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 • Our Articles: Php Introduction

This language has attained a very strong position and has made its presence felt on the Web in the last few years. It is most remarkable that the popularity of Php as a server-side language used for scripting is ever increasing. Php is used to provide a dynamic bridge between the users of the web and the hosting websites. Since Php is being used for connecting the users and the providers, it is also the easiest prey for web attacks. Although one would expect a language like Php to have some in-built protection against such attacks, it turns out that the more experience you gain with the language, the more you write code that is vulnerable - security compromises are not unusual. The intention of this article is to make available a general idea of various protection issues with Php and to offer the best advice and guidance about following safe and secure Php practices.
  Php has emerged as an influential language and more seriously as an interpreter. It can be used in a web server as a module or can even be used on Cgi platforms. Php is able to get its way into files, carry out commands and instructions with efficiency, and it can even open network connections on the server. If any language has these properties, then it is insecure as it opens up its door ways to threats. Php is planned specifically to be a more safe and sound language for writing Cgi programs than Perl or C. Php has a unique selection of compile-time and runtime configuration alternatives, and proper coding performances and practices, therefore it is best suited to give you the exact combination of freedom and security you need for your work.  
  Php works in unison with another language - HTML. Php or Hypertext Pre Processor is put in along with HTML to smooth the progress of the making of dynamic Web pages. A snippet of Php code is embedded into the HTML coding of a particular web page and this code combines the flexibility and power to easily design dynamic web pages. The implementation of Php coded dynamic web pages becomes relatively easier. If a programmer is competent with other languages like Java, Perl and C, then he can easily design and implement Php powered web pages. Along with these influential means for designing and implementing a creation of web page, there are many threats associated with it. Therefore, if you are aware of the issues involved, you can yourself lower the risks involved while creating your dynamic content oriented web page, and will never have to compromise on security.  
  There are a number of factors which effect the security of Php based web pages. These threats ultimately pose a danger for the systems on which the Php script is running. There are certain guidelines a programmer should follow while writing a Php based code thus reducing the risk of threats.  
  Whatever the mode of execution is, a Php interpreter is capable of accessing every part of the host system like the network interfaces, IPC etc. This scripting language works both for Cgi and WEB server applications. As a result, it can do a lot of damage to the systems since it has such large access options. To keep away from these attacks, the programmer needs to be conscious of everything that can potentially go in the wrong direction at any time during the program implementation. However, this is a difficult assignment.  
  Many times, such errors and threats are caused from the user side, which are usually poorly authorized user input. This forces the threats and increases the risk factor on the systems and the hosting platform. Therefore, there should be a trusted user input for the system. To worsen the condition, Php supports a huge global directory with many kinds of external variables which further aggravate the problems of corrupt input. Even if the data does not come from the user side, environment variables still cannot be trusted completely.  
  The only way to make safe Php scripts is through a cautiously chosen grouping of arrangement or configuration settings and implementing safe programming practices.  
  Written by Goran Kusnjer,
E-Topbiz.com owner 
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