Gootloader infection cleaned up

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 388 malicious pages. Your blogged served up malware to 323 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

test of rosewood category

Brushy Item Collection

The City of Austin provides brushy item collection twice a year. You can put out as much as you want, and they’ll take it all. We spent about 24 (person) hours cutting trees and vegetation over a couple of weekends.

The pictures show about half the total quantity. The pile was very heavily compacted to keep it from rising too close to the overhead power lines. This all got picked up during brushy item collection.

The remaining half of the branches were tied into small bundles or stuffed into lawn bags for regular weekly trash pickup. We must have put out 60-70 of those over the next month.

Brush work a year before at the Alamo street house

Christa with chainsaw

Not helping. The neighbors car slid down a muddy hill and destroyed (their) fence.

The brush pile

Dirty, sweaty selfie

Welcome to the jungle baby

Christa and I did some scouting and reconnoitering in April 2016 to assess the exterior conditions. Paper mulberries run amok…

Entering the heart of darkness at high noon.

Why the sense of foreboding?

Back yard a country road

An old outhouse hole, or an old well. Either way a hazard.

The shed

Just as pretty as the day I left it ten years ago.

Half the house is down in the dirt about a foot.