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

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75
votes
14answers
15k views

Apache Server Hardening

What are some best practices, recommendations, required reading for securing an Apache Server?
52
votes
15answers
7k 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 ...
49
votes
13answers
9k 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?
47
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
44
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
3k 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 ? ...
25
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
23
votes
5answers
15k 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. ...
23
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
827 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.
19
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
927 views

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

I recently discovered that my web site was hacked: there was a HTML hidden div selling about shoes... I Googled the text in question and voila: thousands of sites have been hacked. Check this out: ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

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

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 ...
18
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
516 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?
17
votes
2answers
1k 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?
17
votes
2answers
563 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
802 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
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
737 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
454 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
900 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Index page has been compromised, suspicious files are showing up

My website has been hacked lately and it has been defaced. Now I have weird files, don't know where they coming from. I just want to know, what of these files are harmful or can cause that I get ...
12
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
264 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?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Installing Development Tools on Production Server? Security Risk?

I am using an Amazon Linux EC2 instance as a web server. My web app uses ImageMagick. Because the Amazon Linux (CentOS) repository doesn't include an up-to-date version of ImageMagick, I am compiling ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

enable browser caching with HTTPS

I understand that sensitive data should not be cached (ie, you dont want to cache an HTML file with all of your bank account details in it), but there are some things that HTTPS protected sites should ...
11
votes
4answers
438 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
654 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?
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Security measures against packet sniffing

I work in a environment where packet sniffing can be easily done . I was worried about my confidential data . Please suggest how is it done and precaution which i can take at client level.
10
votes
4answers
985 views

Can .htaccess and .htpasswd really protect me?

I want to set up a kind of personal wiki where I can store various sensitive information. However to make it 100% portable and and just plain convineant, I want to put it on the Internet. I'm sure at ...
10
votes
1answer
713 views

Relative importance of CHROOT for web servers

I have read extremely mixed opinions on the process of chrooting for a web server (non-shared environment). Some people swear by it, yet others say that it isn't as secure as everyone says. Given ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

CloudFlare benefits or drawbacks

Anyone running a webserver would agree, security can be a hustle and tedious job. Recently I came across a service claiming to help with that -- CloudFlare.com. There's plenty of benefits listed on ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Which webserver is more secure, Apache, nginx or lighttpd?

We are trying to decide which webserver 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?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Securing my web-server / website [closed]

Does anyone know of a comprehensive security guide about important basics / fundamentals which should be done to secure a web-server / website? A web link would do.
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How safe is it to install XAMPP on my home computer to test PHP code?

I want to test some PHP code and I figure the best way is to install XAMPP - but I'm nervous about installing server software on my home computer. Is it generally safe to install XAMPP (given that I ...
9
votes
4answers
851 views

Combat Apache Killer

Three days ago, KingCope released a simple Perl script to DoS Apache, aptly named Apache Killer. This script launches about 50 threads to request Partial Content from the server with optional GZIP ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there any statistics about webservers and browsers TLS support?

From Hackers break SSL encryption used by millions of sites: The vulnerability resides in versions 1.0 and earlier of TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to the secure sockets layer ...
8
votes
11answers
3k views

Besides IP addresses, how else could one be identified? [closed]

OP: I'm curious how else an actor seeking to identify someone online could accomplish this task besides just using an IP address. What methods would they employ? What knowledge must they have of the ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Webserver logs show someone is trying to hack my site, what should I do?

It looks like someone is trying to hack my site. The following comes from my IIS log files: #Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5 #Version: 1.0 #Date: 2011-07-03 00:02:39 #Fields: ...
8
votes
3answers
502 views

How does an attacker approach a website?

What is a typical mindset and method of approach? What are they likely to try first? At what point does a novice give up versus an expert? How would an automated attack differ from a manual one?
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the disadvantages of Tor?

I've just started using Tor recently, and I'm not sure exactly what security issues come with the benefits. What should/shouldn't I be worried about (in both everyday normal-web browsing use, in ...