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Internet, Security, Technology

WordPress security tweaks

October 31st, 2007 by Jeff | 1 Core Dump

If you guys haven’t figured it out by now, I’m been becoming quite the Internet security nut over the past few years. A thorough search of the Technology category reveals a good bit of my interests in SSH, SSL, public key cryptography, etc. Maybe I ought to experiment with subcategories and introduce a Security category under Technology….

Anyway, WordPress usually includes some default feeds in the Dashboard after you log in, mostly from WP developers. One recent entry linked to a “geek ramblings” post about creating a secure WordPress install, which in turn references a WordPress security whitepaper over at BlogSecurity. (If you didn’t know any of these sites existed, don’t feel bad. Neither did I until today.) There’s lots of interesting reading there, especially if you’re (a) interested in securing your WordPress site and (b) you happen to be curious and/or adept enough to dabble in a number of arcane Web server settings. I happen to fit both of those criteria.

One of the main reasons I’m mentioning this is that there might be a few changes and improvements for folks who have registered to comment. The site now redirects you to a secure SSL page on login, and your cookies will be stored in secure mode too, meaning they can’t be read unless sent over an SSL connection. This might require you to log in the next time you try to comment, even if you’ve told the site to remember you, because the old cookies won’t be secure and will need to be reset. Otherwise, you probably will never notice the difference unless you go to edit your profile, which most of you probably will never worry about once you’ve registered.

The rest of the changes are all behind the scenes, so I won’t bother you with them. Just read the links if you’re curious. I’m experimenting with some arcane Apache mod_rewrite rules to really locking down the admin pages, all outside the scope of the links listed above, but so far those tests don’t seem to work. However, if I get them to do what I want, I might post them here (to give back to the community and all). It will be pretty sweet and borrows a few ideas from recent episodes of the Security Now! podcast (#113 specifically) to lock down access to the admin site from only certain locations or certain roaming computers.

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