In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure mod_security apache on your Ubuntu 14.04. For those of you who didn’t know, Mod_security is an Apache module that helps to protect your website from various attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, path traversal attacks, etc. Mod_evasive is an Apache module that helps to prevent HTTP DoS (DDoS) attacks or server brute force attacks. It operates embedded into the web server, acting as a powerful umbrella, shielding applications from attacks.
This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple. I will show you through the step-by-step install Mod_Security apache on the ubuntu 14.04 server.
- A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 14.04, and any other Debian-based distribution.
- It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
- SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
non-root sudo useror access to the
root user. We recommend acting as a
non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.
Install Mod_Security Apache on Ubuntu 14.04
Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following
apt-get commands in the terminal.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
Step 2. Installing Mod_Security on Ubuntu 14.04.
Install Mod_Security and all dependencies using the following command:
sudo apt-get install libxml2 libxml2-dev libxml2-utils libaprutil1 libaprutil1-dev libapache-mod-security
If your Ubuntu is 64 bit, you need to fix a bug:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libxml2.so.2 /usr/lib/libxml2.so.2
Configuring Mod_Security rules
Step 3. Configuring Mod_Security rules.
sudo mv /etc/modsecurity/modsecurity.conf-recommended /etc/modsecurity/modsecurity.conf sudo nano /etc/modsecurity/modsecurity.conf
First, activate the rules by editing and setting the ‘SecRuleEngine’ option to on:
Edit the following option to increase the request limit to 10 MB and save the file:
SecRequestBodyLimit 10000000 SecRequestBodyInMemoryLimit 10000000
The mod_security rules are available in the following directories:
/usr/share/modsecurity-crs/base_rules /usr/share/modsecurity-crs/optional_rules /usr/share/modsecurity-crs/experimental_rules
Configure OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project)
Step 4. Download and configure OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) core rule set for a base configuration.
sudo apt-get install git sudo git clone https://github.com/SpiderLabs/owasp-modsecurity-crs.git sudo mv /usr/share/modsecurity-crs /usr/share/modsecurity-crs.bak sudo mv owasp-modsecurity-crs /usr/share/modsecurity-crs sudo mv /usr/share/modsecurity-crs/modsecurity_crs_10_setup.conf.example /usr/share/modsecurity-crs/modsecurity_crs_10_setup.conf
Open the Apache configuration file and add the following lines at the end of the file:
# nano /etc/apache2/mods-available/mod-security.conf Include "/etc/modsecurity/owasp-crs/activated_rules/*.conf"
Run the following command to enable Apache modules:
sudo a2enmod headers sudo a2enmod security2
Next, restart the Apache service to enable the mod_security module:
service apache2 restart
Step 5. Check if mod_security modules are enabled on your server:
sudo apachectl -M | grep security2 security2_module (shared)
Congratulations! You have successfully installed mod_security apache. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the mod_security apache web server on ubuntu 14.04 systems. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Apache website.