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Joomla! is a great CMS that is used worldwide. For this reason, hackers often try to find a way to hack a Joomla! website. Here are 5 basic tips to mitigate your Joomla! security, preventing your Joomla! website getting hacked.

Always remember to make a regular backup of your website and database. If you still get hacked, you can always get back to an older version of your website. Make sure you find out which extension caused the vulnerability and un-install it.

Use a SEF component

Most hackers use the Google inurl: command to search for a vulnerable exploit. Use Artio, SH404SEF or another SEF component to re-write your URL's and prevent hackers from finding the exploits.

Additionally, you'll get a higher rank in Google when using search engine friendly URL's.

Keep Joomla! and extensions up to date

This one is pretty obvious. Always check for the latest versions of Joomla! and the extensions you're using. Many vulnerabilities are resolved most of the times in later versions.

Use the correct CHMOD for each folder and file

Setting files or folders to a CHMOD of 777 or 707 is only necessary when a script needs to write to that file or directory. All other files should have the following configuration:

  • PHP files: 644
  • Config files: 666
  • Other folders: 755

Delete leftover files

When you installed an extension that you didn't like, don't set the extension to unbublished. If you do, the vulnerable files will still be on your website. So simply use the un-install function to totally get rid of the extension.

Change your .htaccess file

Add the following lines to your .htaccess file to block out some common exploits.

########## Begin - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits
# Block out any script trying to set a mosConfig value through the URL
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} mosConfig_[a-zA-Z_]{1,21}(=|%3D) [OR]
# Block out any script trying to base64_encode crap to send via URL
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} base64_encode.*(.*) [OR]
# Block out any script that includes a < script> tag in URL
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3C).*script.*(>|%3E) [NC,OR]
# Block out any script trying to set a PHP GLOBALS variable via URL
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} GLOBALS(=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [OR]
# Block out any script trying to modify a _REQUEST variable via URL
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} _REQUEST(=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [OR]
# Block out any script that tries to set CONFIG_EXT (com_extcal2 issue)
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} CONFIG_EXT([|%20|%5B).*= [NC,OR]
# Block out any script that tries to set sbp or sb_authorname via URL (simpleboard)
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} sbp(=|%20|%3D) [OR]
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} sb_authorname(=|%20|%3D)
# Send all blocked request to homepage with 403 Forbidden error!
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php [F,L]
########## End - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits

For more Joomla! security tips, you can visit the Joomla security forums ((1.0 and 1.5).

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio