Saturday, June 19, 2010

Website Security and Management

SkyHi @ Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blog article index

Articles, How-To's, and opinions on a variety of topics. All the links below are permalinks. Most of the articles are long and detailed. They are updated whenever new information will improve them. Latest revision dates are shown at bottoms of pages. Posts are made as time permits, no schedule. Reader comments, questions, and discussion are invited in the Forum or by email from the Feedback page.

Latest articles

Differences between PHP as an Apache module and as CGI Describes in understandable terms the differences between the two methods of installation. Compares the differences in configurability, efficiency, security.
How to search for backdoor PHP shell scripts on a hacked server How to use grep in Linux or findstr in Windows to search for suspicious PHP code in website files, possibly indicating the presence of a backdoor shell script. How to recognize suspicious website access log entries that can be created when someone uses a backdoor script.
How to understand a Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic report Walkthrough of how to interpret the sections and terminology of the Safe Browsing Report that Google generates for every website. Especially useful for webmasters diagnosing and cleaning up a hacked site.
Using an Intel 537EP 56K dialup modem in Ubuntu Linux 9.04 The series of steps that led me to discover that the "8086:1009" subsystem of my 537EPU softmodem worked with the standard 537EP Ubuntu modem driver although it was not listed as a supported type and the scanModem program could not detect its chipset. One connection method that works reliably is pppconfig / pon / poff.
Install Ubuntu Linux 9.04 on 2nd hard drive for dual boot with Windows XP How I installed Ubuntu on 2nd hard drive to avoid making permanent changes to the existing Windows drive. Configuration to auto-boot from the operating system most recently used.

Article archive by topic

Browsing and using the Internet. Online safety.

How to set High security in Internet Explorer Recommended level for each Security Zone (using the slider controls), and a table of recommended settings for each individual configuration option in each Zone to achieve the highest security. How to disable risky IE7 plug-ins.
How to block tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Firefox Block tracking cookies from being put on your computer so they can't collect data between anti-spyware scans.
How to block ads in Internet Explorer and Firefox Step by step how-to for several methods of blocking internet ads in IE7 and Firefox by disabling the technologies used and by blocking the advertising networks.
Recommended cookie settings for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 Description of what cookies are, how they are used, how they can be misused, and recommended cookie privacy settings for IE7 and Firefox.
Table of all configuration options for each predefined Internet Explorer 7 Security Level A table that shows how every individual configuration option is set by each of the five predefined IE7 Security Levels.
What is a URL (web address)? What really happens when I "go to" a website? Explains in simple terms the parts of a URL string (Uniform Resource Locator), the nature of your "connection" to a website, and how cookies allow you to stay "logged in".
How to use online language translators so people understand you How to use "round-trip" translation to improve results. Tips for writing in a style that is easy to translate. How to read and write forum posts in languages other than your own.

Stock Options

Plain language overview of Black-Scholes stock option valuation Non-technical explanation of the Black-Scholes option valuation method.
Stock price volatility calculator Enter consecutive daily stock prices to calculate volatility by the method required by the Black-Scholes option valuation equation, and three other methods.
Simulated stock price generator Specify starting price and desired volatility. Monte Carlo generator calculates any number of hypothetical daily closing prices.
Black-Scholes stock option valuation calculator Compare stock option valuations as calculated by multiple Black-Scholes based methods.
Stock price range probability calculator Specify starting price and desired volatility. Calculates hypothetical probabilities of stock reaching different prices by target dates.
How to NOT make money: trading stock options Why option traders lose money and why it is impossible to "become good" at options trading.

