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WHMCS has many features built-in to help keep your data safe, but here are several simple extra steps you can take to secure your WHMCS installation even further.

Change your WHMCS Admin Folder Name

With many web based softwares, users know they can try visiting various common directory names to find admin control panels. So customising the location of your WHMCS admin area is one of many steps you can take in order to make the lives of malicious users looking for login forms that little bit more difficult. WHMCS needs to know what you call your admin directory however if you choose to rename it, so if you would like to do this, please refer to Customising the Admin Directory

Password Protect the Admin Directory

Add a second layer of protection to the admin directory by setting up .htaccess password protection. Most users can do this via the Password Protect Directories option in cPanel. Remember to keep your .htaccess username/password distinct and unique. You can use the Random Password Generation feature in cPanel to help.

Move the attachments, downloads & templates_c folders

The three folders "attachments", "downloads" and "templates_c" need to be writeable by WHMCS and therefore require the permissions 777 (writeable by all). When folders have this permission level it is safer to place the folders outside of the public accessible folder tree on your website. WHMCS allows you to do this. If you do move the folders, then you must tell WHMCS where they have been moved to by adding the following lines to the configuration.php file:

$templates_compiledir = "/home/username/templates_c/";
$attachments_dir = "/home/username/attachments/";
$downloads_dir = "/home/username/downloads/";

In the above example, "username" is the cpanel username and so the 3 folders are located in the home directory, above public_html.

Note that if you are running suphp or phpsuexec you should not make the mode changes as the folders will already be writeable. In fact, you cannot set folder or file permissions to be 777 when running suphp or phpsuexec - the highest permissions are 755 for both folders and files.

Move the crons folder

The "crons" folder currently contains the domain synchronisation file so this should also be moved outside the public accessible folder tree to prevent outside users from triggering it. The entire "crons" directory should be moved, containing both the domainsync.php and config.php files.

WHMCS allows you to do this. If you do move the folders, then you must tell WHMCS where they have been moved to by editing the /crons/config.php file and specifying the path to the WHMCS root directory, for example:

$whmcspath = '/home/username/public_html/whmcs/';

In the above example, "username" is the cpanel username and whmcs is located in the directory "whmcs".

Please note that if you have already created a cron job, or one has been created for you, you will need to update the path on the cron as well. eg. php -q /home/mylogin/crons/domainsync.php

Restrict Access by IP

For added security, if your staff use fixed IP addresses, you can add even more protection to your admin area by restricting access to a specific set of IPs. This is done by creating a file with the name .htaccess within your WHMCS admin directory, with the following content:

order deny,allow
allow from 12.34.5.67
allow from 98.76.54.32
deny from all

You can specify as many different allow from lines as you require. Or you can even allow entire IP subnet's by specifying just the first part of an IP, for example: "12.34.". This is called Htaccess IP Restriction.

Restrict Database Privileges

For day to day use, only the following database privileges are required. All others may be disabled.

  • DELETE
  • INSERT
  • SELECT
  • UPDATE

Please note that installation, upgrading, activating, and deactivating modules require the following additional privileges.

  • ALTER
  • CREATE
  • DROP
  • INDEX

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