Sunday, March 15, 2020

LEMP Stack Setup Guide with Firewall and FTP Configuration

Modern web applications, for several years, have been dominated by the LAMP technology stack where LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. However, in recent years, Apache has slowly been replaced by modern, evolved and less resource-intensive web servers such as NGINX.

In keeping with latest technology trends, I decided to perform a small proof-of-concept installation and configuration in a Linux based virtual machine. The process and findings are extensively documented in the attached pdf file. I sincerely hope that this ebook shall help those who wish to setup and experiment on their own LEMP server.

The Complete LEMP Stack Setup Guide For Beginners (Download Link)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Top 10 ways to secure your website from hackers and spammers

In today’s world, a website is an essential and, sometimes, the most important component of any business, organization, community or group. Websites range from small sites owned by individuals to large enterprise domains and e-commerce platforms dealing with sensitive customer and commercial data.

Whatever be the size of a website, security is at the core of any online platform and webmasters need to ensure the safety and availability of their site at all times.

The following list details ten simple ways to secure any website from hackers and spammers:

1. File-system permissions on the host server.

A website may be developed in HTML, PHP, .Net, Java or any other web language but, irrespective of the design, all websites have application files deployed on the web server. It is our duty to ensure that all application files are readable and writable only by the owner of the file. All other users such as group owners and general public should only have read access to the application files. A Unix or Linux file system should have the permissions set to 644 for proper security. In case of a shared hosting service, connect with the hosting provider to ensure that proper file system permissions are in place.

2. SSL certificates.

Install SSL certificates on the web server. This will ensure that all data transferred to and from the website is encrypted and cannot be easily compromised by hackers. SSL certificates are not very expensive and adds credibility to a site. It is also said to improve search engine ranking.

3. Complex long-length password.

Ensure that all user and database passwords are at least 8 characters in length or more with a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols. Alphabets should be used in both uppercase and lowercase format. Refrain from using personal information such as date of birth, address or phone number.

4. Minimize the use of plugins and theme add-on(s) in CMS platforms.

Most CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla use themes, plugins and add-on(s) to enhance the functionality and look and feel of a website. It is recommended to minimize the use of plugins as much as possible. Plugins slow down a website and may also contain malicious code which may compromise your website’s security features. It is advisable to download essential plugins from trusted and official sources only rather than from third-party sites. If possible, a review of the plugin code for external references can further aid your security checks.

5. Use Google ReCaptcha, Invisible Captcha or any other Captcha service.

This will minimize brute-force attacks for sign-up/login screens and minimize or eliminate spam email from contact forms.

6. Scrutinize freely available PHP/Javascript/Perl codes.

Adding new functionalities to a website and customizing its look is something we all desire. But we should maintain caution while copying snippets of code from the internet and deploying them on a live server, especially if it contains references to external Javascripts.

7. Configure the “robots.txt” file properly.

This will prevent search engines from indexing restricted or private folders containing credentials and other sensitive information.

8. Use the “.htaccess file” judiciously.

This may be used to enable a variety of security restrictions on a website. However, the changes must be reviewed by an expert or the hosting service provider so as not to hamper the normal functioning of the website.

9. Do not use common user names such as “admin” or “administrator”.

Use something unique. For example “abc_master” or “abc_admusr” sounds a bit different.

10. For CMS sites such as WordPress or Joomla, change the default login/admin url.

This can be achieved through custom code or by using a plugin and is a great way to stave off brute-force attacks.

The above listed techniques, although not fool-proof, should help to reduce hacking and spam attacks significantly on any website.

What is a Black Hole?

A black hole is a region of space-time exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that no particle or electromagnetic radiation, such as light, can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform space-time to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon.

Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form. There is general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies. At the same time, we may also have Black Holes about the size of an atom but with the mass of a very large mountain.

Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as visible light. When an object falls into a black hole, any information about the shape of the object or distribution of charge on it is evenly distributed along the horizon of the black hole, and is lost to outside observers.

At the center of a black hole, as described by general relativity, lies a gravitational singularity, a region where the spacetime curvature becomes infinite. For a non-rotating black hole, this region takes the shape of a single point and for a rotating black hole, it is smeared out to form a ring singularity that lies in the plane of rotation. In both cases, the singular region has zero volume. It can also be shown that the singular region contains all the mass of the black hole solution. The singular region can thus be thought of as having infinite density.

Black holes are extremely perplexing entities and the scientific community is continuously trying to explore its true nature and unravel its mysteries.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Journey

Great things are born out of suffering and pain;
Fear not, for perseverance shall lead to gain.
The journey may be rough, the roads dire;
What you become, shall people admire.
Believe in yourself, believe in The One;
Rise from the ashes, the war is won.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Inner Peace

Inner peace, we say with ease;
But do we know what it is?

Good and evil coexist;
The devil within we resist.

The more we fight, to know what's right;
The more we lose before its might.

If inner peace is what we need;
Its time to pause and take heed.

Balance is what we eagerly seek;
Every man, strong or weak.

And balance we shall truly get;
The truth, when we do beget.

We are good and we are bad;
To defy this, would be mad.

If we know who we are;
Inner peace is never far.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I have witnessed the birth of the sun;
I have seen the beginning of life;
I have felt sorrow and rejoiced in fun;
I have seen love and seen strife.

I have seen things big and small;
I have seen them rise....I have seen them fall;
I have seen things shallow, and things sublime;
I have seen it all because I am Time.

Sunday, January 31, 2010



Begin now, begin within;
Begin today with a loud din;

Begin a craft, begin a draft;
Begin something just don't be daft;

Begin to hate, begin to love;
Begin to fly like a free dove;

Begin to write, begin to play;
Begin to fight and shun dismay;

Begin your life, look within;
Leave your thoughts and just begin!