If you’ve been to one of your favorite sites today and saw an article with the title “Im getting paid,” or something similar, and a super spammy-looking link to make money by doing online surveys, you aren’t alone. Reports are coming in that as many as 50,000 sites using the WordPress platform have been hacked.
At this time, the issue appears to only affect sites hosted on WordPress (sites with the domain structure name.wordpress.com). Sites with third-party hosting, but WordPress as a CMS, do not appear to be affected.
The Hacker News says that it started yesterday, when about 15,000 WordPress sites were hacked. Not all sites are showing the exact same thing, but it’s always some variation of the same spam message. Surveys and the idea of getting paid to do them seems to always be involved.
It should go without saying that if you go to a site you normally trust and see suspicious links saying things like “You’re invited to participate,” “Im getting paid!” or “Claim my Spot,” you shouldn’t click them. Hopefully, you knew that before you read this article.
It appears that these links are all referral links and some hacker/spammer out there is making money from them. It’s still unclear how this individual (or team) managed to gain access to so many WordPress blogs. It’s probably a safe assumption that the WordPress team is frantically working on a solution at this very moment.
Some WordPress users have received emails warning them that their account has been compromised and advising them to change their passwords. If you run a WordPress site, it’s probably a good idea to be on the lookout for such a message.