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Denying direct access to PHP files


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I'm always weary of third party software recommending or requiring setting directory permissions to 777. Is it possible to deny direct access to PHP files in these directories or will it break the software?

./var
./var/templates_compiled
./var/plugins
./var/plugins/DataObjects
./var/plugins/recover
./var/cache
./www/images
./www/admin/plugins
./plugins

Specifically using an Apache configuration like this, which would be fine providing the PHP files are only included and not accessed directly:

<Directory ~ /(var|www/images|www/admin/plugins|plugins)/>
    php_admin_flag engine off
    <Files *.php>
        Order Deny,Allow
        Deny from all
    </Files>
</Directory>

We've been bitten a few times with leaky software that has enabled PHP files to be created in writeable directories and executed to install web shells. This attempts to reduce that risk by disabling PHP execution/denying PHP access directly in the browser.

Edited by jamieburchell
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