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Web Dev + WordPress + Security
72 posts related to: PayPal Phishing Spam

New WordPress Plugin: Simple Login Notification

New WordPress plugin! Simple Login Notification does one thing and does it well: sends an email alert whenever an admin-level user logs in to your site. I use this plugin on all of my sites to keep an eye on any unauthorized activity. Not that I’m expecting any, but if it does happen I definitely want to know about it. The plugin size is only 4 KB (zipped) with virtually zero impact on performance or anything else. Win win win, […] Continue reading »

Roll Your Own Simple Password Manager on macOS

Password Manager

I’ve tried 1Password and Dashlane, and several other popular password managers for both Mac and PC. It always seems to be the same thing: things start off great and then go downhill from there. For example, I was loving 1Password, and then it locked me out of my password file/account. Likewise for a couple of years Dashlane was great, but then they started making drastic changes like moving from standalone app to browser extension Web-based UI. The confusion involved with […] Continue reading »

4 Ways to Make a WordPress Site Private Access Only

LOTR: Doors of Durin

Have you ever wanted to make a WordPress site private? So that only specific users are allowed access? For example, for my found-images site eChunks.com, I decided to require user login in order to access any content. So now for that site, public access is not allowed, and any posts, images, and all other content is available only to logged-in users. This tutorial explains four ways to make a WordPress site private or members only, so that only authenticated/trusted users […] Continue reading »

How to Disable Chrome Scroll to Text Fragment

It is debatable whether or not Chrome’s new scrolltotextfragment feature is a significant security concern. When in doubt, play it safe. This quick post explains how to disable (or enable) Chrome’s scroll-to-text-fragment functionality. Continue reading »

How to Modify GET and POST Requests with WordPress

[ POST Requests ]

I’ve written before about protecting against malicious POST requests using Apache/.htaccess. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to modify GET and POST requests using PHP and some core WordPress functionality (with no .htaccess required). Normally you would want to manipulate URI requests at the server level, but that’s not always possible (like on shared hosting). So in those cases where you want to modify GET, POST, or other types of requests on a WordPress site, check out the following […] Continue reading »

How to Monitor the WordPress Login Page

[ Monitor WordPress Login Page ]

There are all sorts of plugins that you can use to monitor and protect the WordPress Login Page. That’s not what this post is about. This post is aimed at developers and DIY site admins, who like to keep a close eye on site activity. Talking hands-on with code. How familiar are you with the traffic hitting your WP Login Page? Do you know the difference between a brute-force attack and legitimate login requests? The WP Login Page (wp-login.php) is […] Continue reading »

WordPress Error Fix: “Call to undefined function get_header()”

[ Call to undefined function ]

I’m seeing a big increase in bot attacks targeting theme files directly. First they get the URL to your theme directory. There are numerous ways for a bot to get this information. For example most themes include assets like CSS and JavaScript files, and the link includes the full URL. So then once they have the theme URL, bad bots will make direct requests for well-known theme template files, like index.php and header.php. Requesting template files directly may reveal possible […] 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 »

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 »

New WordPress Security Plugin: Host Header Injection Fix

[ HHIF (Host Header Injection Fix) ]

Since version 2.3, WordPress has been vulnerable to a Host Header Injection attack in certain server environments. Over the years, there has been some discussion about fixing the vulnerability, but as of WP 4.9 (beta) nothing has been implemented. So to help those in the WP community who may be concerned (including myself), I developed a new security plugin that fixes the issue: Host Header Injection Fix (HHIF). Continue reading »

Examples of Nested Encoding

Typically malicious scans use some sort of encoding to obscure their payloads. For example, instead of injecting a literal script, the attacker will run it through a PHP encoding function such as base64_encode(), utf8_encode(), or urlencode(). So if and when you need to decode some discovered payload, you can use whichever decoding function will do the job. For example, base64_decode(), utf8_decode(), or urldecode(). Sounds straightforward, but let’s dig a little deeper.. Continue reading »

.htaccess Cleanup

Once again I am cleaning up my sites’ .htaccess files. I do this from time to time to remove old redirects, refresh blacklists, and update security and SEO-related directives. It’s tedious work, but the performance and security benefits make it all worthwhile. This post shares some of the techniques that were added, removed, or replaced from .htaccess, and explains the reasoning behind each decision. I do this for the sake of reference, and hopefully it will give you some ideas […] Continue reading »

Tools to check your site’s health

Perishable Press is now over 12 years old. It is a lot of work keeping everything updated, maintained, and well-secured. Fortunately there are a gazillion free online tools for checking your site’s health. Everyone has their favorites. In this quick article, I share mine. Continue reading »

Lynda.com Course: Developing Secure WordPress Sites

[ WordPress: Developing Secure WordPress Sites ]

After months of preparation and production, my new video course on developing secure WordPress sites is now available at Lynda.com. This is my second video course on securing WordPress; the first one was originally launched in 2011 and remained in Lynda’s library for over five years. I received a lot of great feedback on the course, and so I jumped on the opportunity to do another one. If there is one thing that I enjoy doing, it’s helping people with […] Continue reading »

Stop User Enumeration in WordPress

[User Enumeration ]

This tutorial explains how to block user-enumeration scans in WordPress. As explained in greater depth here, user enumeration happens when some malicious script scans a WordPress site for user data by requesting numerical user IDs. For example, requests for author=1 through some number, say, author=1000, may reveal the usernames for all associated users. With a simple enumeration script, an attacker can scan your site and obtain a list of login names in a matter of seconds. 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 »
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AI is creating problems that only AI can solve. #deepthoughts
I try to make use of default functionality whenever possible. For everything.
Upgraded iMac to Ventura. Disabled "unsend mail" feature and found some (now) hidden wallpaper settings. Overall smooth upgrade.
( $this ) is bloat. ($this) is better.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom coming May 12, 2023. Absolutely pumped.
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