WordPress 3.8.3 Maintenance Release

WordPress 3.8.3 is now available to fix a small but unfortunate bug in the WordPress 3.8.2 security release.

The “Quick Draft” tool on the dashboard screen was broken in the 3.8.2 update. If you tried to use it, your draft would disappear and it wouldn’t save. While we doubt anyone was writing a novella using this tool, any loss of content is unacceptable to us.

We recognize how much trust you place in us to safeguard your content, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We’re sorry we let you down.

We’ve all lost words we’ve written before, like an email thanks to a cat on the keyboard or a term paper to a blue screen of death. Over the last few WordPress releases, we’ve made a number of improvements to features like autosaves and revisions. With revisions, an old edit can always be restored. We’re trying our hardest to save your content somewhere even if your power goes out or your browser crashes. We even monitor your internet connection and prevent you from hitting that “Publish” button at the exact moment the coffee shop Wi-Fi has a hiccup.

It’s possible that the quick draft you lost last week is still in the database, and just hidden from view. As an added complication, these “discarded drafts” normally get deleted after seven days, and it’s already been six days since the release. If we were able to rescue your draft, you’ll see it on the “All Posts” screen after you update to 3.8.3. (We’ll also be pushing 3.8.3 out as a background update, so you may just see a draft appear.)

So, if you tried to jot down a quick idea last week, I hope WordPress has recovered it for you. Maybe it’ll turn into that novella.

Download WordPress 3.8.3 or click “Update Now” on Dashboard → Updates.

This affected version 3.7.2 as well, so we’re pushing a 3.7.3 to these installs, but we’d encourage you to update to the latest and greatest.

Now for some good news: WordPress 3.9 is near. Expect it this week

What is the right way to send bulk e-mail?

This is intended only as a basic outline of what it takes to manage a legitimate bulk e-mail list. Seek expert advice from appropriate companies and consultants for a more complete understanding of the complicated issues of legitimate bulk e-mail. Remember, all bulk e-mail must be opt in, otherwise it is unsolicited. And Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE) is spam!

1. Address acquisition – Make sure it’s Opt In. E-pending is not Opt In. If the recipient didn’t ask for it in the first place, the rest of the list management processes are irrelevant. While various transactions and business relationships can infer permission, if there’s any doubt, or for any on-going bulk e-mail relationship, closed-loop Confirmed Opt In (COI) is the gold standard for verifying permission, in use since about 1996. Some examples of software which use COI include Majordomo-2, EZMLM, Mailman, and Lyris.

For more on COI, see:

• http://www.spamhaus.org/whitepapers/mailinglists.html

• http://www.spamhaus.org/whitepapers/permissionpass.html

• http://www.spamhaus.org/news.lasso?article=635

2. Truth in advertising – State your policies and the nature of the bulk e-mail at the point of subscription. Tell the subscriber what to expect: how often, how big, what kind, what topics and content, etc. Don’t hide information about the subscription on remote pages, behind hyperlinks, or buried in jargon, legalese, and obfuscation.

3. Identify your company properly in the message itself and in Internet records. Use properly registered domains with working mail and web addresses. Every domain you use should identify your company and lead to a website identifying your company. Don’t hide behind ever-changing mazes of domains (snowshoe spamming). Anonymized whois records just shout “hey, I’m trying to hide something!” So does using only an image for your name and address in the mail. Use proper SPF records and DKIM signatures. Stand behind every message you send saying “we sent that mail and we accept responsibility for sending it.” Make your online identity as solid as a brick-and-mortar business.

4. Maintenance – Keep your list current! Remove unsubscription requests and bounces promptly, as close to real-time as possible, no later than the same day. Mail the list at regular intervals. Unmailed lists provoke high complaint rates when they reactivate, even from truly opt-in addresses. Addresses “churn” over time, that is, they are abandoned or re-used. For most commercial lists, mail at least once per week and remove any address with three sequential bounces, or with sequential bounces for more than two weeks.

