WebmasterTools in Dangerous Security Flaw

by David Naylor
See Dave Speak SMX London

It has been seen tonight that WebmasterTools has suffered a major security hole and opened up and reverified all old accounts. What does this mean to the SEO community?

From initial glance at our WMT's accounts we now have regained access to every old account we have previously been given access to, whether that is a previous client or maybe a site that came to us for some short term consultancy. What is also quite amusing (if you look on the funny side) is that you can see who won the client or who you won the client from.

On a more serious note though, now that WMT is so much more powerful than it ever was there is a serious risk that damage could be caused to sites by people who no longer have permission to make changes. Things like disavow link lists, deindex urls or the entire site, redirect urls, geolocation alterations .. a whole world of pain.

Oh… and this also is the same for Google Analytics too.. its going to potentially be a late night! Hopefully the messages that we have sent to Matt Cutts will be seen and actioned quickly.

This is when the reverification attempts happened

Here is a screenshot of what we “could” do …. (Disclaimer – we won’t be doing anything to anyone)

This is an example of the mess .. so from the bottom up on this account, 13 days ago ownership revoked for the old SEO company, 11 days ago new SEO company added, then what appears an hour ago the old SEO company, an ex-employee and us (who haven’t had the account for about a year) were reverified.

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