Think Like a Hacker Podcast Episode 1: An Interview with Josepha Haden

Josepha Haden is the Executive Director of the WordPress project at Automattic. She oversees and directs all contributor teams in their work to build and maintain WordPress. Josepha can be found at In our news segment, we talk about recent vulnerabilities in the Freemius library affecting WordPress plugins, the CoinHive shutdown, and why potential changes in WordPress core development will benefit end users’ security and more.

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This week in the news we cover:

  • WordPress as of version 5.1 now alerts site owners on the dashboard if they’re using an out of date version of PHP.
  • The 2018 hacked site report from GoDaddy Security/Sucuri indicates increased prevalence of WordPress sites in their site cleaning business. In better news, they’re seeing more WordPress sites updated than in years past, and the WordPress sites are being updated much more frequently than eCommerce platforms.
  • Freemius, a library used by a number of plugins with large installation bases, recently experienced a vulnerability disclosure and a challenging experience with a security researcher. Their blog post is a heartening read about how we all can handle security vulnerability disclosures that serve customers and the community as a whole.
  • The widely used Chrome browser requires an update to patch a very serious vulnerability.
  • WordPress core team is hoping to tighten major release cycles that hopes to streamline development for contributors as well as encourage more site owners to enable autoupdating.
  • A distributed cryptocurrency mining platform called CoinHive is ceasing operations. CoinHive was popular amongst hackers as a new way to mine cryptocurrency on hacked websites, but the crash in cryptocurrency value made it less profitable.

You can find me on Twitter as @mmaunder and Kathy as @kathyzant. Please don’t hesitate to post your feedback in the comments below.

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