5. Bounce processing – Respect what the recipient’s server tells you. SMTP “5xy” codes mean “No!” Bouncing your mail off the filters but showing up in the logs, or resuming spamming after filter rules come down, is a sure-fire way to really annoy server operators and mailbox owners alike. Addresses being converted to spamtraps will typically reject (5xy) all deliveries for about six months…you certainly don’t want those on your list so make sure they bounce off!

Similarly, a receiver’s TEMP FAIL response (4xy) should be respected by your server. All standards-compliant servers will automatically retry such deferred deliveries at increasing time intervals. Generally retries cease and the message is considered undeliverable after 5 days. The interval before pruning a deferred address from your list is usually longer and takes more bounces than a hard “5xy” rejection, but eventually such addresses should also be retired from your list.

6. Unsubscription must work! Promptly. And for all the bulk mail you’re sending to that address. It must work via e-mail (include correct info in headers) and many subscribers also appreciate a web link included in message body. Sign up for feedback loops, and consider that abuse reports may indicate more serious problems than can be fixed by simply unsubscribing the reporting address. Some jurisdictions also require unsubscription via snail-mail. Basically, if someone wants off your list, help them with their request no matter how they ask.

7. Concurrency – Respect the receiving server’s SMTP dialogue. If it says pipelining allowed, give it what it wants. If it says “try again later” (4xy), don’t despair, let your server queue the message and do what good servers are supposed to do. If it accepts a bit slowly, throttle back your server so as not to flood smaller sites. Opening up lots of threads to a slow server is an excellent way to get tarpitted and blocked. (Good servers do all that stuff by default, automatically.)

8. Seek expert advice! There are highly qualified delivery consultants and some who aren’t so qualified; buyer beware. Ask your ISP for advice. Consider using a reputable E-mail Service Provider (ESP) to send your mail and manage your lists. If any delivery consultant is not aware of the terms and problems in this very brief outline, or if they make promises that they can get you “whitelisted” at ISPs, well, again, caveat emptor! (No one but Spamhaus decides what IPs we list or remove from our lists. The only way to be removed is to fix the spam problem that caused the listing.)

Info provided by The Spamhaus Project

Important Doc to read for Email Marketing Companies:
Yes. All firms engaged in marketing via email should read the following documents:

The Definition of “Spam”

Responsible Mailing Lists -vs- Spam Lists

Permission Pass – How to rescue your mailing list

What is the right way to send bulk e-mail?
http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/Marketing FAQs#214

“Role Accounts” & “Feedback Loops”
http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/ISP Spam Issues#119

Email Marketing Best Practice Document

WordPress 3.9 Release Candidate 2

The second release candidate for WordPress 3.9 is now available for testing.

If you haven’t tested 3.9 yet, you’re running out of time! We made about five dozen changes since the first release candidate, and those changes are all helpfully summarized in our weekly post on the development blog. Probably the biggest fixes are to live widget previews and the new theme browser, along with some extra TinyMCE compatibility and some RTL fixes.

Plugin authors: Could you test your plugins against 3.9, and if they’re compatible, make sure they are marked as tested up to 3.9? It only takes a few minutes and this really helps make launch easier. Be sure to follow along the core development blog; we’ve been posting notes for developers for 3.9. (For example: HTML5, symlinks, MySQL, Plupload.)

To test WordPress 3.9 RC2, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip). If you’d like to learn more about what’s new in WordPress 3.9, visit the nearly complete About screen in your dashboard ( → About in the toolbar) and also check out the Beta 1 post.

This is for testing, so not recommended for production sites—yet.

cPanel-EasyApache 3.24.15

cPanel, Inc. has released EasyApache 3.24.15 with FCGI version 2.3.9 and PHP versions 5.5.10 and 5.4.27. This release addresses the FCGI vulnerability CVE-2013-4365 with fixes to a possible heap buffer overwrite issue, and the PHP vulnerability CVE-2013-7345 with fixes to bugs in the fileinfo module. We encourage all FCGI users to upgrade to FCGI version 2.3.9, and all PHP users to upgrade toPHP version 5.5.11 or PHP version 5.4.27.

