Changes to default apache configuration

A few weeks ago we rolled out some new sensible default apache configuration to all our web servers.

These configuration changes will affect all DICE web servers unless their manager has chosen to exclude or modify some of these settings. This includes the few web services where the servers are managed DICE machines, but authorized users have the ability to add to the apache configuration.

The changes were made to improve the security of apache, and came about as the result of a project to improve the security of our web servers .

This resulted in a list of all sorts of possible steps we could take to improve security. Some realistic and practical, others less so. The ones that were simply apache configuration changes are listed on, and made it in to our sensible header, it is these settings that are now active on all our web servers.

Most of the changes should be benign to regular users of a web site, however the mod_security module can be over zealous, and some extra configuration is likely to be needed if your web site supports web form uploads.

If your website runs on a DICE managed server, and you notice a change in behaviour, then it is possible these changes have had an affect. The one that has cropped up most, is the default upload limit set by mod_security, which defaults to a small 13MB, but is easily changed.

Note that we expect that our list of sensible apache configuration will continue to grow and adapt, and updates to the current list will be released over time.


About neilb

Computing staff at the University of Edinburgh. Part of the Services Unit.
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