Yuzo Related Post Plugin Warning!
If you are currently using the Yuzo Related Posts plugin, then you need to know about this! In fact, everyone should be aware of this...
Today I started working on a new post for my website and at first everything appeared to be completely normal. However, on previewing the new post that I had just created I was shocked to see that my website was redirecting to a very spammy website with an equally spammy special offer.
My heart instantly sank as I have been hacked previously and I know how hard it can be to get rid of these things.
Has My Website Been Hacked?
I started checking through the pages of my website and found that everything was redirecting to a spam website with one of those spammy pop-ups saying that I had been "specially selected".
My first thought was to get Wealthy Affiliate Site Support onto this. Whilst I did that I quickly downloaded a malware plugin to scan my website.
Unfortunately, the malware scanner didn't't pick up anything!
I figured it could be a problem with my PC, perhaps I had picked up a virus? But after visiting a few websites and running my local virus scanner I confirmed that the issue was in fact on my website.
Whilst I waited for Site Support to get back to me, I installed another Malware detector as the first one didn't pick up anything. The same thing happened again... Nothing was detected but yet my website was still redirecting to the spammy offer.
And then Site Support came through with a very simple solution!
Yuzo Related Posts Plugin
It turns out that the entire problem was down to a plugin that I had running on my site. I had installed the Yuzo Related Posts plugin some time ago and up until now it's performed quite well.
For those of you that aren't't aware, the Yuzo Related Posts plugin displays related posts at the bottom of your posts and pages and creates a good internal linking structure. Or at least that's what it was supposed to do...
The plugin was actually removed from the WordPress plugin database in March 2019, but is still being updated.
And here is where my issue was. It turns out that the Yuzo Related Posts plugin had some known issues. I'm guessing is the reason that it is no longer available.
Yuzo was the reason that my site was redirecting and thankfully the solution was simply to deactivate it and clear any traces left behind.
Thankfully, Site Support were quick to respond and gave me everything that I needed to get back to normal.
Keep Everything Updated!
This is the second time in 4 years that I have found an issue like this on my site. In both cases, the issue came down to a plugin. Keeping your plugins up to date will help to keep most threats under control. But occasionally you will run into an issue like the one that I have had this morning!
Check Your Website!
My advice to everyone out there in the Wealthy Affiliate community is to take a little time to check your plugins, keep them updated and watch carefully for any changes on your website.
Most importantly, if you have the Yuzo Related Posts plugin installed on your website, get rid of it right now! This plugin is clearly a threat to anyone that has it installed. My advice would be to delete it right away.
BTW... A massive thank you to Wealthy Affiliate Site Support and their fast response!! Fantastic service!!
Have a great day,