WordPress auto update fiasco

By ircrp | ircrp | 1 Nov 2020


Beginning on 30th of October 2020 the community forums of WordPress have seen an influx of its customers complaining about their websites getting updated to an alpha version of WordPress. To make things worse the first responses by Core developers were of re-measurement that the new alpha version has no functional changes, for the customers to later find out that it wasn't the case.

  • The first reports of customers started highlighting on their production website being auto-updated to version 5.5.3-alpha all out of sudden around the midday of 30th of October, with more reports following up of customers stating that hundreds of their websites have been affected by the auto update.

  • One of the first comments from Core developers has attempted to calm the situation down with statement that the there's nothing to worry about as the there's no functional difference between the stable version of 5.5.2 and 5.5.3-alpha.
  • The customers were quick to correct the Core developer statement and point out the fact that various unwanted Plugins & Themes were installed as part of the update and quick to criticize the security model of the auto updates.
  • One of the customers has highlighted that as a consequence of the auto update his database was filled with unwanted entries.
  • With that many customers have now lost the confidence in the security model of the auto-update, with many having to fix the issue manually over weekend of getting rid of the unwanted and untested version of WordPress in their production websites.


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