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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Customize BBQ Firewall

BBQ Firewall

BBQ Firewall is a lightweight, super-fast plugin that protects your site against a wide range of threats. BBQ checks all incoming traffic and quietly blocks bad requests containing nasty stuff like eval(, base64_, and excessively long request-strings. This is a simple yet solid solution for sites that are unable to use a strong Apache/.htaccess firewall. Continue reading »

7G Firewall: September 2020 Update

2020 September Sky

Pleased to announce that the 7G Firewall is updated to version 1.3 (September 3rd, 2020). Now available for download, 100% free and open-source as always. Continue reading »

7G Out of Beta

The 7G Firewall was released about a year ago as beta, and has had time now to mature/develop into a stable release. So this is just a heads up that 7G is now officially out of beta and ready for use in live/production environments. Continue reading »

7G Addon: Stop Aggressive Scanning for Uploads-Related Targets

Around the end of December 2019 and then now well into January of 2020, I’m seeing a massive spike in aggressive malicious scanning for uploads-related targets. In particular, there are massive numbers of requests for URL targets involving uploadify, plupload, and similar. Typical scans hitting upwards of 30K–50K requests per attack. Just relentless exploit scanning on steroids. Continue reading »

How to Block IPs with 6G Firewall

This quick post is aimed at users of the 6G Firewall. The latest 6G update removes the IP-address blocking section to improve firewall compatibility and implementation. So now with the IP section removed, you may be asking “how to block an IP address with 6G?” Well good news, this tutorial explains how to do it. Continue reading »

ALL Security is Security Thru Obscurity

[ Stormtroopers Keeping Things Secure. ]

ob·scure /əbˈskyo͝or/ adjective 1. not discovered or known about; uncertain. In the purely literal sense, the concept of obscurity applies to every transaction on the Web. The HTTP request knows not, nor could possibly know, the actual response it will receive from the server. There is only expected response. Online nothing is certain until it is. Continue reading »

7G Firewall : Log Blocked Requests

[ 7G Firewall (Beta) ]

This tutorial explains how to log requests that are blocked by the 7G Firewall. This is useful for testing, debugging, and just keeping an eye on things. Learn how to log requests from Apache mod_rewrite and download my custom 7G logging script. It’s a complete example that shows how to log rewrite requests via PHP. All open source and free :) Continue reading »

7G Firewall

[ 7G Firewall (Beta) ]

The 7G Firewall is here! 7G is now out of beta and ready for production sites. So you can benefit from the powerful protection of the latest nG Firewall (aka nG Blacklist). The 7G Firewall offers lightweight, server-level protection against a wide range of malicious requests, bad bots, automated attacks, spam, and many other types of threats and nonsense. Continue reading »

Ultimate Comment Blacklist for WordPress: How to Stop Spam Without Plugins

[ WordPress Ultimate Comment Blacklist ]

How do YOU stop comment spam? If you’re like a lot of WordPress users, you just grab another plugin or two and call it good. I mean after all, plugins like Akismet work great at stopping spam. The only downside is that, well, you’re relying on another plugin. And that’s fine for folks who just wanna “get ’er done”, although each active plugin requires additional maintenance and server resources. Continue reading »

Automatic IP Blacklist

[ Automatic IP Blacklist ]

Recently a reader going by the name of Rock Star sent me a cool little PHP script that automatically updates your site’s .htaccess with a current list of bad IP addresses. This is useful because it gives you better “real time” protection against attacks and malicious requests. This tutorial shares the code and explains how to implement in two easy steps. Continue reading »

Enable PHP fsockopen with CSF

[ Mr. PHP fsockopen CSF ]

Recently started some sites with Liquid Web hosting, everything going extremely well all around. There was one hiccup (at least for me) where PHP’s fsockopen was not working. At the time, I was trying to figure out why the Whois Lookup feature used by Blackhole Bad Bots was not working. Initial investigation revealed that fsockopen() external HTTP requests were getting blocked somewhere. Everything else worked, including making the requests via cURL. Continue reading »

404 Fix: Block Nuisance Requests for Non-Existent Files

[ Han Solo shutting up C-3PO in Empire Strikes Back ]

As I’ve written before, blocking nuisance requests can help save you money by cutting down on wasted server resources, memory, and so forth. It also saves you time, as your server access and error logs won’t be full of nuisance request spam. So you will have more resources and time for things that matter, like running your business, helping customers, improving code, etc. So to continue the proud tradition of blocking malicious traffic, this post builds upon previous blocking techniques […] Continue reading »

Blocking the “ReallyLongRequest” Bandit

[ Sneaky Bandit ]

While browsing server logs, I kept seeing these super long request URIs that begin with “YesThisIsAReallyLongRequest…” and then the request string just keeps going for like 1 kilobyte worth of characters. Not just a few times, but many. In other words, somebody is going around and repeatedly hitting servers with gigantic-size requests. Probably to test server response using other people’s servers. Ummm, yeah kinda malicious. So I did some research and then blocked the “ReallyLongRequest” Bandit. Continue reading »

Blackhole for Bad Bots – Quick Start

[ Black Hole (Figurative) ]

Welcome to the Quick Start Guide for the standalone PHP version of Blackhole for Bad Bots. This post basically is a condensed summary of the original Blackhole tutorial. So if you are new to the concept of blocking bad bots, check out the original tutorial. Otherwise, for those that are familiar, the following guide should simplify things and help you get started with Blackhole as quickly as possible. Continue reading »

Detect Attacks with PHP and .htaccess

This tutorial explains how to detect and block security threats via .htaccess, and then pass that information to a PHP script for further processing. This is a powerful technique that combines the power of Apache with the flexibility of PHP. Enabling you to do things like log all unwanted traffic, send email reports for blocked requests, create a UI to display logged data, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s an excellent way to keep a close eye […] Continue reading »

Block Greasy Uploads Scanner

Whether you’re running WordPress or not, your site may be getting hit by endless scanning for your site’s uploaded files and similar nonexistent resources. Specifically, the “Greasy Uploads Scanner” endlessly scans sites for nonexistent resources in the /uploads/ directory, even if the directory itself doesn’t exist. Just mindless scanning for all sorts of weird files. It steals your server resources and threatens your site security. We hates them. And we wants to block them. Continue reading »

Welcome
Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
.htaccess made easy: Improve site performance and security.
Thoughts
Got all of my free WordPress plugins updated for imminent WP 5.6 in early December. Pro plugin updates currently in the works.
7G Firewall now integrated into BBQ Firewall (free version). Pro version soon ;)
macOS Big Sur update complete. So far no crazy issues. Except TextEdit, which is completely screwed up and unusable. Replaced with free BBEdit.
Got so sick of macOS’ annoying “red dot” that I had to remove System Prefs from the dock. Come on Apple you can do better.
Beginning development of an Nginx version of 7G Firewall.
Happy Birthday to Perishable Press, celebrating 15 years online! :)
Hide in the basement and hope for the best.
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