Security UPDATE--More Help Securing PHP Installations--April 11, 2007


Roadmap to Email Archiving and Compliance

Guide to SQL Server Backup and Recovery

Beyond the Buzzword: Demystifying Virtualization



IN FOCUS: More Help Securing PHP Installations


- Scrub Your Ajax Applications to Remove Security Problems

- Wireless Equivalent Privacy Offers No Privacy

- Top 10 Configuration Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities


- Security Matters Blog: NGSSoftware on Oracle Forensics

- FAQ: View the Full Network Map in Vista

- From the Forum: Why Does Installing Word on a Server Fix EFS Problems?

- Tell Us About the Products You Love!

- Share Your Security Tips


- Enforce Strong Passwords




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=== IN FOCUS: More Help Securing PHP Installations


by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

You probably recall the Month of PHP Bugs (MOPB), which I wrote about in March (see the first URL below). By the end of the MOPB, 41 bugs had been published. Jeff Forristal, a senior research and development engineer at SPI Dynamics, monitored the bug postings, and mid-month, he wrote an article that offers a general overview and analysis (at the second URL below).

Forristal's article offers some interesting information about the potential impact of the bugs released up to that time. Most notable is that two of the bugs could lead to a serious server security compromise for those who allow third parties to upload and run PHP-based scripts on their servers. Forristal wrote that "Web hosting companies offering PHP hosting services should be really concerned right now."

Last week, Forristal published a second article regarding MOPB, which is available at the URL below. Again he offers some very interesting analysis that gives you plenty of reason to make absolutely certain that you're using the latest version of PHP 4 or 5. While the analysis is very helpful, I found the information in the section "Being proactive with your PHP installation" even more helpful.

In that section, Forristal offers a lengthy list of various configuration settings that should be checked. In some cases, you might find that there are a lot of PHP features that your applications don't use and that therefore shouldn't be enabled. You can think of securing your PHP installation as you would any other server hardening process--if you aren't using a component, it shouldn't be enabled on the system.

The next version of PHP 5--PHP 5.2.2--is under development, and Release Candidate 1 (RC1) will have been released into testing by the time you read this or soon will be. While the final version release date isn't set yet, hopefully it won't be too far in the future. When it becomes available, make certain that you upgrade as soon as you can. Unfortunately, there isn't any news as to when a new version of PHP 4 will become available. You can check for news at the Web site, and look for future announcements in the php.internals news group at the URL below.

For yet more ways to secure your PHP installation, see my earlier article at the URL below.


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Scrub Your Ajax Applications to Remove Security Problems

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Blake Eno recently spoke with Configuresoft's Technology Strategist, George Gerchow, and Vice President of Marketing, Andrew Byrd, about the top 10 configuration mistakes most commonly made and how to avoid them. Get a rundown in this article on our Web site.

Recent Security Vulnerabilities

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SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: NGSSoftware on Oracle Forensics

by Mark Joseph Edwards,

If you use Oracle database server, you'll probably find these three new papers from Next Generation Security Software (NGSSoftware)'s Web site very useful.

FAQ: View the Full Network Map in Vista

by John Savill,

Q: How do I enable the "Full Network Map" in Windows Vista when the machine is part of a domain?

Find the answer at

FROM THE FORUM: Why Does Installing Word on a Server Fix EFS Problems?

A forum participant writes that he has two computers running Windows XP Professional SP2. They access Encrypting File System (EFS)-encrypted files on a Windows Server 2003 computer, which happens to be the domain controller (DC). Several types of files are encrypted, including .doc, .xls, .pdf, other Adobe Systems file types, and .txt.

Everything worked fine except that users received an error message when they tried to save a Word file, even one they just created. The forum participant installed Word on the server, and the problem went away. However, the participant notes that Excel, for example, is not on the server, and Excel operations work fine. The participant wonders if this is a known issue and if there's a better way of fixing the problem.


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by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Enforce Strong Passwords

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