[thelist] Web Site hacked wasiPhone (browser) detection

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Sun Sep 28 08:50:45 CDT 2008

Fred Jones wrote:
>> I take it back, they have hacked the file system ...
> I used to host with HostRocket. Then someone hacked into their servers
> and edited our files, adding a virus for visitors. They corrected the
> situation but I started hosting elsewhere. A colleague of mine
> remained with them and his site was then hacked, the same way!
> Then another person I know on MaximumASP was hacked the same way.
> This is simply a sign of a bad host. The only thing which can be done
> is to switch to a host with better security.
> Fred
Well perhaps a little more than that. 

* First thing I would do with a support request is try to find out how 
it happened.  (hacked into their server here)
* The other thing that would be really go to know which I can't imagine 
the hosting company sharing willingly is whether or not other accounts 
were hacked at either the same time or at all.

-->> I would like to know if the root cause is poor security or bad bad me

Your control panel password, shell access, ftp should not be stored in 
plain text anywhere that can be cruised.  For programs that I create I 
keep mysql password above webroot (as php).  CMS, eCommerce programs, 
etc.  usually place it in a php config file within the directory 
structure.  If this is deemed a risk you can always change the config 
file to reference an include file above webroot.
It is slightly more work for you, but wise to make the passwords 
different.  For that matter make it more difficult by using different 
passwords for your domain management provider.

Also, depending on provider file permissions (at least with Linux, 
Apache) should be 644 for regular files and 755 for directories.

 -->> I'm no security expert and I'm sure there is more, but these are 
relatively painless simple steps to improve security.

One other thing - unless you have inside information that your hosting 
provider has a very good, very regular, backup routine, don't rely on 
them.  You can write a simple backup script, cron job that can be used 
to restore the database and file system in minutes as opposed to 
aggravating hours of hopeful anticipation.  Your backup process should 
include not only yesterday but also the ability to retrieve backup files 
from a week, a month ago, etc.

Bob Meetin

Hook up with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse and Bebo
or catch my blog at www.dottedi.biz/blog.php

Standards - you gotta love em - there are so many to choose from!

More information about the thelist mailing list