Asses of Evil

I’ve been hacked but not on this blog.  (and no, this is not an invite.)  Three of my own blogs have had some suspicious activity this week alone.  I’m an HR and leadership blogger.  That’s human resources not a coder, designer, or developer.  The cause of the hack after several very long phone calls and internet research seems to be a photo resizer feature in several of the blog themes I use.  This resizer is an easy in for hackers to spread malware and phishing attacks.

It’s called the TimThumb Exploit and it sucks.  It really sucks.  I was made aware of the problem late this week after finding out that one of my blogs contained Malware and was being attacked.  Not being a programmer I did a Google search to get started on creating a solution to these malicious blogging attacks.

  • Sucuri Website Scanner.  (affiliate link)  To keep this from happening again, Sucuri is now monitoring my websites and blogs for me.  They will now alert me via email, Twitter, or even RSS to any suspicious activity and will fix the errors.  It’s worth the cost and my piece of mind.
  • DIY Solution.  While I’m not a programmer or a coder, here’s a good how to for those do it yourselfers who want to remove the malware, phishing, and close the exploit from Smackdown.
  • Patch for Tim Thumb via Woo Themes.  This is where I purchase many of my off the shelf themes.  These themes also use a photo resizer.  I would have preferred an email from Woo Themes alerting me to the problem back in the beginning of August when the problem was first discovered.

It’s funny because I’ve been blogging as a human resources and HR for a while and on WordPress to boot.  I have never had any issues like this.  GoDaddy was surprisingly helpful.  The email I received connected them directly to their Abuse department where I spoke to an actual live person on the phone.  They can’t fix the problems for me, but they gave me some helpful information and direction to get started on correcting the issues.  As for one of my sites, it looks like I’ll be starting at square one, and that could actually be a good thing.  The other two are likely to be saved.

Asses of Evil

Hackers.  Evil Asses.  Be Done With You.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Allison Ralston says

    I’m going to have to look into Succuri. I got hacked through the same Tim Thumb in WooThemes. I am currently very furious that I didn’t receive and email from them either. And on top of that, I wasn’t able to get rid of the malicious code (I was super hacked), I just had to completely nuke my server space, four sites gone. Luckily I still have my content, but still. I’m officially done with WooThemes. Glad you were able to get everything fixed on your sites though! At least we aren’t all having to start from scratch!

    (Oh, and by the way, my site will take you to a blank page, cause I haven’t reinstalled WordPress yet…)

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says


      Sorry to hear about your blog. I know it sucks. I talked to Woo Themes and they tell me that they sent out a single email but only if you subscribe to their newsletter. So the rest of the paying customers are left to their own devices. I’d recommend that you email them directly at or send them a tweet to let them know.

      Thank you for the comment! Hope your site gets back up soon.


  2. Allison Ralston says

    I’ve sent a few tweets so far this morning, haven’t heard a response yet. We shouldn’t have to subscribe to their newsletter! That’s ridiculous, don’t you agree! We give them our contact information, they should use it! Oh well, nothing that can be done now! Were you successful in getting all the malicious code out of your sites?


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