Using WordPress In the Corporate Environment

WordPress (WP) has become the dominant force in blogging platforms for a very good reason. Because it’s open source, creative developers are constantly looking for ways to improve the product to meet the needs of both personal and business bloggers. Consider that WordPress can be hosted on your own server (or hosted by whichever service you use), has an army of theme designers (both free and premium), and attracts traffic by a variety of add-ons.

A quick list of the competition: TypePad, which costs $14.95 a month for the “pro” version. You’ll need to learn a specific TypePad programming language to customize your blog. Tumblr does not allow comments so if you used it, you would have to embed Disqus to enable comments. Movable Type offers customization, but requires a license for business use, which ranges from $50 to $1,000, depending on how many people will require access to make updates.

WP is a free download but many themes have a cost attached. You can find some great free themes, but be sure to look for support. If a theme designer’s website has a forum, that’s a very good sign. It means they’re open to questions and helping you when needed.

Once you set up your WP blog, avoid spammers by activating the “Akismet” plug-in. What this plug-in does is protect your blog comment section from being spammed. There are many great plugins for business blogs. Search Engine Journal has a few here and a helpful article with more plugin recommendations from Better Business Blogging.

One of the reasons WP is loved by businesses is because it is SEO-friendly. Google and other search engines play very nicely with WP. Once you create a powerful header and add keywords within your post, a search engine will notice. Searching for relevant keywords? Try Google’s search-based keyword tool. It will give you ideas of what people are searching for in your industry and you can adopt a few of those keywords to drive traffic.

WP also allows multiple users to contribute to the blog. You can also schedule blog posts to be published at a later date. If you have multiple users, it may be a good idea to filter the posts through a gatekeeper (such as HR or marketing) before posting, to ensure a consistent message for the organization.

WP has updates, like any software. Install an automatic update plugin to help you stay on track. Use strong passwords for logins and have strong file permissions set.

Another way to secure your blog is by using a secret key. In WordPress, the wp-config.php file is the file that stores the database information that WordPress needs to connect: name, address and password of the MySQL database. Go here and copy the results into this section of your wp-config.php file if you haven’t already set up a secret key.

Blogging can be an excellent way for your organization to stay current in its industry. By consistently posting relevant blog posts for your audience, you have the opportunity to inform them and stay connected. Using some of these tips will help make the most of your blog.

WordPress Exploit

An exploit to hijack the administrator account has been released for WordPress. The exploit takes advantage of some flaws in both MySQL and the web application, and this vulnerability most likely affects other web applications. More information on the MySQL vulnerability can be found here. As such, we have disabled registration temporarily for this site, until WordPress has mitigated the vulnerability. We recommend that you do the same, for WordPress or anyother web application affected by this issue.

InstallShield ActiveX Vuln, WP-Download SQL Injection

There’s a SQL injection in a the Wordress Download plugin. Data passed to wp-download.php is not properly sanitized before being processed by SQL. This could result in a SQL injection attack that could lead to the disclosure of usernames and passwords. WordPress admin’s should update to version 1.2.1.

There’s a major vulnerability in and activex control installed by Macrovision InstallShield InstallScript One-Click Install (OCI). The control gets installed via webpages prompting to install software. A large user base is likely affected by this. Basically, when the activex control is initiated it loads several DLL’s that are not sanity checked. These DLL’s could execute arbitrary code when loaded. This vulnerability has been confirmed in version 12.0. The following are the properties associated with the activex:

File: %WINDIR%\Downloaded Program Files\setup.exe

CLSID: 53D40FAA-4E21-459f-AA87-E4D97FC3245A

Macromedia has released a hotfix for this issue, available along with the KB entry for this vulnerability, at

A Plethora of New Issues for Today

It’s been a busy morning for vulnerabilities so far. We are tracking new vulnerabilities in the following applications:

Squid Proxy – a DoS problem has been identified in the ICAP implementation that could allow attackers to spike the CPU of the server, a patch is available and should be applied on your next maintenance process

Samba – A buffer overflow in Samba version 3.0.27a allows remote execution of code if the “domain logons” option is enabled, patches are available on the Samba site for the problem.

WordPress – A SQL injection has been found in the charset implementation. Dumping the database is possible and when combined with other exploits already available can allow remote compromise of the WordPress Admin password. There is a workaround, but it is very specific to each WordPress deployment, so check the WordPress site carefully for info on this issue.

We are also tracking a few new tools of interest, that might increase some of the scan and probe traffic over the next few weeks while attackers play with their new toys. They are:

HttpRecon – a tool for advanced web server fingerprinting, likely to increase web server probes as the tool is examined and included into other tools

BurpSuite – a new revision of this tool for testing websites for things like SQL injection and XSS is now available, likely to cause scans for web application problems

EchoVNC – a firewall, proxy and network access control avoidance enabled version of the VNC server has been released, this is likely to be a useful tool for attackers and bot-masters as they compromise networks

Lastly, Microsoft is releasing a large load of patches today. Amongst them are 3 remotely exploitable “critical” patches. Look for exploits and such to follow very quickly if they are not already available. Wide scale exploit distribution and inclusion into bot-net clients is likely to follow in the next few days. As always, patches should be tested and applied as soon as possible.