Mig and the Apache Server

Security Considerations

There are always security considerations when dealing with anonymous external users accessing a server. Mig mitigates these concerns where it can (for instance, a currDir variable containing ".." causes Mig to panic and immediately exit), but it can't do everything.

The main thing Mig does to help with the security problem is that it never, ever, writes anything to the disk. It only reads. This minimizes the potential damage a malicious attacker could do. (That's why Mig doesn't automatically generate thumbnails, by the way.)

An example: Mig's PHP code can't control whether or not a web user fetches mig.cf or exif.inf files by simply using direct URLs (since using direct URLs bypasses Mig and PHP altogether). Users of Apache can use the following in their configuration to protect their files from being read:

    <Directory /path/to/your/mig/gallery>
        # Protect against anyone trying to view mig.cf or exif.inf files
        <Files ~ "^(mig\.cf|exif\.inf)$">
            order allow,deny
            deny from all
        </Files>
    </Directory>

With this rule in place, someone can't for example go to a URL like this one:

    https://example.com/gallery/albums/Miscellaneous/mig.cf

It would be met with an access denial from the server.

Useful Rewrite Ideas

Mig URLs can be made shorter and easier to remember by using Apache's rewrite rules. This requires mod_rewrite to be available. Here are some examples from my site:

First, define simple shortcut names using the jump map (see the jump document).

Then, add a rule or two like this to httpd.conf:

  RewriteRule ^/go/([^/]+)        /gallery/index.php?jump=$1    [R]
  RewriteRule ^/photo/([^/]+)     /gallery/index.php?jump=$1    [R]

Now URLs like these will work:

  https://example.com/photo/kate
  https://example.com/go/kate

Further shortening can be done if desired:

  RewriteRule ^/kate           /gallery/index.php?jump=kate     [R]
  RewriteRule ^/house          /gallery/index.php?jump=house    [R]
  RewriteRule ^/europe         /gallery/index.php?jump=europe   [R]

For example, now https://example.com/kate/ will work. Of course, doing things this way would require more maintenance than the more general jump-based rules shown above.

Naturally, RewriteEngine on is required in the config prior to using any rewrite rules. See Apache's documentation for more information about the rewriting engine.