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Using SSL

If your VuFind system takes sensitive information as input (for example, if you use a shared authentication method and want to protect passwords from being sent in plain text), you may want to consider putting it behind SSL so that communications are encrypted.

SSL configuration is beyond the scope of this document, but a lot of helpful resources exist on the web. For example, the Building a Secure RedHat Apache Server HOWTO is a good starting point (and relevant beyond just RedHat).

Once you have SSL configured, if you want to force VuFind to always run behind SSL, you can add these lines above the other RewriteRules in your Apache configuration in httpd-vufind.conf to force a redirect of non-SSL traffic to SSL URLs:

    # Ensure that we are under SSL:
    RewriteCond   %{SERVER_PORT} !^443$
    RewriteRule   ^.*$                          https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI}  [L,R]

IMPORTANT: If you change VuFind to run under SSL, don't forget to adjust your base URL in config.ini accordingly.

Locking Down Solr

To ensure that your data is secure, it is advised that you lock down the solr server to only be accessible from your local webserver. The default port is 8080. This port should be locked down to eliminate security threats to your data.

Changing the Solr Port Number

:!: If using VuFind 3.0 or newer, the Solr port number is controlled by the SOLR_PORT environment variable; just set this before starting Solr and the server will run on the desired port.

If using VuFind 2.x or earlier, you can change the port number used by Solr by following these steps:

1. Reconfigure Jetty

Edit the file solr/jetty/etc/jetty.xml under your VuFind installation and change this line:

<Set name="port"><SystemProperty name="jetty.port" default="8080"/></Set>

2. Reconfigure VuFind

Edit the solr.hosturl setting in the import/import.properties file (and also import/import_auth.properties, if you plan on importing authority records). Be sure to edit the versions in your local settings directory if using VuFind 2.x.

solr.hosturl = http://localhost:8080/solr/biblio/update

Edit the [Statistics] and/or [Index] sections of the config.ini file as appropriate:

solr            = http://localhost:8080/solr
url             = http://localhost:8080/solr

3. Restart Solr

Restart the Solr process so the changes can take effect.

Locking Down the Admin Panel (VuFind 1.x)

VuFind 1.x includes an administration module (accessible through http://your_vufind_url/Admin/Home). This is useful, but it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. To protect yourself, consider these points:

  • By default, this has an administrative password of “admin.” The username is also “admin.” You should change this by modifying the web/services/Admin/.htpasswd file (see this Apache documentation page for more details on htpasswd).
  • There is a rule in the http-vufind.conf Apache configuration file in the root of your VuFind installation which specifies which directory needs to be password-protected. If you have installed VuFind at a path other than “/vufind”, you will need to change this rule to reflect the correct path in order to avoid security gaps! The section to change begins with: <Location ~ “/vufind/Admin/.+”> or <Location ~ “/[Vv][Uu][Ff][Ii][Nn][Dd]/[Aa][Dd][Mm][Ii][Nn]/.+”>. Simply change the regular expression here to match your layout; more details on the Location directive can be found in the Apache manual. In a Windows or other environment with case-insensitive filenames, be sure to make your regular expression case-insensitive (i.e. like the second of the two example <Location> settings above).
  • The Admin module is a good candidate for SSL protection (to prevent your access password from being guessed). See the SSL section earlier in this document for details.
  • If you do not plan on using the Admin module, you can disable it completely by removing the code in web/services/Admin from your server. This is the safest option by far!
  • Starting with VuFind version 1.1, it is possible to disable the Admin module from within config.ini, and the module is disabled by default.

Locking Down the Admin Panel (VuFind 2.x)

The admin module in VuFind 2.x is less dangerous than the one found in VuFind 1.x. It no longer uses the Apache-based password protection scheme. Instead, a new [AdminAuth] section in config.ini allows access to be restricted by IP range and/or VuFind username. The entire module can still be disabled using the System/admin_enabled setting if desired.

Securing User Credentials

VuFind stores some user information in its database. Starting with VuFind 2.0RC1, you have the option to perform extra hashing/encryption to protect these credentials. The settings are off by default in config.ini, but they can be enabled through VuFind's auto-configuration pages. Enabling security is highly recommended, but since it breaks backward-compatibility with VuFind 1.x, it should only be done after you are committed to moving forward permanently to 2.x.

administration/security.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/25 11:11 by demiankatz