Is WordPress.com SPAM Campaign Due to Compromise?

*****Updated – 20121019*****

Both Matt Mullenweg and Barry Abrahamson, System Wrangler with Automattic, have confirmed that there was not an environmental compromise and everything was isolated to individual user accounts.

Per their incident handling process they identified a brute force like attack which made use of a list of compromised email / password combinations derived from a third-party application[s].

People often use the same username and password on different sites, even though we all know we shouldn’t. If a password on a smaller site is compromised bad guys try it against the big ones like Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com. If anything bad happens to a WP.com user we get in touch with them as soon as possible to assist them. – Automatic.com


At this point it’s unclear of the severity, as WordPress.com has not released anything public, but I would say the odds are not in their favor.

The Hacker News (THN) put out an article this morning titled: 15000 WordPress Blogs Hacked For making Money From Survey.

WordPress.com Spam

Naturally my first reaction was, meh, it’s likely a fluke of some kind, but as I read it I became more suspicious. It all started with this email:

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