Web server security: command line-fu for web server protection

introduction

Proper web server security requires proper understanding, implementation, and use of a variety of different tools. In this article, we’ll look at some command-line tools that can be used to manage web server security. The tools reviewed will demonstrate how to perform tasks such as hashing strings in the Base64 hashing algorithm, hexdump for file analysis, gzip for file compression and decompression, tcpdump for traffic analysis, and many others .

Overview

In order to securely manage web servers, you need to be proficient with various command-line tools. These tools also allow you to troubleshoot errors and perform file and traffic analysis. Let’s consider a few tools and how we can use them to improve the security of our web server.

Using curl for web server security

Curl is a tool used to transfer data with URLs and using various network protocols. By using curl you can perform data transfer over many protocols. Data transfer takes place without user interaction.

The following usage examples show how curl can be used on the terminal:

1. Uploading multiple files

You may be able to upload multiple files using curl with the –O flag.

$ curl -O http://yoursite.com/info.html -O http://mysite.com/about.html

2. Resume an interrupted download

Suppose, while downloading a file, your connection is interrupted. You can resume your download with the –C–-O flags.

$ curl -C - -O http://yourdomain.com/yourfile.tar.gz

3. Query HTTP headers

the -I flag can be used to query HTTP headers in a request

$ curl -I google.com

4. Downloading Files Without Authentication

You can also download files without any authentication, using the command below.

$ curl -x proxy.yourdomain.com:8080 -U /

user:password –O http://yourdomain.com/yourfile.tar. (Read more...)

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