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Locking Down Drupal Access with Nginx

This site is powered by Drupal. Drupal and WordPress for that matter, are well targeted platforms, mainly because of their large install base on the internet. Quite frankly the reason I bother using both Drupal and WordPress instead of a flat-file based CMS is because I have to deal with these web applications at work on a daily basis, so it's a great way to keep myself current with the technology that's paying my bills.

I have Nginx acting as an SSL proxy for www.rubysecurity.org, which is hosted on an Apache back-end. So I have a few configs that I've enabled to lock down access to my Drupal site. The configs are made at the Nginx proxy level, so they can never reach Apache.

Firstly, I have all of Drupal's /admin locked out from outside access:

        location = /admin {
                allow MY-HOME-IP-ADDRESS;
                deny all;
                return 403;
        }

Next, I only allow login access from my home ip address:

        location = /user {
                allow MY-HOME-IP-ADDRESS;
                deny all;

                proxy_pass https://www.rubysecurity.org/user;
                proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
                proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
                proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        }

Lastly, since Nginx is unable to process query strings at the location block level, I've setup an additional config to drop all user login query requests.

       if ($args ~* "q=user") {
                set $blockme  M;
        }
        if ($remote_addr != MY-HOME-IP-ADDRESS) {
                set $blockme  "${blockme}E";
        }
        if ($blockme = ME) {
                return 403;
       }

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