Support » Fixing WordPress » Trying to locate ‘phantom’ web directory

  • Resolved lukefive

    (@lukefive)


    Trying to diagnose a ‘phantom’ subdirectory in client’s WordPress site. The unplanned URL looks like example.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

    The URL shows me only “autodiscovery must be provided a valid email address.” Getting staff informed that no one should have that in their config is easy. The real problem: FTP search says there is no directory or file containing “autodiscover” on the web server. (Their previous web developer is awol.) I cannot find a redirect in their WP Admin, or in their htaccess. Their functions.php is normal, as is their DNS, as is a Wordfence scan. I’m now digging through their WHM/cPanel for an explanation.

    How can a functioning URL not show up the locations we’ve searched?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Joy

    (@joyously)

    How can a functioning URL not show up the locations we’ve searched?

    Have you not noticed that all URLs in WordPress work this way? It could easily be a plugin.
    Edit: or part of WordPress — XMLRPC

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Joy.

    I tried over-riding this with a 301 redirect but it does not work! Never had that happen before.

    This may have something to do with some email software looking for email addresses to confirm them somehow.

    Read this and look at the second part of this answer for an htaccess fix if you are running Apache.

    https://support.tigertech.net/autodiscover-block-requests

    The DNS Cname ‘redirect’ is kind of cool too but probably doesn’t fit your situation and whatever HTTP server is on the IP address used has to ‘pay the price’. It’s just not that good an idea unless you have a web server that’s not ever going to need to run.

    @joyously I take your point. We are under some pressure from the client; I was kind of wired when I wrote that post.

    @jnashhawkins That page at TigerTech is a good source. I also came across it yesterday and tried their htaccess fix. Was surprised when it did not work.

    As of this morning, we are recommending the client consult with their host tech support. We speculate the previous web developer may have requested a custom solution from that company; something more “authoritative” than from within the WP site.

    I’ll return here as more information is available.

    Joy

    (@joyously)

    Apparently it’s a Microsoft Outlook thing. (Try googling autodiscover/autodiscover.xml)

    Any chance they are hosted at GoDaddy and are using their Microsoft email. I think it’s called ‘360’ or something like that.

    I’m not blaming GoDaddy but I have a client using that GoDaddy email but their web host is at one of the phone company’s (a directory company maybe) web hosts. I can’t remember who and have no access to their web server but that server is WordPress and is on Apache.

    That email was (and still is) a good solution when their ISP dropped their email service across the board for all their clients.

    It’s been years since I helped set that up but I’m wondering if we didn’t have a slight hiccup there for a bit with errors something like that. At the time I think the tech people at that web host leaned on me a bit for tech help and I thought their second level asked about email causing problems at the webserver.

    Just something else to look at.

    The client contacted their host (not GoDaddy), who said that /autodiscover/autodiscover.xml was set up as a default across every site they host. The host also said they could not turn that off just for one site.

    So the client is looking for a new host.

    Resolved

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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