Website Security and Management

How to remove the Google "This site may harm your computer" warning from your website Step by step walkthrough how to discover why your site got flagged in Google search results. How to find "badware" (malicious code, remotely served scripts, invisible iframes) on your pages.
How to know if your website has been hacked. How to monitor it. The symptoms of a website compromise, some obvious and others subtle. Where to look to monitor your site's status.
What to do after your website is hacked. How to prevent it. Step by step procedures for site repair, investigation, and most important of all, prevention.
What is a website hack? Who are the perpetrators? Why do they do it? Describes the most important dangers to your website, who the perpetrators are, what they want from your site, what methods they use to accomplish it, and what a Remote File Inclusion (RFI) attack looks like in your access log.
Passwords best practices: Use a different strong password for every purpose. Always use completely random character passwords. Never use the same password in more than one place. Why these rules are important for a webmaster.
How to close your website temporarily with Apache .htaccess How to take your website offline temporarily for maintenance.
How to configure php.ini and .htaccess before using PHP Security-related settings for your php.ini and .htaccess files.
How to use a CIDR netmask to ban an IP range in .htaccess How to calculate and use CIDR/netmask notation, in the context of using .htaccess to ban IP addresses in Apache webserver.
How to use cron to list all your website files on a Linux server Also explains how to interpret Linux file and folder permissions in "rwx" and numeric ("755") formats.
How to use Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer as an FTP client Step by step how to connect to your website by FTP using Windows Explorer / Internet Explorer, if you really have to. Their only advantage is that you already have them, as part of Windows.

FrontPage 2003

How to Replace Shared Borders with include pages Step by step walkthrough for replacing FrontPage Shared Borders with included content, and why this is an important conversion to do, even if you plan to continue using FrontPage.
How to Replace webbot includes with PHP includes Step by step conversion from FrontPage included content webbots to PHP, plus a walkthrough of a complex Find and Replace with regular expressions in both the Find and Replace strings.
How to Replace webbot link bars with HTML link bars Step by step for replacing webbot navbars with plain HTML navigation link bars.
How to Replace FrontPage theme with CSS theme Step by step for copying a FrontPage theme to CSS files under your control.
How to convert FrontPage forms to use the NMS FormMail handler How to get and configure the NMS FormMail Perl script and convert your FrontPage forms to use it instead of the forms handler provided by the FrontPage Extensions.
How to convert a FrontPage Table of Contents webbot to plain HTML. Step by step walkthrough for converting a FrontPage Outline webbot to a plain HTML list of hyperlinks, to give you control over what is included in the list and how it is formatted.
How to use Apache .htaccess and mod_rewrite with the FrontPage Extensions Simple modifications to configuration files that allow using the advanced features of Apache .htaccess without corrupting your FrontPage Extensions.
How to add a title property to images using Find/Replace and regular expressions Step by step how to add a title property to existing images using a FrontPage 2003 "HTML Tags" Find and Replace operation with regular expressions.

Web Design

HTML table template code for creating a simple website photo gallery Using plain HTML code for a photo gallery can be easier than using an automated gallery generator. Provides code and instructions.
How to create a custom Apache 404 Not Found error document Step by step how to create your ErrorDocument and modify .htaccess so Apache uses it.
How to convert affiliate ads to valid HTML 4.01 Transitional. Why ads don't validate. Walkthrough of how to fix them efficiently with Find and Replace, with or without using regular expressions. Part 2 shows how to validate Amazon Flash Widget ads.

IRC Chat

How to use IRC chat for a website chat room Why the cPanel chat scripts are insecure. Using IRC chat as an alternative. How to create a chat room.
Introduction to IRC Chat How IRC chat works, safety tips, obtaining ChatZilla, chat networks to connect to.
Configuring default ChatZilla preferences Preference (option) settings for someone starting out with ChatZilla. Screenshots. Where to find the ChatZilla log files.

Computer Use

How to Repair flickering Gateway FPD 1830 LCD monitor Step by step instructions for disassembling and repairing flickering display in Gateway FPD1830 LCD monitors.
Avoid Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) while typing Description of non-medical techniques I've found helpful for keeping RSI under control.
How to make any public domain book an audio book Download eBooks from Project Gutenberg and set up your computer so it reads them aloud to you.


The Spider That Almost Got Me! An attempt at humor about my battles with spiders.

Philosophy, Religion

The art of everything is the art of life An essay on finding meaning in life. Considering life as a work of art created by you. The characteristics that make an artistic creation satisfying also apply to life.
How did a belief in god begin and why is it so universal and enduring? A speculative essay about the origins of religion and prayer.