A system whose primary function is to deliver web pages on request to clients.

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95
votes
11answers
24k views

Apache Server Hardening

What are some best practices, recommendations, required reading for securing an Apache Server?
82
votes
6answers
11k views

Script Kiddies - how do they find my server IP?

I've set up a site on Digital Ocean without a domain yet, so there is only the IP. Despite telling no-one of its existence or advertising it, I get hundreds of notices from fail2ban that various IP's ...
68
votes
13answers
22k views

What are the pros and cons of site wide SSL (https)?

What are the pros and cons of encrypting all HTTP traffic for the whole site through SSL, as opposed to SSL on just the login page?
68
votes
4answers
68k views

“Optimal” Web Server SSL Cipher Suite Configuration

Over the last couple of years there have been a number of changes in what would be considered an optimal SSL cipher suite configuration (e.g. the BEAST and CRIME attacks, the weaknesses in RC4) My ...
58
votes
15answers
8k views

How is “hacking” even possible if I “defend” properly?

On a Linux-based server, I follow basic practices as below: Make the admin account password long and complicated enough (i.e. theoretically speaking, password cannot be cracked within reasonable ...
58
votes
5answers
23k views

Is using Git for deploying a bad practice?

I tend to use Git for deploying production code to the web server. That usually means that somewhere a master Git repository is hosted somewhere accessible over ssh, and the production server serves ...
57
votes
4answers
7k views

I think I accidentally DoS'd a website. What should I do?

I was browsing a website, and stumbled across a sample scheme for password-protecting web pages. The owner of the website specifically had a page that invited people to attempt to hack it. I wanted ...
54
votes
2answers
7k views

What should end-users do about Heartbleed?

What should one do about the Heartbleed OpenSSL exploit? mainly talks about what people running websites should do about Heartbleed. What should end-users of websites be doing? Do they need to ...
46
votes
9answers
6k views

Hack-resistant hosting solution for non-profit?

(While the answers and comments at How do I deal with a compromised server? are useful, my question is more about prevention of hacking when I do not have total (or much) control over the server. I ...
38
votes
6answers
5k views

PHP files browsable: is this a vulnerability?

I have a friend who has a website developed in PHP on which we can browse all his files one after one (of course, we can not read the content of the PHP files). Do you think this is a security hole? ...
37
votes
4answers
54k views

Why is passing the session id as url parameter insecure?

I recently followed a discussion, where one person was stating that passing the session id as url parameter is insecure and that cookies should be used instead. The other person said the opposite and ...
35
votes
4answers
40k views

Strange requests to web server

I have a Linode VPS running Nginx, which currently serves only static content. Once I was looking at the log and noticed some strange requests: XXX.193.171.202 - - [07/Aug/2013:14:04:36 +0400] "GET /...
34
votes
3answers
5k views

Do simple Linux servers really need a non-root user for security reasons?

Playing devil's advocate, Let's assume I purchase a Linux server from a hosting provider. I am given a password for the root user and am told I may login using SSH. The only purpose this server has ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

Where to report malicious URLs, phishing, and malicious web sites?

I recently discovered that my web site was hacked: there was a hidden HTML div that's about selling shoes...! I googled the text in question and voila: thousands of sites have been hacked. Check this ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

Server attack with \x01

I notice from my server logs that there have been a number of requests like [01/Jun/2016:07:47:58 +0000] "\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

How do attackers find the IP addresses of recently deployed servers?

About two months ago, I deployed an Ubuntu server with as main purpose serving a web app. However, I'm still developing the app and only gave the server IP to my coworker and some friends for testing. ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a way to detect web server in case it's not present in HEADER?

I'm trying to detect what web server a particular website uses. For instance whether it's nginX, Apache, Tomcat and so on. I usually use Live HTTP Headers Firefox add-on. The problem is that sites ...
28
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the dangers of advertising my MySQL-powered amateur site?

I recently started server-side programming, and wrote up a page containing a drawable-canvas that lets users publically draw and save a picture, and overwrite pictures made by others. For kicks, I ...
28
votes
2answers
8k views

Should I disable http HEAD requests?

I have seen increased 'HEAD' requests in my webserver access.log. What are these requests for? Should I disable this method in my webserver configs?
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Why am I getting strange HTTP requests for non-existing pages?

I am running a web server and watching what people request. I have been getting frequent traffic like: GET /phph/php/ph.php HTTP/1.1 or GET /mrmr/mrm/mr.php HTTP/1.1 Are these scans? Are the ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Does password-protecting a server's BIOS help in securing sensitive data?

I'm running a server of which I protected the BIOS with a password. One doesn't have to enter this password before booting, but before entering the BIOS setup. I just did this from routine. However, ...
27
votes
5answers
29k views

What ciphers should I use in my web server after I configure my SSL certificate?

There are many great questions that ask what is the best certificate to use for a website; but once the certificate is purchased, there is also the possibility to choose or edit the Cipher list. ...
26
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it practical to pre-blacklist certain GeoIP regions?

In recent events, a server I've been managing with has been under a few attacks, a risk you take when hosting a web-server. The firewall has been set up properly to only allow connections through the ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I protect a WordPress installation?

How do you go about protecting a default WordPress installation? What checklist do you use, best practices, tips and tricks, etc? Any recommendations on plugins, third-party tools are welcome.
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I use a second/dedicated IP address for SSH?

