Securing the output directory

Securing the backup output directory

By default the component uses a non secure location to store its backup files and temporary files, within your site's file system hierarchy, namely administrator/components/com_akeebabackup/backup. This location is well known and can be - theoretically - accessed directly from a web browser. Since the backup output directory stores the results of your backup attempts, that is SQL files containing database backups and archive files containing all of your site, a malicious person with access to this location could steal sensitive information or compromise your site's integrity.

The first line of defense, is to use mangled, hard to guess, names for the SQL backup. However, it wouldn't take an attacker that long to figure out the filename. Remember: security through obscurity is no security at all!

As a second line of defense, we include a secure .htaccess on the default backup output directory to disable direct web access. However, this is only possible on Apache-powered web servers which allow the use of .htaccess files. You should check with your host to ensure that this kind of protection is possible on your site.

However, this is not enough. Using a well known location would allow an attacker exploiting a security issue in a third party component to gain access to the backup archives. The only way around that is using a different directory, ideally one above your site's root.