A blogger’s worst nightmare…

what to do if you encounter a malware problem from a site you're connected toDrama here this morning! I awoke to a message on Facebook from one of my followers saying that there was a malware message on Support a WAHP! WT?

I went looking on all of my social media sites and could find nothing, and then I went to my website. Sure enough, when I went to my domain, it had a lovely message from Google saying that my website was possibly infected by malware and visitors be warned (this message would have also been on this website and mumatopia.com).

Panic!!!!!

After calling my techy husband in tears, he at least had the good sense to read the message and the problem was not with my sites but with a blogging distribution network called nuffnangx.com that I had joined a few months back (along with thousands of other bloggers).

Here’s what happened

An incoming blog was infected with malware. This, in turn infected nuffnangx.com and a few other websites. Google promptly blacklisted nuffnangx.com and the malware warning appeared on any blog attached to nuffnangx. We’re talking some huge blogs here! Not just little folk like me.

So, in the interests of public awareness and to help my fellow bloggers out:

1. Please be assured that my websites supportawahp.com, mumatopia.com and casmccullough.com DO NOT contain any malware. Even though I’m on a MAC (snigger, snigger), I do have antivirus software that picks up malware.

2. For any other bloggers who may have been impacted by Google blacklisting the nuffnangx site, if you go into your header.php (sometimes this is in your theme settings or options) and remove their verification code, your site will come back up and all will be well. Nuffnangx have been updating people via Twitter @nuffnangx and say they are doing everything they can to fix the problem.

I am really grateful to the wonderful blogger who suggested removing the code–whoever you are (my husband found a tweet and read it to me over the phone). If you are listed on other websites or your RSS distributes to blogging platforms, it’s probably a good idea to keep a list of code snippets you put on your website, just in case. This could happen to anyone.

Now that my brain is functioning again (and still haven’t had coffee this morning!)…here’s what I’ve learned from this experience:

  • ehem… not so great in a technological crisis. Thank goodness my hubby is. Bless ‘im.
  • I have wonderful fans who take the time to let me know when there’s a problem (Thank you Nikole Gipps!)
  • Twitter is an awesome tool in a crisis!

Were you affected by this problem?

Update from Nuffnangx:

Hooray! We’ve checked our systems, and there were no malicious code found. The latest updates from Google has also cleared NuffnangX as being a Malware distributor site due to the same reason. The malware warnings have already been removed and you can now browse NuffnangX and insert the NuffnangX code into your blog without running into any problems. We’re not sure why this happened but we suspect the malware warnings might have been due to some of the blogs our users have added to their feed, which may have been infected.  
To ensure this doesn’t happen again, we are taking measures to not redirect users to blogs that may have been hacked. If you are using WordPress.orgblogs, we encourage you to upgrade it because blogs hosted on WordPress.org are a common target for Malware distributors.  
We also advise all NuffnangX users to be careful which blogs they are accessing because NuffnangX is a blog aggregator and a tool to read blogs; it only hosts one line of summary and not an entire blog, therefore, it is unlikely that users would have been compromised by any malware from nuffnangx.com itself. We will also be integrating the Google Safe Browsing API into our system to filter out blogs which might have been affected.  
It’s been a long and stressful day for us, but we would like to thank all of you for your patience and support during this time. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy using NuffnangX!  
  • http://twitter.com/EreenSanchez Ereen Sanchez

    I just had the same problem! I thought Nuffnang betrayed me. LOL.

    • http://www.casmccullough.com/ Cas McCullough

      Yeah, it’s not a nice feeling eh! I can see they’re doing their best to fix the problem but not something that will go down well with their blogging community.

  • http://www.orgasmicchef.com/ Maureen | OrgasmicChef

    It only takes one small thing to affect hundreds or thousands of people. You were very quick to get it sorted.

  • http://www.thatsupergirl.com/ Nikole Gipps

    Wow, that’s pretty crazy that one service caused problems on so many web sites.