Extending Webmaster ToolsAs Google states on its Webmaster Tools blog, “Recently we’ve seen more websites get hacked because of various security holes. In order to help webmasters with this issue, we plan to run a test that will alert some webmasters if their content management system (CMS) or publishing platform looks like it might have a security hole or be hackable.” Google wants to start by alerting about 6,000 Webmasters by sending them a message via the Google Message Center that is provided as part of Webmaster Tools. The message will look something like this:
WordPress Gets to Go FirstSince Google considers the blog publishing platform WordPress to be one of the most popular pieces of software on the Web, the test will start with this platform beginning with a specific version 2.1.1, which is known to be a prime target for hackers. So, if you’re so lazy that you don’t keep your software up-to-date, Google will set you straight. Or, will, at least, attempt to do so. To those of you on WordPress: the latest available version is 2.6.2. So, get your act together now and let Google work on something more exciting than chasing cybercriminals. Google has always been about safety, though. Earlier this year Google brought the Safe Browsing diagnostic to the rescue of those affected by malicious SQL injection attacks, which could make your site host and/or redirect to malware.
Blogging Platforms Go to WarThere’s no better time to launch an assault other than when the enemy is recovering from a wound. Several months ago, following the initial reports of WordPress vulnerability, Movable Type didn’t waste any time and posted a blog outlining why MT supersedes the competition: “Movable Type has a proven track record of having excellent security and an established reputation for fixing any known issues quickly. And that history of security is by design.” MT went on to quote the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that supposedly came to a conclusion that Movable Type has “the best security track record of any popular installable blogging software.” This news came with a pretty graph (but no link to the original source):
MT vs. WordPress Security Report (Source: Movable Type)
The funny thing is that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a handful of other U.S. government agencies appear to be using WordPress as the blogging platform of choice, as reported by several sources. Ironic, huh? But Google new feature, especially when expanded, may after all be very useful. Just this morning, various sources reported that WordPress went down after it was hit with a denial-of-service attack. Some of the services and blogs were quickly restored, others are still being worked on as of the publish time of this article.