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AskApache Password Protect ScreenShot 1AskApache Password Protect adds some serious password protection to your WordPress Blog. Not only does it protect your wp-admin directory, but also your wp-includes, wp-content, plugins, etc. plugins as well. Imagine a HUGE brick wall protecting your frail .php scripts from the endless attacks of automated web robots and password-guessing exploit-serving virii. Forget spam, these millions of zombie bots are too outrageous to ignore, they are attempting known (but strangely outdated) exploits looking for known vulnerabilities against blogs and other Internet software. Sooner or later some poor blogger is going to miss an upgrade and become a victim to this type of video-game-like-attack.


Attackers

Of course this would never be able to stop real hacker intent on taking over your blog, if you are connected to the net on a public line, of course you coun't stop them. The people who are attacking the blogosphere are for the most part just playing. They "hack" code that "exploits" a "vulnerabiliity" in some open-source software like phpBB or WordPress. Those people actually help the community of open source software like WordPress by finding security issues and bringing them to light.. So who is this plugin built to stop? It's built to stop the people who are trying all the time to maliciously crack into YOUR average blog. Why would someone want to hack an AVERAGE blog like mine or yours? Well the answer is that its not an actual group, entity, or person who is going to try hacking into your blog. Its an army of robots.. and they will never stop the attack.

So how do these robots attack us? What is their ammo? Their ammo is very specific knowledge of exploiting security holes in very specific software to "crack" your blog. Vulnerabilities are discovered all the time, mostly small ones, but those vulnerabiilties that are dangerous to those of us running WordPress 2.5 are LETHAL to those of us running 2.1.. just absolutely deadly. So These robots are programmed to do one thing and one thing only, try the exact same exploit that would work against 2.3 against every computer on the internet, as fast as they can and as anonymously as they can.. terrorizing the networks with these non-stop requests and slowing down the whole internet, which hopefully will start getting faster as more people use this plugin. Robots have no choice but to leave my servers alone. They understand what a 403 Forbidden means, to them it means take me off your list, the exploit I'm carrying is not compatible. But once again, this will not stop a hacker, this will stop 99.9% of the same bots that "hacked" 99.9% of the blogs.

Description

AskApache Password Protect ScreenShot 1This Plugin will make alot of the bots out there stop coming back, and I have found this exact type of security setup to be a great insurance policy against these types of brainless zombie bots. A few years ago I had implemented this password protection on a forum I was the security admin for, and it didn't seem like a big improvement to very many people. The forum software we were running was phpbb, and during that Christmas break we weren't even thinking about the forums. When we got back though the whole place was in an uproar. Some kid sent out a million of these zombie robots with a single payload- an exploit that he knew would successfully penetrate the forum's defenses. It did.

It was like a tidal wave across the world, thats how many of these phpBB forums were hit. Thankfully all the kid did was copy the entire forum into a kind of book format, and sell it on ebay. Anyway so we looked at the logs for our server and forum, and we saw he had tried the exact same thing against us... and he did have our forum software defenses beat... You see he had his target all scoped out and meticulously researched, a nice fat range of forums needing an upgrade.. As long as they could get to the inner door (admin login) they could knock it down in seconds and own the whole thing.

Everything about the attack on our server was incredibly smooth and fast, hacked past the user login and then flew straight towards the admininstrator login... then, out of nowhere they got b**slapped because they ran full-speed into a wall that seemingly came out of nowhere, and thats exactly the same thing that you will have after installing this plugin. Its like being surrounded by a smal army, a sniper can still get you, but you can forget about the ground troops (zombies ech)

If you are worried about your WordPress blog getting hacked, this can help immensely. It adds a 2nd layer of security to your blog by requiring a username and password to access anything in the /wp-admin/ folder.

The plugin is simple, you just choose a username and password and you are done. It writes the .htaccess file, without messing it up. It also encrypts your password and creates the .htpasswd file, as well as setting the correct security-enhanced file permissions on both.

This plugin automatically picks all the right settings for where to save the .htpasswd and .htaccess files, but you can easily change those settings to anything you want. You can change it whenever you want right from your WordPress Admin Panel.

Screenshots

New .htaccess security modules for wp-includes and wp-content

WordPress 2.5 Compatible - AskApache Password Protect

Downloads

Download the AskApache Password Protection Plugin

Installation

  1. Uploadaa-password-protect.zip to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Unzip
  3. Activate
  4. Setup

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to type in my username and password every admin page?

No. You just have to type it in once and it will keep you logged in until you close your browser.


How Secure Is It

In Basic HTTP Authentication, the password is passed over the network not encrypted but not as plain text -- it is "uuencoded." Anyone watching packet traffic on the network will not see the password in the clear, but the password will be easily decoded by anyone who happens to catch the right network packet.

WordPress Codex Security Articles

  1. Limiting access: Making smart choices that effectively lower the possible entry points available to a malicious person.
  2. Containment: If a weak point in your installation is found by a malicious person, your system should be configured to minimize the amount of damage that can be done once inside your system.
  3. Knowledge: Keeping backups, knowing the state of your WordPress installation at regular time intervals, documenting your modifications all help you understand your WordPress installation.

Tags

March 29th, 2008

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Hacking and Hackers

The use of "hacker" to mean "security breaker" is a confusion on the part of the mass media. We hackers refuse to recognize that meaning, and continue using the word to mean someone who loves to program, someone who enjoys playful cleverness, or the combination of the two. See my article, On Hacking.
-- Richard M. Stallman









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