Gootloader infection cleaned up

Dear blog owner and visitors,

This blog had been infected to serve up Gootloader malware to Google search victims, via a common tactic known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) poisioning. Your blog was serving up 290 malicious pages. Your blogged served up malware to 8471 visitors.

I tried my best to clean up the infection, but I would do the following:

  • Upgrade WordPress to the latest version (one way the attackers might have gained access to your server)
  • Upgrade all WordPress themes to the latest versions (another way the attackers might have gained access to your server)
  • Upgrade all WordPress plugins (another way the attackers might have gained access to your server), and remove any unnecessary plugins.
  • Verify all users are valid (in case the attackers left a backup account, to get back in)
  • Change all passwords (for WordPress accounts, FTP, SSH, database, etc.) and keys. This is probably how the attackers got in, as they are known to brute force weak passwords
  • Run antivirus scans on your server
  • Block these IPs (5.8.18.7 and 89.238.176.151), either in your firewall, .htaccess file, or in your /etc/hosts file, as these are the attackers command and control servers, which send malicious commands for your blog to execute
  • Check cronjobs (both server and WordPress), aka scheduled tasks. This is a common method that an attacker will use to get back in. If you are not sure, what this is, Google it
  • Consider wiping the server completly, as you do not know how deep the infection is. If you decide not to, I recommend installing some security plugins for WordPress, to try and scan for any remaining malicious files. Integrity Checker, WordPress Core Integrity Checker, Sucuri Security,
    and Wordfence Security, all do some level of detection, but not 100% guaranteed
  • Go through the process for Google to recrawl your site, to remove the malcious links (to see what malicious pages there were, Go to Google and search site:your_site.com agreement)
  • Check subdomains, to see if they were infected as well
  • Check file permissions

(Addtionally your site was serving up spam, via a tool called black wordpress dyndoor/light grey dyndoor sold by n1oise. I cleaned that up as well)

Gootloader (previously Gootkit) malware has been around since 2014, and is used to initally infect a system, and then sell that access off to other attackers, who then usually deploy additional malware, to include ransomware and banking trojans. By cleaning up your blog, it will make a dent in how they infect victims. PLEASE try to keep it up-to-date and secure, so this does not happen again.

Sincerly,

The Internet Janitor

Below are some links to research/further explaination on Gootloader:

https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2021/03/01/gootloader-expands-its-payload-delivery-options/

https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2021/08/12/gootloaders-mothership-controls-malicious-content/

https://www.richinfante.com/2020/04/12/reverse-engineering-dolly-wordpress-malware

https://blog.sucuri.net/2018/12/clever-seo-spam-injection.html

This message

Launching around theme

Marketing in today’s fast moving technology landscape can be challenging and difficult to keep up with, but in my personal opinion, that’s what makes it so fun. Your customer’s needs are always evolving meaning your business and product is evolving along with it. Unlike in hardware or consumer goods, where you ship and market a product that will be fairly static for a certain period of time, software products have new versions and features on a weekly basis. Ship or get eaten is the motto in software. Unfortunately, that fast pace can send a product marketer’s life for a spin. Continue reading →

UX Is Not Just For Software

If you’re part of the tech world, you have heard of and know what user experience (UX) is. More importantly, you know why customer success is important to the success of your product. Poor user experience can lead to user frustration, increase in support requests, lack of engagement and higher churn rates. All in all, it can result in doom for your product. This is why product managers, developers and designers work hard to optimize the user experience. For onboarding, this means getting the user to the “aha moment” as quickly as possible, and for retention, it means making it easy to to achieve the key actions and decreasing the feature clutter. The goal is always user happiness because user happiness means increase in usage, increase in users and increase in the moolah, baby.

Unfortunately, it seems as if many non-software companies lose sight of user (customer) experience. It may not be as easy to track or capture data on overall user experience but it is just as important for any company trying to keep customers engaged and happy. Continue reading →

The micro and macro of Product Management

For a Product Manager, there is always a fine line between balancing the long-term with the short-term. Many PMs question where their focus should be and how to allocate the right amount of time to each. The answer to this question can vary depending on the type of company you work for and the organizational structure. At a larger organization, there are typically more resources so that PM may not be asked to focus on such a broad scope. For a smaller organization, or a startup, the PM does not have that luxury. In this situation, something that I have experience with, you have no choice but to focus on both the short and long-term scenario of your product, be sure to check out this website. Continue reading →

Build for a market, not a user

Earlier this week, I attended a Product Manager event here in Orange County. It was my first time going to one of these events but it was great to be around other PMs that had many of same frustrations and objectives. The speaker was Jim Semick of ProductPlan and the topic was roadmap prioritization…an interesting subject for all PMs. As always, the discussion around prioritization techniques and internal requests was a heavy one, but the core takeaway I left with was to always build for a market, not a user. It can be extremely easy to get suckered into a user request, especially that of an important user, but in all stages of your startup and product, you need to keep your focus on the market. Continue reading →

Uber Killed The Lyft That We Knew

Branding can play an important role in the success and/or failure of a product and company. It’s what defines who and what a company is and is essential to help set the company’s tone and vision, and that’s why branding is important, and Aquaholic offers a wide range of customised canvas bag printing for events. That being said, branding may not be as important in the early stages of a product. At that point in time, all that matters are users, validation and growth. But as you do begin to grow, branding will help you become a recognized name and will take users from liking your product to loving your product.

Lyft’s branding is what made me love them, but now it’s dead…and Uber killed it. Continue reading →

Death of the MVP

If you’ve had a taste of the startup world, you’ve heard the term Minimal Viable Product (MVP). You may not even be anywhere around the startup life and still have heard the term. That’s how often it is used. It is used by almost all tech/software companies but it seems like many have a different view and definition of the term. Through my experience, a MVP could end up being a simple consumer insight survey, an informative landing page, a basic prototype or even a pretty build out software solution. Let’s get this straight, if you need to spend a nice chunk of change on it…it’s not a MVP. Continue reading →

Startup success depends on relevancy

There are tons of factors that determine whether or not a startup will succeed. There’s the founders, the team around the founders, the user experience, the investors you bring on, and the list goes on and on. I have yet to be involved with a successful startup but I have observed one thing in this crazy startup world, and that is that relevancy matters.

There are new consumer-focused startups popping up every day, many that make me wonder why in the world anyone would even use them. And as I mentioned, there are plenty of reasons why some startups succeed and some fail, but I want to give 2 examples of both and relate them back to relevancy.

Continue reading →

A new focus for my blog

It has been 2 years since I last wrote a blog post or attended to my blog at all, but I am finally back. I was MIA because I was focused on getting my MBA, although I do wish I had made more time to blog during those 2 years. Either way, I am ready to get back to work and create awesome content for everyone.

But there will be a difference…

I went into my MBA experience with a strong background in social media and online personal branding but I came out knowing that my true passion lies in customer experience and product growth. With this new focus and path, I have decided to convert my blog to follow my journey and thoughts through this tech, startup world.

Hopefully I can keep your informed and entertained along the way!

The Basics Of Creating A Personal Blog Using WordPress

wordpress, creating a wordpress blog, starting wordpress, start a blog, how to blog, how to use wordpress, how to start a blog

If you want to start a blog, one of the most recommended software to use is WordPress. WordPress, by far, is the most popular and the most preferred blog platform of choice in the worldwide web because it is quite easy to set-up and very user friendly. You should also choose wordpress hosting service depending on your needs. To get started with your blog, simply follow the steps below and enjoy blogging everyday.

Continue reading →