Apache / Nginx / Lighttpd: PHP Disable File Upload

by on April 14, 2013 · 1 comment· LAST UPDATED April 14, 2013

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I am in the process of setting Apache and PHP for my small business server. I'm not utilizing file upload functionality in any of my PHP scripts. How do I disallow uploading files under CentOS or Ubuntu Linux based LAMP server?

Tutorial details
DifficultyIntermediate (rss)
Root privilegesYes
Linux/Unix like os
Estimated completion timeN/A
PHP is a widely used and often misconfigured server-side scripting language. If you or one of your web-app written in PHP are not using file uploads then you can turn it off by editing the php.ini file. Crackers (or attackers) will try to upload malicious script into your web apps for spam, fraud and other malicious activities.

Step #1: Find php.ini

To find the php.ini path, enter:

php -i | grep --color 'php.ini'

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Finding php.ini path under Unix like operating systems

Fig.01: Finding php.ini path under Unix like operating systems

On my CentOS based system php.ini is located in /etc/ directory.

Step #2: Edit /etc/php.ini

Edit the file /etc/php.ini, type:
# vi /etc/php.ini
Make the following changes to /etc/php.ini:

# Disallow uploading altogether this makes moving or injecting bad scripts/code onto your web server more difficult
file_uploads = Off
# Disallow treatment of file requests as fopen calls
allow_url_fopen = Off
allow_url_include = Off

Save and close the file. Restart or reload the Apache web-server
# service httpd restart
# service httpd reload
If you are using Nginx, restart the nginx web-server, type:
# nginx -s reload
If you are using Lighttpd, restart the lighttpd web-server, type:
# /etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

See also

See hardening and securing PHP article - twenty-five php security best practices for sysadmins for configuring PHP securely.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Pedro Saraiva April 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

for distribution debian
# service apache2 restart


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