When running a public web server (e.g., with Apache), I've heard it's recommended to bind SSH to a second IP address, different from the one Apache is listening to. But for me it seems like this is ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do DDoS attacks cost a fortune to stop?

I have read so many stories that a major DDoS attack is causing companies thousands of dollars to mitigate. I have two questions: Is this because they try to keep the servers accessible to real site ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the best option for setting up a several sites supporting SSL on the same IP?

If multiple hostnames are hosted on the same IP, it's not straight forward to allow them to support https. What are the best options in terms of browser support and/or web server support?
20
votes
2answers
5k views

HSTS extra security over HTTPS

Is HSTS good to use even if my servers are configured to use HTTPS (Even if HTTP is used, the rewrite rules in apache makes it to HTTPS) Also does HSTS make even the resources like CSS, images to be ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How to detect “forged” SSL certificates from the webserver end

The company I work for sometimes intercepts employees ssl connections to https websites by making the ssl connection on their behalf from a proxy, and then using the own generated certificate to send ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Does the practice of blocking an off-site “Referer:” HTTP requests improve website security?

Is there any benefit for a security-paranoid website to disallow HTTP requests that have a Referer: from 3rd party sites? The pitch is that if such a HTTP request were to come in, then certain XSS ...
20
votes
2answers
924 views

What risks should I be aware of before allowing advertisements being placed on my website?

The thought of having a 3rd party send javascript, and images to end users seems to be a scary thought, but that is exactly what we are doing when I place advertisements onto my site. Does serving ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Is this verbose error message on the DOT website a security issue?

I was looking for a form on the US Department of Transportations website, and I came to a page that gave me an error, with a full debug report and stack trace. Hopefully, you can get the same result ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

The “.htaccess” file can be downloaded. Why? How to fix?

Maybe a noob question. I've tried searching but maybe my search terms were too specific. I've just conducted a pen test on a client's site. The site allowed me to download .htaccess just by simply ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Are there any downsides to using Let's Encrypt for a website's SSL certificates?

On the advantages side, I see several benefits to using the Let's Encrypt service (e.g., the service is free, easy to setup, and easy to maintain). I'm wondering what, if any, are the disadvantages to ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How to keep a shared web hosting server secure?

What are the ways of keeping a shared LAMP server secure, assuming SSH access is available for every user? Edit: I am mainly thinking of securing the server from the users themselves and between ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the risks of using a CDN to speed up my website? How do I avoid them? [duplicate]

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are well known to speed up the performance of a website, but they create the obvious security risks if someone were to change the code that resides on the CDN. What ...
16
votes
4answers
11k views

Does a webserver need an antivirus software installed?

In what cases does a webserver need an antivirus software installed? When it is not required? If it is required sometimes, what should be considered when choosing the right one to install? (In my ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Are consumer-grade routers any more or less vulnerable? [closed]

I apologize if this is an obvious question, I'm not very familiar with hardware. I am planning on hosting a few personal websites from my home, but I'm concerned about my security. I'm using a fairly ...
15
votes
5answers
22k views

What is the best practice for placing database servers in secure network topologies

I have a classic DMZ architecture: My webserver is placed in the DMZ. The webserver needs to communicate with a database server. This database server is the most critical component of my network ...
15
votes
4answers
15k views

Which web server is more secure, Apache, nginx or lighttpd?

We are trying to decide which web server to choose for our PHP application. Which of Apache, nginx or lighttpd is the most secure? Which of these has had the most and most severe security holes?
15
votes
5answers
668 views

What are the most important security checks for new web applications?

I'm wondering what are the top priority security checks you should make befor launching a new webapp? I'm guessing brute force vulnerabilities and cross-site scripting. What are the other things you ...
15
votes
4answers
29k views

Identify and disable weak cipher suites

i'm asking a question on a subject that is pure chinese to me..sorry in advance A security scan result prior to the deployment of a web application on windows server 2008 R2 has raised the below ...
14
votes
4answers
993 views

If a website allows another person to get a list of the site's users passwords, how likely is it that the passwords are stored in cleartext?

We had an incident where some of our managers were given passwords for the people they supervise using a particular company website. Ostensibly it was done so the managers could check in on the users ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is displaying what server I am running on the error pages a security risk?

I just noticed that my 403 Forbidden (the default, not a custom one) page displays some server info: Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat) Server at ... Port 80 Is revealing this information a security risk?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How to not reveal that you are using PHP?

I'm bulding a website but some webtools and browser plugins allows anyone to get information on which technologies the website has been built. Is there any Alternative to not reveal that we are ...
14
votes
3answers
24k views

Is it possible to execute a php script in an image file? [duplicate]

I have an image upload php website. Users can upload images to my website. A user claims he can hack my website using an uploaded image. I opened all the images that he uploaded to my server with ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

How should I store SSL keys on the server?

I have a Node.JS HTTPS webserver instantiated as follows: var privateKey = fs.readFileSync('./../ssl/localhost.key').toString(); var certificate = fs.readFileSync('./../ssl/localhost.crt').toString();...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to verify the SSL configuration of my web server?

How do I ensure I have my SSL configuration setup securely?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How to react when under attack

Just this week someone has been trying to attack the server of the company where I work. I have noticed that they have been trying to brute force root via ssh. fail2ban is handling that well and I ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Online Government Elections System - Is it possible?

I am from Bulgaria and currently some groups here are promoting the idea of referendum among the people, about the possibility for establishing a system for ONLINE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS. The idea is ...