Web applications

Web application. A web application is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system of the device. Web applications are accessed by the user through a web browser with an active network connection.

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WordPress .htaccess security best practices in Apache 2.4.6+

Apache Access Control done right in WordPress .htaccess, ‘Allow/Deny from all’ versus ‘Require All Granted/Denied’. Since Apache 2.4.6, a new module is used to configure and set up access control for websites: mod_authz_core. This means you have to use a different syntax for allowing or blocking hosts and IP addresses to your website. But unfortunately, old documentation is never updated and people even still write blog posts using that old syntax, leaving you with an unprotected website. Not what you had in mind, now is it?

Increase WordPress’ memory limit WP_MEMORY_LIMIT properly in wp-config.php

How to increase the memory limit for your WordPress website, the right way. The WordPress memory limit can be increased by the WP_MEMORY_LIMIT variable in wp-config.php. However, I see this done wrong over and over again in WordPress plugins and themes. In a worst case scenario this may even decrease the available amount of memory for WordPress! So be careful with the advice you follow. In this post I show you a correct way of setting WordPress WP_MEMORY_LIMIT and PHP memory_limit settings.

Protect WordPress from brute-force XML-RPC attacks

The WordPress XML-RPC API has been under attack for many years. Back in August 2014, WordPress released version 3.9.2, fixing a possible denial of service issue in PHP’s XML processing. There are brute-force amplification attacks, reported by Sucuri, and so on. So, how do you protect WordPress from these xmlrpc.php attacks, optionally still being able to use (some of) its functionality like Jetpack? This post gives you some insights.

Remove Jetpack email sharing service

Recently the WordPress Jetpack email sharing service is often abused by spammers. They use the Send to Email Address for sending spam. All these kind of “Tell a Friend” scripts are abused a lot. Here is how to disable email share service in Jetpack.

Check WordPress Core files integrity

Check and verify WordPress Core files md5 checksums against WordPress’ checksums API, using this standalone PHP file. WordPress integrity matters, therefore I chose to use a standalone PHP script to check the md5sum of WordPress Core files against the API so you’re not dependent on a possibly hacked WordPress installation. This kind of guarantees the result can be trusted, as opposed to using a WordPress plugin. I think this is a better integrity check of WordPress Core files.

The WinCache effect: Save with object caching

WinCache, or Windows Cache Extension for PHP, is a PHP accelerator that is used to significantly increase the speed of PHP applications running on Windows Server IIS. Besides increasing the speed of PHP applications, WinCache decreases CPU usage making it a win win situation extension.

Benchmarking WordPress, simple load & speed testing with ApacheBench

Here is how to load test WordPress with ApacheBench. ab is a small benchmark utility that comes with Apache. It’s a really simple HTTP load generating tool, ideal for a simple WordPress load & speed test. How fast does your WordPress site respond? How many HTTP requests per second can your server handle? These are questions on which ab can shed some light.

Measure WordPress loading time and queries

How to measure WordPress’ loading time and executed database queries? During an HTTP request, WordPress executes a lot of queries on your MySQL database. Not just the database queries take time, also loading and executing PHP takes time.

Tips to speed up WordPress, serve gzip compressed static HTML files

Who said WordPress is slow on Windows Server IIS? Gzip compress and serve WP-Super-Cache or Cache Enabler static HTML files, to supercharge your WordPress blog. Here is how to serve gzip compressed HTML files through Windows Server IIS: create smaller, compressed, static HTML files, that are downloaded faster. This works with WP-Super-Cache and Cache Enabler on IIS!

“How we broke PHP, hacked Pornhub and earned $20,000”

This is a very interesting read on how Dario Weißer (@haxonaut), cutz and Ruslan Habalov (@evonide) were able to find a PHP unserialize bug to exploit and gain remote code execution on Pornhub. Pornhub’s bug bounty program is at Hackerone. Instead of actively attacking Pornhub, they took another road and attacked what Pornhub is built upon: PHP.

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