I’m hosting a friend’s WP install (at Dreamhost shared), and a couple of days ago, he called me to say the site would read: “Error establishing a database connection”.
While looking up into it, I saw that three different WP installs under that same friend’s account had been “Pharma hacked”. The two others were still running though.
Then someone at Dreamhost saw that wp_options table was missing in the broken install. The only hints I have is that they were able to successfully edit a couple of posts about 5 days ago, and Google analytics says the site was still running 3 days ago, then nothing from two days ago. No FTP, no upgrade, no ssh in months before my looking it up yesteday.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to restore Dreamhost’s backup of the database, for some reason; I tried overwriting, restoring new tables with timestamp prefix, to no avail (just can’t see any restored tables in phpMyAdmin whatsoever; awaigin an answer from DH).
Here are my questions:
1/ How would that happen? Not the Pharma hack alone I’d say, since the two other installs are still running.
2/ I saw this thread here with the same thing. Now is there a way I can try and put it back up without this friend having to rebuild the site from scratch…? For example can I try and create a new db, then dump all tables other than wp_options from the current one? Can I try and create a wp_options table manually (he’s got a few plugins installed though)?
I’e been going through the process described here to clean infected php files; obviously, I can’t clean wp_options…
Of course, this is happening at the worst time for him…
Many thanks for your help.
PS: don’t know whether that will be a hint, but the current WP database is 4MB, while DH’s (3 and 5 days ago) backups are 300KB and 500KB. I’ve got an sql dump of the current version.
In case this may help, here is what I was able to do:
Do a fresh WP install in another directory, thus new database
Copy (overwrite) plugin directory from old to new install (after going through the process of cleaning Pharma hack…)
Dump wp_options table from new install
import wp_options in the broken database (where it’s missing)
Modify blog url to point to old install (vs. fresh one)
I was able to log back in, and keep all posts, etc.
All settings are gone (custom menu, widgets, theme options) but at least the site is reachable and posts are there.
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