Support » Fixing WordPress » unknown user_ids with user_level 10 in user_meta table

  • Resolved jessibird


    I just noticed something that makes me concerned about my site’s security, and wonder if anyone knows about it:

    While doing some work in phpMyAdmin, in the user_meta table, I noticed several rows which had user_ids which do not exist in the users table, and have user_level 10 (administrative).

    Near these rows, there are some first_name values of “…” which I guess are blank.

    I am mystified and slightly worried. Could these entries be:

    a) The aftermath of having gotten hacked in the past (which I was, and had to delete some illegitimate admin users);

    b) something currently wrong with the table;

    c) the result of some legitimate process from either WordPress or a plugin?

    Many thanks to anyone with even the slightest clue,


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  • Replying to myself: just opened up some of those first_name rows for editing, and they have javascripts in them! So I think it’s from past (hopefully not still happening) hackery.

    I am going to back up the table, try removing the suspicious rows, and see what happens. I’ll report back.


    OK, yup, after reading this: I’m pretty sure those were hacker droppings. They’re gone, and my site is working fine, and I now have only entries referring to the only user, me, in user_meta.

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