5 Steps to Securing your cPanel servers

My web hosting server has been receiving a few brute forcing attacks this past week. So i decided to secure the server a little more than what it already was. None of the bruteforces were successful, but it’s always good to be on your guard.

1. Disable root user login from SSH

On a shell, login as root and do the following:

useradd -g wheel iamtherealroot //You may change iamtherealroot to something else

passwd iamtherealroot //Set a difficult password

visudo //Update the lines

## Allows people in group wheel to run all commands
%wheel        ALL=(ALL)       ALL

Save the file and make sure you can su – root when logged in as iamtherealroot..else you may risk being locked from using root ever!

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Update the lines

PermitRootLogin no

Service sshd restart

2. Change the SSH port to something else other than port 22

Changing the ssh port to something else will help make the attacker have to look for the open port on your server for ssh. It is usually good practice to change it.

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Change port number 🙂

3. Use a more strict cpHulk setting from WHM

4.  Disable your system compilers

Go to Security Center from WHM -> Compiler Access. If your settings are as the screenshot below, you are still good to go 🙂 Why that? It prevents your users to use C compilers which could be used for harmful purposes.

5. Enable a firewall

Always remember not to allow access to any ports of your server, but only to specific ones which are currently being used. For example, if port 80, 21, SSH port, 25, 443, 110.. all that depending on the services that you are running on your machine.

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Why should companies move to Windows 7?

Short Intro

I know, this is quite an awkward post from me because for people who know me know that I support Linux, but well.. Windows 7 is just another perspective..and more people know about it, so i’ll leave my linux skills for Servers and applications tutos..

Top 5 things I like about Windows 7

Notice: Things you read on this post are the personal thoughts of Gulshan Yashveer Beejan, the Author of this article. You may have other GOOD opinions and may post it in comments but the author will at no point tolerate messages that are just ANNOYING.

1. User Interface – Let’s be honest.. I own a mac and I’d definitely say that Windows 7 although seems to be like a rip off of MacOS X+, it is slightly better.. its obvious they copied it but they made it better. The thing I like best, is the way you can adjust where you want to position your applications.

How does this help in a company? Imagine having to run Excel and Firefox at the same time whilst having check details from the web and entering that in an excel sheet. I have stopped using a second monitor with windows 7… It is just that GOOD.

2. Custom Windows 7 Images – If you are good enough with WAIK(Windows Automated Installation Kit.. ITS FREE!! You can easily create your own custom Windows 7 images for installation containing custom applications such as Firefox, Adobe etc and drivers.. all out of one single DVD.

How does this help in a company? This is definitely useful if you are the System Administrator of your company and having to install Windows 7 on user machines every now and then.. you will, at some point, get tired of reinstalling machines for users and moreover if your company has over 20 machines.. Check WAIK + WDS(Windows Deployment Services)

3. Heat/Power Management – I am an ex owner of a Dell XPS M1530.. IT DIED!.. how? OUT OF HEAT(Do not ask me questions about this, it was a very painful loss). Well if I knew, I would never have used it as long as Windows Vista was on it.. Windows Vista was cr*p big time!! I can absolutely say for sure that Windows 7 has better Power management.. it seems that since it manages the GPU as well as the CPU so well, it can increase the lifespan of your machine.

How does this help in a company? My story itself should be self explanatory! LIFETIME MAN!

4. FAST FAST! – Seven is awesome at doing things quickly. It is fast, efficient(not as stable as Linux..”oh here comes Linux again”) but I like.

How does this help in a company? Fast means.. less time loss to open applications(a few milliseconds can build up to a large amount on a daily basis). Productivity!

5. Old and New Technology – It is always up to you if you want to stick to old technology.. I know the story, oh Windows XP SP3 runs so fine and I don’t think I’ll ever want to move again.. Moreover after the CATASTROPHIC Operating System by Microsoft called VISTA, more people are reluctant to move. But trust me on this, Windows 7 comes with XP mode in VM, which is.. wait for it.. SP3 and…. FREE(COMPLETELY FREE LICENSE)! And it runs damn well, you can even get a shortcut on your Seven machine for an application installed in the VM.

How does this help in a company? Guys.. you do scrap desktop PCs after 4 years don’t you? Then why the hell are you still using XP? MOVE MY FRIENDS! MOVE! INNOVATE!!


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Top 5 things to do with a Linux VPS

Virtual Private Server(VPS). As usual, my best vps provider is Linode.

1. Run your own proxy server

Ever got frustrated that you were not be able to access something like spotify or BBC iplayer just because you were not a UK/EU resident? The answer is short and simple..and EFFECTIVE! Get yourself a personal VPS based in London for $20 a month from Linode and install SQUID Proxy on top of it.

2. Run your own web server

Running your own web server might have a lot more advantages than running it on a shared hosting provider.  If you read my older posts, you would realise that gulshan.beejan.com is running on top of Cherokee. Why? Because it’s so easy to manage, lightweight and fast.

3. Configure a reverse SSH tunnel.

Now what’s that?! Well.. it will help you access your office linux computers securely without having to bother about configuring the firewall. For more click here.

4. Make the VPS a remote backup server

With the help of a little bash scripting and the use of NFS drives, you can easily make your VPS a backup server. I usually back up this VPS to my Dedicated Server to make sure that everything is there even after the most painful crashes.

5. Run a ShoutCast Server

If you are willing to go for your own Live Radio, a VPS and ShoutCast is the best combination to go for. Configuration is quite simple.. which reminds me, I need to blog about it sometime soon!

If you have any top things to do.. feel free to post through comments : )

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