Request for WordPress help

I need a bit of hands-on time with someone who knows how to troubleshoot WordPress installations.

I recently had to upgrade my WordPress installation due to an exploit that inserted a malicious URL in one of my widgets. Since then, my spam filter has not been operating correctly. I am not sure whether Akismet is working very slowly or not working at all, but the net result is that I am having to approve every post by hand.

There is a suspicious thing visible from my admin account. It looks as though Akismet is installed twice.

I suspect the fix for this is something simple, but I don’t know what it is. Can anybody help?

2 thoughts on “Request for WordPress help

  1. If a plugin shows up twice in the admin area – I would be inclined to first check there is only a single Akismet directory in wp-content/plugins.

    Removing / renaming plugin directories from wp-content/plugins is a primary method of disabling them.

    On every refresh of the admin – plugins plage it rescans the wp-content/plugins directory.

    The database entry for plugins is serially encoded into a single cell in the wp_options table WHERE the option_name field is active_plugins.

  2. I can confirm that if you have the same plugin in wp-content/plugins with different directory names, the GUI will show the name twice. If you use wp-cli (which I recommend), it will disambiguate the two by calling them by the directory name. One of those plugins may be a part of your malware infection.

    From wp-cli, I would delete both plugins and install again from the public repository. If you use wp plugin delete, it will not deactivate the plugin unless you happen to visit the plugins page in the admin panel. There will be no loss of configuration in the database.

    Actually, I might copy the plugins first and then do a full diff after re-installing. There’s a good chance some sort of malware will reveal itself.

    Eric, if you need any WordPress or PHP assistance now or in the future, please feel free to contact me directly.

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