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Automattic strengthens WordPress with BruteProtect acquisition

updated 07:02 pm EDT, Tue August 26, 2014

BruteProtect to be rolled into Jetpack, paid service ends to make all features free

Automattic, the company responsible for the WordPress blog platform, announced today that it acquired BruteProtect. The pick up will allow the company to strengthen security of the WordPress platform through its Jetpack service, without additional cost to users. BruteProtect started its life as a plug-in for the popular blogging software, only to expand into other areas of security, server management and premium services.

BruteProtect was created to combat a growing problem for WordPress users: brute-force attacks on servers by botnets. Sam Hotchkiss, the CEO of Parka and one of the people responsible for the plug-in, started working on the project after coming up with an idea to fight them. The result wasa service that has blocked a large number of attacks, including 35 million attacks in July alone. Hotchkiss said that the first version of the plug-in was built after an 18-hour coding session in his basement.

The plug-in tackled a number of security concerns outside of the initial botnet login in attempts that it was built to prevent. While the BruteProtect Shield that stops those sorts of attacks was the key piece of the free version, it also allowed protection across multiple sites and a dashboard for monitoring attacks. The pro version added server uptime monitoring with email alerts and automatic updates and monitoring through My BruteProtect. Other features like malware scanning and blacklist warnings were said to be in the works.

The BruteProtect plug-in and service will remain active for the time being, but Automattic plans to fold the project into its all-in-one Jetpack tool. Once BruteProtect is fully built into Jetpack, Automattic will wind the stand-alone project down. The company says it will contact subscribers of the pro service to thank them with a surprise for their early support. Hotchkiss said that notifications will be sent out when BruteProtect is being shut down to give users plenty of time to migrate.

Almost 91,000 sites are currently using BruteProtect, with more than 110,000 instances used in the life of the plug-in. As a part of the acquisition, Automattic has made all aspects of the service free, as long as users have Jetpack installed as well. This effectively ends the $5 a month BruteProtect Pro service Parka was offering. Automattic states that the Portland, Maine team will be joining Jetpack to increase security.

by MacNN Staff



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