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Security of PHP application

Posted on 2013-01-17
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Last Modified: 2013-01-18
Hi,

i have a php application that allows users (potentially anyone) to visit one of my sites and within an iframe refer to a more selective area within my site. for example i have login.html as my original page with an iframe of index.php. within index.php i have an area with would allow three scenarios either for a user to login, register, or reset their password. reason for using an iframe was to get two unique pages onto one (two logins). once the user has registered it sends me an email and with the information they used to register and i can either confirm their status or deny. if they are confirmed they can login if not my MySQL will hold their data(username and pass) until a day where i confirm it or physically delete the mysql entry.

once logged on i have allowed the users to upload and download their own information additionally some of our tools and information. additionally, i have created an area for  a profile and a payment system.

all of this is handled by sessions which timeout after 30mins and each pages checks to make sure the information about the session is there or it kicks you to the index.php page.

because i am dealing with uploading, data transmissions, and payments i have also installed a 128bit SSL.

currently the site is hosted on Godaddy but i am thinking of removing this function of the website and installing it onto its own physical server in my office. reason for this is now i have the physical data at my hands and i do not have to abide by other territories regulations of information sharing only my country's (canada).

at my office i have a typical system with a "cloud" firewall and AV Mcafee and then a internal firewall Sonicwall which also acts as a router and then individual VA on each device.

essentially what i am trying to figure out is a couple of things.
1.  is there a free or paid for software that i can implement that will keep probing at the "portal" until it finds a weakness.
2. Is taking this "portal" portion off of godaddy and onto its own server a worthwhile idea and other than brute force attacks which would be an obvious weakness of my own server what would i have to consider
3. if i was to move the hosting onto my own server what would be a good platform in doing so

thanks a lot !!!
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Question by:M. Jayme Nagy
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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 38789538
1. Yes, it is the Russian Mafia and the Chinese government.  But they won't tell you when they succeed.  But if there is no economic or state secret interest on your server, they probably won't care.

2. Godaddy and other large hosting companies have teams of engineers whose sole job is preventing and fixing attacks on their server and networks.  There is not enough time in the day for you to do what they do every day.

3. A platform that you are an unqualified expert on and that includes networking.

You should spend some time reading thru the pages in this search https://www.google.com/search?q=computer+security+information before you decide to do this.

Is it doable?  yes.  Is it a Good idea?  Only you can determine that.  If there is a lot of money involved (especially credit card data), you are a target.  If there is industrially valuable information on your server, you are a target.  And you can be a target because somebody doesn't like you or your politics.
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by:M. Jayme Nagy
ID: 38789549
1. exactly the people i dont want on my website. but is there a software that will tell me problems so i can address them.
2. and 3. that is what i figured.

if i decide to pay for my hosting is there a good canadian hosting company similar to godaddy or can i make godaddy host my data within canada.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38789732
According to this search https://www.google.com/search?q=web+site+security+scans , there are quite a few services. Including Godaddy: http://www.godaddy.com/security/website-security.aspx 

And this search shows quite a few Canadian hosting companies: https://www.google.com/search?q=canadian+hosting+companies  I'll if I can get someone else to look this question also.
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LVL 6

Author Comment

by:M. Jayme Nagy
ID: 38789792
HI,

i actually have the security scanner in place on my website. i dont think its looks from the outside in rather or for weaknesses in code more if there are viriuses or malware on the website.

i did use a google search problem was that there are so many i wasnt sure which one could really be trusted to do the job im looking for.

i looked into OWASP but im not entirely sure it has the project i am looking to use.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38789936
A 'security scanner' can't look from the inside because it won't have access to your account and files.  It can only work over the internet.  

You'll just have to read the reviews and try one.  Although, it won't matter until you start using your own server because you will be setup differently than any hosting server is.
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Expert Comment

by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 38793446
I am Canadian and I host in the U.S.

Canadian Hosting is generally more expensive than U.S. hosting.  In terms of security there is virtually no difference.  Canadian monitoring and interference on the internet is slightly higher.  The Canadian regulations are more restrictive when it comes to content, but more progressive for things like gambling sites.  The big difference is that there is very little real competition.  90% of the trunk bandwidth is controlled by 3 companies, and they are in bed with the government.

The Canadian network is less reliable because the number of routes is significantly less than the U. S.  The physical location of the servers within North America or Western Europe is irrelevant.  Any large, well-established hosting service will have top of the line security.

If you are going to host yourself, and high security is a requirement it will cost you substantially more because you would be nuts if you do not hire a full time security specialist.  Before I retired I work primary in exactly the kind of environments you are describing, and the cost of security represented about 60% of basic operations costs, and the hardware/software to insure uptime represented another 15%.

Unless you are doing in excess of $10 million a year in transaction, you should not even consider going on your own, and you will probably not see lower costs until transaction are around $25 million unless you have really high margins.

HTH

Cd&
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by:M. Jayme Nagy
ID: 38793468
THANKS!!

I somewhat figured that! but it was very informative!
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