Apache Security
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2005
Pages: 432

With more than 67% of web servers running Apache, it is by far the most widely used web server platform in the world. Apache has evolved into a powerful system that easily rivals other HTTP servers in terms of functionality, efficiency, and speed. Despite these impressive capabilities, though, Apache is only a beneficial tool if it's a secure one.

To be sure, administrators installing and configuring Apache still need a sure-fire way to secure it--whether it's running a huge e-commerce operation, corporate intranet, or just a small hobby site.

Our new guide, Apache Security, gives administrators and webmasters just what they crave--a comprehensive security source for Apache. Successfully combining Apache administration and web security topics, Apache Security speaks to nearly everyone in the field. What's more, it offers a concise introduction to the theory of securing Apache, as well as a broad perspective on server security in general.

But this book isn't just about theory. The real strength of Apache Security lies in its wealth of interesting and practical advice, with many real-life examples and solutions. Administrators and programmers will learn how to:

  • install and configure Apache
  • prevent denial of service (DoS) and other attacks
  • securely share servers
  • control logging and monitoring
  • secure custom-written web applications
  • conduct a web security assessment
  • use mod_security and other security-related modules
And that's just the tip of the iceberg, as mainstream Apache users will also gain valuable information on PHP and SSL/ TLS. Clearly, Apache Security is packed and to the point, with plenty of details for locking down this extremely popular and versatile web server.
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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Good book, but needs a new revision

By Entropologist

from Des Moines, IA

About Me Security Consultant, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Apache Security:

Like most O'Reilly books, it's well thought out and fairly complete. Unsurprisingly, it focuses on the standard LAMP stack, giving advice on building and deploying Apache and hooking in PHP and SSL. Ruby seem to be missing, and Perl is just discussed within a chroot environment. It discusses performance tuning a bit, in the guise of protection against DOS, and then moves onto issues in a shared hosting environment.

Much of what is in this book is more general than just Apache, so it's best to consider this as a general security book for people running both Linux and Apache, and ideally using PHP and MySQL. It would be less useful to people running Apache on Windows and for people using less common languages. However, it is very good for the basics:

* Installing Apache
* Hardening Apache
* Setting up chroot
* Hardening PHP
* Configuring logging and access
* Understanding web attacks

Where it seems to lack a bit is:

* It presumes that the reader will install Apache from source, whereas most these days will install from a package. More advice on hardening Apache in the SuSE, Red Hat and Ubuntu/Debian environments would be useful.
* There is no mention of AppArmor or SELinux (which, to be fair, were pretty new when this book came out). A second edition will have to have these, as they are a key way to protect Apache against itself.
* A few pages on how to use Suhosin to protect PHP applications would be good.
* A section on protecting Ruby and one on Perl would be good. While it is certainly true that no book can cover everything, these three languages are the most common in the LAMP world and should probably be addressed, at least in passing.
* While we're at it, a section on hardening MySQL wouldn't be out place, as the book is more of a LAMP book than an Apache book anyway.

I recommend this book for the beginner to moderate admin, be they a web admin or in the security space. However, experienced people may not find much new in here. I would, however, love to see a second edition released.

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