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Safe Include

PHP's include function is really handy. You can use it to include any file content directly into your PHP page. But it can be a huge security vulnerability. You see, you can also include content from any web page using the standard URL. This means you can include content from another site. In turn, it means if you are not careful, a hacker could exploit it by executing their PHP scripts on your server using your include function. It's too easy to write the following lines:

  $file = $_GET ["file"];
include ($file);

A hacker can easily type in an URL and execute a PHP script on your server. The solution? Use a safer include function, such as the following:

  function safeInclude ($filename)
if (file_exists ($filename))
include ($filename);

You can go one step further by stripping out the URL:

  $filename = ereg_replace ("http:\/\/.*\/", "", $filename);

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 06 Dec 2006 00:19:48 -0800

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