Mask Your Web Server for Enhanced Security
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by Joe Lima
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Whose Default is That?
Default messages, pages and scripts of all kinds often contain clues to server identity, and these should be removed or modified accordingly. Software behind the Web server often bubbles error messages back through the HTTP request/response cycle, and customized HTTP errors can mask application server, database server, Web server and OS identity. For IIS, CustomError makes it easy for developers to deploy custom 404 and other HTTP error pages. This article shows how to implement custom HTTP errors in Apache. Avoid this on a development server, since, when done properly, it prevents database and server-side scripting errors from being seen -- making it tough for developers to debug their applications! Remove or hide any Web or application server administration pages, scripts or documentation installed under your server's Web root, and make sure to replace those default home pages.

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