Security Experts:

GoDaddy Breach Exposes 1.2 Million Managed WordPress Customer Accounts

Domain registrar and web hosting giant GoDaddy has been hacked and customer data for some 1.2 million WordPress users were exposed to the attacker for more than three months.

The Tempe, Arizona-based GoDaddy disclosed the breach in an SEC filing and confirmed that millions of users of its managed WordPress hosting service had sensitive data stolen, including database usernames and passwords, email addresses and private SSL keys.

GoDaddy did not provide details on the compromise beyond a note that the attacker used a compromised password to access the provisioning system in its legacy code base for Managed WordPress.

The company said the hack began on September 6 and, over the last three months, the attacker gained access to valuable customer information.

The raw details on the breach:

  • Up to 1.2 million active and inactive Managed WordPress customers had email address and customer number exposed. The exposure of email addresses presents risk of phishing attacks.
  • The original WordPress Admin password that was set at the time of provisioning was exposed. If those credentials were still in use, GoDaddy reset those passwords.
  • For active customers, sFTP and database usernames and passwords were exposed. GoDaddy said it reset both passwords.
  • For a subset of active customers, the SSL private key was exposed. GoDaddy says it is in the process of issuing and installing new certificates for those customers.

The company said its investigation is ongoing and that all impacted customers will be contacted directly with specific details. 

GoDaddy security chief Demetrius Comes said the company is taking steps to strengthen its provisioning system with additional layers of protection.

This is not the first time GoDaddy has notified customers of a data breach.  Back in May 2020, the company confirmed an incident exposed web hosting account credentials. 

Related: Hackers Trick GoDaddy Staff in Operation Targeting Cryptocurrency Services

Related: GoDaddy Notifies Customers of Data Breach

Related: Amazon S3 Bucket Exposed GoDaddy Server Information

view counter
Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends. Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.