All versions of FCGI versions before 2.3.9.

The National Vulnerability Database (NIST) has given the following severity ratings to these CVEs:

CVE-2013-4365 – MEDIUM

FCGI 2.3.9
Fixed a possible heap buffer overwrite issue related to CVE-2013-4365.

All versions of PHP version 5.5 before 5.5.11.
All versions of PHP version 5.4 before 5.4.27.

The National Vulnerability Database (NIST) has given the following severity ratings to these CVEs:

CVE-2013-7345 – MEDIUM

PHP 5.5.11
Fixed bug in the file info module related to CVE-2013-7345.

PHP 5.4.27
Fixed bug in the file info module related to CVE-2013-7345.

cPanel, Inc. has released EasyApache 3.24.15 with FCGI version 3.2.9, and the updated versions of PHP 5.4 and 5.5 to correct these issues. Unless you have disabled EasyApache updates, EasyApache will include the latest versions of FCGI and PHP automatically. Run EasyApache to rebuild your profile with the latest version of FCGI and PHP.


cPanel TSR announcement

cPanel TSR-2014-0003 Announcement
cPanel has released new builds for all public update tiers. These updates provide targeted changes to address security concerns with the cPanel & WHM product. These builds are currently available to all customers via the standard update system.
cPanel has rated these updates as having security impact levels ranging from Minor to Critical.
Information on cPanel’s security ratings is available at http://go.cpanel.net/securitylevels.
If your deployed cPanel & WHM servers are configured to automatically update when new releases are available, then no action is required. Your systems will update automatically. If you have disabled automatic updates, then we strongly encourage you to update your cPanel & WHM installations at your earliest convenience.
The following cPanel & WHM versions address all known vulnerabilities:
* & Greater
* & Greater
* & Greater
The latest public releases of cPanel & WHM for all update tiers are available at http://httpupdate.cpanel.net.
The cPanel security team and independent security researchers identified the resolved security issues. There is no reason to believe that these vulnerabilities have been made known to the public. As such, cPanel will only release limited information about the vulnerabilities at this time.
Once sufficient time has passed, allowing cPanel & WHM systems to automatically update to the new versions, cPanel will release additional information about the nature of the security issues. This Targeted Security Release addresses 47 vulnerabilities in cPanel & WHM software versions 11.42, 11.40, and 11.38.
Additional information is scheduled for release on March 26th, 2014.
For information on cPanel & WHM Versions and the Release Process, read our documentation at:
For the PGP signed message, please go to: http://cpanel.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/TSR-2014-0003-Accouncement.txt

cPanel-EasyApache 3.24.14 / Apache version 2.2.27

cPanel, Inc. has released EasyApache 3.24.14 with Apache version 2.2.27. This release addresses Apache vulnerabilities CVE-2014-0098 and CVE-2013-6438, by fixing bugs in the mod_log_config and mod_dav modules. We encourage all Apache users to upgrade to Apache version 2.2.27.

All versions of Apache version 2.2 before 2.2.27.

The National Vulnerability Database (NIST) has given the following severity ratings to these CVEs:

CVE-2014-0098 – MEDIUM

Apache 2.2.27
Fixed bug in the mod_log_config module related to CVE-2014-0098.

CVE-2013-6438 – MEDIUM

Apache 2.2.27
Fixed bug in the mod_dav module related to CVE-2013-6438.

cPanel, Inc. has released EasyApache 3.24.14 with updated version of Apache version 2.4 to correct these issues. Unless you have disabled EasyApache updates, EasyApache will include the latest version of Apache automatically. Run EasyApache to rebuild your profile with the latest version of Apache.