Securing the WordPress Login page

Of late I have seen quite a lot of brute force attempts to login into the admin account of this blog. The source IPs are wide and varied, ranging from Istanbul, Germany, Greece, US and more. In fact according to ArsTechnica article this has been happening for sometime now on a huge scale. I see a POST request on my site every few hours. Recently I submitted a list of such IPs to Deutsche Telekom Abuse Team for the offending IPs from their network.

Protection from the attack ArsTechnica suggested using

Limit Login and WP Better Security plugins. Limit Login is a simple and must have plugin. It blocks an IP for some hours our repeated failure attempts. Of course for this to be useful you need to have a strong password like mine, which is ….. . However, WP Better Security is the best but makes some drastic changes to your site. I don’t like to make so many changes, and would prefer that WordPress came bundled with those features. One of those features is modifying the login url. By default it is like http://blog.host/wp-login.php. This makes it an easy target. One simple way to fix this is change it.

Changing your login url

I do not want to physically rename wp-login.php, since that would mean after a WordPress upgrade the change would be gone. The other way is to rename it in your web-server configuration. Below is my relevant Nginx configuration. (If you are still using Apache then you may want to switch to Nginx.)

#!cink
server {
    server_name blog.host;
    # Other configs like root etc...
    location ^~ /wp-login.php {
        include phpparams.conf;
        if ($request_method = POST) { return 444; }
    }
    location ^~ /your-secret-login-page-name.php {
        rewrite ^ /wp-login.php break;
        include phpparams.conf;
    }
    # ...
}

The above config blocks all POST request to wp-login.php but allows GET requests. So, wp-login.php would show up but if someone tries to submit on that page then the server will close the connection (status 444 is a special code which instructs Nginx to close the remote connection). Since we are using ^~ to prevent Nginx from matching to any more regex locations so, if you have any location directive to match .php won’t be used. So, effectively your wp-login.php file source would be sent to the user instead of executing them. That is why I have included phpparams.conf. See the Nginx migration guide for the contents of phpparams.conf.

One Caveat

Now even if you open your-secret-login-page-name.php, the form will still send POST requests to wp-login.php, because after all that is the page which is being served. So, either you need to use web developer tools like Inspector to modify the web code or better write a GreaseMonkey or TamperMonkey script to do that for you.

Process to get new LPG gas connection

There are no silver bullets but it is better to know the process to avoid harassment. I recently got Indane LPG gas after making rounds of their office for about a month. Most of these was due to the lack of info. SO, here you go.

First step is you need to get the KYC (Know Your Customer) form from the dealer. There is nothing special about it so, even if someone happens to have a soft copy of it then you can get it printed. I had to wait for 2 weeks to get this. One format of KYC document is available on Indane site (here), but the one I got from the dealer was a little different. They will also give you an affidavit form, which you need to get printed on a Rs 20 Stamp Paper and notarized by a lawyer. You can get that form from here.

Tip: If you live anywhere in Hitec City, Hyderabad then there is a small shop available in Madhapur to Stamp Papers and notarize documents. – http://maap.in/w

Fill the KYC form and affix a colored photograph. Along with the Stamp Paper and KYC you need to attach your address proof and photo Id proof. Also you should provide the Aadhaar number on the KYC form, though its photocopy need to be attached if you are providing another photo Id proof.

Some of the accepted address proofs are:-

  • Rental agreement
  • Credit / Bank statement
  • Electricity bill
  • Self-declaration attested by Gazetted officer
  • Flat allotment/possession letter

Some of the accepted photo Id proofs are:-

  • Passport
  • Aadhaar
  • Pan Card
  • Driving License

Once you submit all the above, they say, they will make a verification call in a week. After that you may go to your dealer and deposit a sum of Rs. 5000 to get the new connection.

However, in my case they did not call me. When I anyway went there after a week I got the connection. I had to dig through the applications dump to find mine. Rs. 5000 deposit includes price of gasket, regulator, one cylinder, a stove and other misc charges. Buying stove from them is purely optional, but the agency might try to force you to buy that.

Along with the above stuffs you get a connection certificate sort of paper and the gas booklet. According to the agency you can only apply for single cylinder when you are getting a new connection. You can get the second one after three months.

Hope the above info helps. May god help you with your Gas hunting. 😛

More info:-

Google really finally allows India to sell Android apps

There were reports a month back I suppose when Google mistakenly added India to the list of approved countries. Later that they removed India from the list, apologizing for the mistake.

Now finally all India Android devs can rejoice. India is finally in the list. I just enrolled today. Check the below official link to confirm.

Supported locations for merchants – Google Play for Developers Help.

Digit Math Application: Proving that all numbers ending with 5 are divisible by 5


Please read Digit Math: Introduction before you continue.

The problem

It seems I have developed a fascination for the number 5, so here we go again. Here I would be using Digit Math to prove that all integers  which end with digit 5 are always divisible by 5.

The proof

Case 1:

Take a two digit number \(x\omega 5\), i.e. \(x\) has only one digit.

\(x\omega 5\) is divisible by 5, if \(x\omega 5 \times \frac 1 5\) (i.e. \(x \omega 5 \times 0.2\)) leave no remainder.

So, \(x\omega 5 \times 2\) must end with one zero.

$$
\begin{align}
&x\omega5 \times 0\omega2\\
&= 0 \omega 2x \omega 10\tag{Using Bimultiplication}\\
&= (2x + 1) \omega 0\tag{1}
\end{align}
$$

Since (1) ends with zero so it is proved.

Case 2:

\(x\omega 5\) is a number where \(x\) has \(n\) digits.

Multiplying \(x\omega 5\) by \(10^{(n-1)}\) to make both sides of \(\omega\) equal in number of digits.

So,

$$
\begin{align}
&x\omega (5 \times 10^{n-1}) \times 0 \omega (2\times 10^{n-1})\\
&= 0 \omega (2x\times 10^{n-1})\omega (10\times 10^{n-1})\\
&= (2x\times 10^{n-1})\omega 10^n\\
&= (2x\times 10^{n-1} + 1) \omega ]0[^n\tag{Moving extra 1 to left}
\end{align}
$$

In the above equation it is easy to see that the result ends with \(10\) after we divide the \(10^{n-1}\). Therefore, this is not going to leave any remainder. (Proved)

Case 3:

\(\frac 5 5 = 1\). (Proved)

Yeah, this is a trivial case, but for the sake of completeness.

Check out other applications of Digit Math

Link to list of other applications of Digit Math.