Additional security steps

Securing Files

You need to secure the config.php file. Consider setting the permissions to 444.

1. Navigate to your HostBill install directory and go to the /includes/ directory.

2. CHMOD / change file permissions of config.php to 444.

Modifying the permissions of this file is necessary and the easiest security method you can apply to your HostBill install.


Protect contents of includes/config.php file at all costs.

During installation HostBill generates $ccEncryptionHash inside of it which is used as partial key for passwords encryption, if you'll loose/replace this variable's value, you will also loose all stored passwords.

Securing Directories

In order for HostBill to operate in a secure environment, you need to prevent anonymous users from uploading content to your server, as well as listing directory contents.

HostBill temporary dir: templates_c uses folder permissions of 777, and users can upload files to the attachments folder through support tickets. You need to secure these folders to protect your server.

Note: steps below are for non-enterprise installations. Enterprise installer will do this for you.

  1. Navigate to the HostBill main directory.
  2. Move the attachmentsdownloads, and templates_c folders outside of the public directory.
  3. In this example main HostBill dir is  /home/hostbill/public_html/, so we're moving those folders into /home/hostbill/
  4. Go back to your main HostBill directory and head to the includes/ directory.
  5. Add the following lines to very bottom of your config.php file so HostBill can locate them on the server.
$hb_downloads_dir = "/home/hostbill/downloads";
$hb_attachments_dir = "/home/hostbill/attachments";
$hb_templates_c_dir = "/home/hostbill/templates_c";

You'll notice that these variables are already available in mentioned file, but with different values. You can just replace / edit the current entries.

To sum it up, your new folder layout should look similar to this (provided have web files inside /home dir)

Example assumes hostbill is username

You can now CHMOD following directories to 777 

chmod 777 -R /home/hostbill/attachments
chmod 777 -R /home/hostbill/downloads
chmod 777 -R /home/hostbill/templates_c

Note about directory listings

You should prevent your webserver from listing directories contents. Ie.: when using apache add following to your .htaccess file:

Options -Indexes

When using nginx, add following to server block of nginx config file:

autoindex off;

Securing Administrative Access

Change Admin Folder Name

HostBill admins can rename their admin folder. Renaming your admin folder will prevent brute force attacks, password guessers, and other similar threats.

1. Navigate to your HostBill directory and edit the /admin folder's name. Change it to something uncommon. We'll use new-folder-name as an example.

2. Edit includes/config.php and make the following changes.





Now you can navigate to your HostBill's new admin URL, replacing /admin with /new-folder-name to access the administrative control panel.

Note about folder change

Note that after changing admin folder name path you cron.php file will also change.

You should update crontab entries created for HostBill to new  location after folder name change.

This also affects pipe.php file location, used for piping emails into HostBill ticket system.

Enable 2-factor authentication

HostBill offers a number of Multi-Factor authentication plugins that works also for admin portal and can add additional layer of security for accessing admin resources. 

You can enforce use of MFA/2FA for all staff members  in Security & Display  

Restrict IP Access on application level

HostBill has an admin access restriction feature that controls what IPs may access the administrative interface. To utilize this feature, do the following.

1. Navigate to Security Settings → Allowed IPs

2. Allow your IPs first.

3. Deny all IPs next.

HostBill will always check the deny IPs first, and allow IPs next.

Webserver: Password protect admin folder

Additionally you may want to consider password protecting your admin folder using Basic Authentication - refer to your webserver documentation on how to achieve this. 

Apache: Restrict IP Access With .htaccess

You can also additionally protect access to admin panel on webserver level.

The following is just an example. If you are using Apache as webserver, you may add it in your .htaccess file and configure as needed.

 # Sets the IP deny / allow rule order.
 order deny,allow
 # Denies IP access from all IPs.
 deny from all
 # Denies - : 512 IPs Blocked (Range)
 deny from
 # Denies - : 512 IPs Blocked (Subnet)
 deny from
 # Allows single IP address. 
 allow from


 Above may vary depending on webserver software you're using

Additional Security Tools

HostBill also offers various tools to help you in managing your installation security.

Login Notification

You can find this feature in the Security Settings of HostBill. You can enable / disable notifications for certain staff / administrators, which will send a notification to both of you, and the staff member when someone has logged into the account with the feature enabled.