Gootloader infection cleaned up

Posted: 27th February 2022 by Podwits Administrator in Uncategorized

Dear blog owner and visitors,

This blog had been infected to serve up Gootloader malware to Google search victims, via a common tactic known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) poisioning. Your blog was serving up 292 malicious pages. Your blogged served up malware to 152 visitors.

I tried my best to clean up the infection, but I would do the following:

  • Upgrade WordPress to the latest version (one way the attackers might have gained access to your server)
  • Upgrade all WordPress themes to the latest versions (another way the attackers might have gained access to your server)
  • Upgrade all WordPress plugins (another way the attackers might have gained access to your server), and remove any unnecessary plugins.
  • Verify all users are valid (in case the attackers left a backup account, to get back in)
  • Change all passwords (for WordPress accounts, FTP, SSH, database, etc.) and keys. This is probably how the attackers got in, as they are known to brute force weak passwords
  • Run antivirus scans on your server
  • Block these IPs ( and, either in your firewall, .htaccess file, or in your /etc/hosts file, as these are the attackers command and control servers, which send malicious commands for your blog to execute
  • Check cronjobs (both server and WordPress), aka scheduled tasks. This is a common method that an attacker will use to get back in. If you are not sure, what this is, Google it
  • Consider wiping the server completly, as you do not know how deep the infection is. If you decide not to, I recommend installing some security plugins for WordPress, to try and scan for any remaining malicious files. Integrity Checker, WordPress Core Integrity Checker, Sucuri Security,
    and Wordfence Security, all do some level of detection, but not 100% guaranteed
  • Go through the process for Google to recrawl your site, to remove the malcious links (to see what malicious pages there were, Go to Google and search agreement)
  • Check subdomains, to see if they were infected as well
  • Check file permissions

Gootloader (previously Gootkit) malware has been around since 2014, and is used to initally infect a system, and then sell that access off to other attackers, who then usually deploy additional malware, to include ransomware and banking trojans. By cleaning up your blog, it will make a dent in how they infect victims. PLEASE try to keep it up-to-date and secure, so this does not happen again.


The Internet Janitor

Below are some links to research/further explaination on Gootloader:

This message

Podwits Code AuthorityThe boys here at the Podwits Podcast Network have been currently reworking the site and planning a very exciting, relaunch very soon. So just to let the fans know, we are still here and have some very BIG plans that will be announced very soon.

In the meantime, please have a great season, and you can directly subscribe to the Podwits Podcast by copying and pasting this:  into your browser.

The boys also have some other podcasts as well, all under the Podwits Network:

You can find Dion Baia at the Podwits’ sister site, (the) Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers Podcast, which highlights films from his youth that would have typically been rented for a weekend sleepover by you and your friends. 

You can hear Brian Zino over at Four-Color Fanboys, where he chats about all thigns comics, and Wah-Hoo! A Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, which disserts the origins of Sgt. Nick Fury in his comic book series, issue by issue.

You can also catch J. Marcus over at The Planet Podcast where he discusses all things Superman.

We thank you so much for your patronage, and cannot wait to be back with you, very soon!


Thank you and see you soon!!!

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