Apache mod-security installation on Debian 6.0 (squeeze)

Last Updated on January 2, 2012 by Till Brehm

Install the apache mod-security 2 module with apt from the Debian repositories

apt-get install libapache-mod-security

Create the folder for the mod-security configuration files

mkdir /etc/apache2/mod-security
chmod 600 /etc/apache2/mod-security

Download and unpack the mod-security rules

cd /tmp
wget http://www.modsecurity.org/download/modsecurity-core-rules_2.5-1.6.1.tar.gz
tar fvx modsecurity-core-rules_2.5-1.6.1.tar.gz
mv *.conf /etc/apache2/mod-security/
ln -s /var/log/apache2 /etc/apache2/logs

Configure apache to load the activated mod-security rules

vi /etc/apache2/conf.d/mod-security.conf

Include /etc/apache2/mod-security/*.conf

To enable mod-security, edit the file

vi /etc/apache2/mod-security/modsecurity_crs_10_config.conf

and remove the # in front of the line:

SecDefaultAction "phase:2,log,deny,status:403,t:lowercase,t:replaceNulls,t:compressWhitespace"

Then reload apache.

/etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload

Mod security will now start to block hack attempts to your websites and log the actions in the file /var/log/apache2/modsec_audit.log.

tail /var/log/apache2/modsec_audit.log

You will see very likely some falsely blocked URL's. To whitelist them, you can add the ID's of the rules that should not be used in the whitelist file.


vi /etc/apache2/mod-security/modsecurity_crs_99_whitelist.conf

SecRuleRemoveById 960015
SecRuleRemoveById 960016

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