated removed all my custome stuffs from the site and updated the site completely. I lost few contents from my site at the time of migration and I’m working on it get them all back.

If some one out there faced the same kind attacj on your WordPress site please contact me.

Easier way to Earn through Yahoo Contributors Network (YCN)

Yahoo has become one of the biggest content producers on net. It all happened when Yahoo purchased Associated contents for $100 millon. Not long after, it was rebranded as Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN). Using YCN, anyone can publish just anything with the push of a button – articles, videos and photos – to associated content and yahoo partenr sites, and get paid for it. YCN opens new opportunity ti freelancers and business alike to find new audineces, earn revenue and promote their brands.

Steps Involved:

1. Registration
This all starts with a simple registration page which asks for personal information. Be sure to include all your websites, Facebook and twitter profiles(and any other relevant networks). YCN will use this information to determine what contributors get which assignments, including localized assignments such as community reports and business  reviews, linking to websites, blogs and online profiles helps extend your network both in and outside the YCN community – and this is vital for making some money out there.

2. Submitting contents
The next step comes the content submission. During this process you will create a title, description, tags, photos and supporting informations like keywords that given maximum possibility to get the search engines to you contents. Be specific to add your own images to your contents than adding the external images, its better avoiding images if not since YCN has its own image guidelines for image use else use Yahoo public gallery. Editors at YCN will manually review your first three submissions for publication.

3. Getting Paid
Earnings with YCN comes in two basic forms, up-front payments and performance payments. All payments are made via PayPal.
Up-front payments can be selected as an option when submitting contents and the review process can take about 10 days. Once accepted, the content is published and eligible for performance payments. Offer is made ranging from $2 to $15.
The Performance payments are based on every 1000 pages viewq your content receives. Payments starts from $1.50 per 1000 views.

4. Content Distribution
When it comes to content distribution there types of distribution are provided.
Exclusive means the yahoo owns the right to the content once it is published. The content cannot have been previously published nor can it be republished by you. This leads to better performance according to YCN, since the contents are not reproduced.
Non Exculsive means content producer is free to publish the content anywhere.
Display-Only means content may have been previoulsy published, can be republished by you and is completely under users control.

5. Getting Business
The content you publish is the commodity. It is shared across a network and you can benefit by including your business or product within this content, references to your industry etc. This takes your product to the people who have not even heard about thus getting in your products and comapny to higher heights.

Slow Internet Speed India due to Undersea Cable Cut

India is experiencing a decrease in the overall Internet Connectivity speed and this is accounted to around 50% of the normal speeds. The main reason behind this is the Fibre Cut at South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) undersea submarine cable system which connects South East Asia and Europe. The whole project is run by 16 different International Telecom companies which includes top Indian Telecom companies like Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel which cover a major consumer base in India, hence their customers would be the most effected ones.


SEA-ME-WE-4 Route

Atleast 3 different under sea cables have been broken, out of which the cable located near Italy is going to effect the Indian Broadband Connections. The maintainence and repair work has already started and would be continued for the next four days because of which the impact is going to disrupt the service atleast for the next few days. This is the time when you need to Optimize Internet Connection for making the most of all the speed you get and not just waiting for the higher speed unless the repair is completed.

This is not the first time India had to face slow internet speed due to disruption in a cable system. In Jan 2008, the country lost 50 to 60 percent of Internet bandwidth due to a breakdown in an international undersea cable network.

What happened to Sun.com

Last night when i checked for the Sun Microsystems site (http://www.sun.com), i was shocked to see that the site has been redirected to Oracle.com. This is the reflection of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun.

On January 27, 2010, Oracle announced it finalized its acquisition of Sun. This combination will transforms the IT industry. With the addition of servers, storage, SPARC processors, the Solaris operating system, Java, and the MySQL database to Oracle’s portfolio of database, middleware, and business applications, it plans to engineer and deliver open and integrated systems—from applications to disk—where all the pieces fit and work together out of the box.

It is belived that each layer of the stack will be architected to improve performance, leverage innovation and centralize management so that IT will be more predictable, more supportable, and more secure. If all these are achived customers will be benefited with their system performance, reliability and security going up and their system integration and management costs going down. The changes are effected from the web site of the Sun Microsystems.

At last the giant Oracle has got power over the Sun Microsystems and they started the changes over the Sun website. Those who wants to get accessed to Sun’s site may look at the right top corner for the “Sun Quick Links“.