Support » Fixing WordPress » Link Spam in embedded RSS

  • Hi, can someone help?

    I have spent months building a site with wordpress, and have a high ranking on Google. Recently the outgoing RSS feed from my site has been not working, running it through a feed validation site I get the resulting error line

    This feed does not validate

    Line 176, column 15:XML parsing error: <unknown.:176:15: junk after document element

    …with a whole load of link spam showing up immediately after this highlighted line…

    <!– google –><font style=”position: absolute;overflow: hidden;height: 0;width: 0″>

    When I update wordpress the problem goes away and my RSS feed works, but only to return around 2 days later with the same problem…spam in my RSS feed and it not working. I installed the “bad behaviour” plugin immediately after updating but the problem comes back.

    What can I do, short of wiping my wordpress installation and starting again? I want to act fast as I don’t want my Google rankings effected.

    I have backups of exported XML files from my wordpress site.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • esmi


    Forum Moderator

    i have the same problem with my feeds.

    “with a whole load of link spam showing up immediately after this highlighted line…”

    i don’t know what to do with my feeds too.

    i need help also.

    thanks in advance


    does this mean, that the site has been hacked?


    I’m running wordpress 2.8.6, if I update it then the link spam in my RSS dissapears and the RSS works ok. But then a day or two later the link spam comes back, and my RSS goes down again. I have added security plugins since the hack, but I think this is like shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

    Updating wordpress does not wipe the problem, it just comes back. I think I need to delete wordpress from my web host (justhost) and do a fresh install. I have exported XML files from my WP site to import after I reinstall WP, but I’m not sure if this includes my images.


    Hi. I hope you dont mind, did it work? Deleting all wordpress file in the server and installing a new one?



    This is driving me CRAZY !!

    I wiped my wordpress installation and installed a new one, but before this I made a full backup from my host, (maybe containing the hack). I imported a recently made XML backup file into the fresh installation, and it showed up as a basic site with my posts, but without plugins or images.

    I then restored the full backup of my site I made from my host, and my site was completely restored. I have been checking the RSS feed every day and it has been ok, I thought I had got rid of it.

    But now, around a week later the problem has come back.

    (RSS feed contains errors)

    I think I will have to wipe wordpress again, import a recent XML file, and then manually add all my images. A tough job as my site has 64 pages.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions or help?

    I have the “Bad Behaviour”, “Project Honeypot”, and “secure wordpress” plugins installed, but these do not seem to stop it


    I think I have located the problem.

    When I view the browser source code I find this dodgy looking line of java script at the bottom of every page on my site.

    </script><script type=”text/javascript” src=””></script>

    Bear with, me I’m a newby at this stuff…

    How do I get rid of this? I have looked through my PHP files, without finding it

    Moderator Mark Ratledge


    Forum Moderator is a sharing utility that you added somewhere along the way. It’s not dodgy and it’s not going to add itself.

    Check your plugins, check footer.php and search your database with Search RegEx for the javascript.

    Thanks songdogtech,

    Oh yes of course, that url and javascript is just from a plugin I added a while back. I seemed to start getting problems with the hack since I added a Youtube plugin, that could be just a coincidence but will delete it anyway.

    I will try running a plugin called “Exploit Scanner”, and also “SearchRegEx” as you said.

    I don’t know how these spammers and hackers can sleep at night, spewing their junk all over peoples hard work.

    Moderator Mark Ratledge


    Forum Moderator

    Also see How to Completely Clean a Hacked WordPress Install and check for hidden adminstrators and change your passwords, too…..

    I cannot get rid of this problem…

    I have deleted my wordpress installation numerous times, and restored backups from before the hack as far as I know, and the RSS still breaks down with inserted spam.

    Now I’ve wiped and reinstalled wordpress and not even restored any backups, but started my site from scratch with only security plugins installed. A day later the same problem came back with a “junk after document element” error when I ran it through feed validator, showing a whole load of spam.

    My Web host Justhost are no help, they said they will fix the problem but have not. I wrote a detailed email describing what is happening and their reply was “Change your passwords and run a virus checker on your computer”…ridiculous! I have done that plenty of times.

    I am deleting and reinstalling WP and not altering or deleting anything else. When I delete WP, if I then go to my files and see anything that is still there that looks like a WP file, should I be deleting that as well?

    Obviously a fresh install is not removing the problem.

    Any suggestions or help would be very much appreciated…


    Just a thought, when you reinstall, you delete the WP files, but you use the same database? What if that database contains a user that just logs in and inserts the spam?
    Alternally, did you download your theme and upload it again after the new install? What if that theme is full of rogue code?
    Twice you have been referred to the “how to completely clean a hacked wordpress blog”, did you read it and do everything it said?

    As I delete WP it says that the MySQL database, and the MySQL user will be deleted.

    Also yes, I have re uploaded the theme after a new install.

    I have read “how to completely clean a hacked wordpress blog”, but I’m slightly unsure about deleting individual files on the server.

    Thanks for the help Gangleri, but I think I will really need to talk to my web host as it seems to be the root of the problem.

    Yep, it could very well be another site on the shared server…

    also, do you deleta ALL files on your server? Do you have anything else running? Any other files, any other programs, etc?

    When I was hacked, the problem never was in my WP installation, it was in 2 other software packages I had running, buried way deep. There were 2 rogue php files in those software packages being used to spam my WP install

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
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