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Securing a PrestaShop Store with Astra Security Module

I help run a natural parenting e-commerce called Fluffyhólica. The store sells cloth diapers with trendy designs. Also, we have in stock eco-friendly accessories and laundry products. Our store sells mostly to moms in Mexico and the plan forward is to expand operations into other countries.

Our online store software of choice is PrestaShop. Our site is protected from thieves with ASTRASecurity, a must-have add-on to any PrestaShop store.

Why PrestaShop?

PrestaShop is an open-source (free) online store software. It means you don’t have to pay a monthly fee as with Shopify service. PrestaShop has a lot of included features, and is one of the most robust e-commerce platforms. It runs on PHP and MySQL technologies and helps merchants around the world to build cool webshops with great functionality.

There are currently about 270,000 webshops powered by PrestaShop around the globe. The platform has thousands of developers creating modules. Also, hundreds of agencies who actively participate in the growth of the PrestaShop ecosystem.

PrestaShop comes with hundreds of modules to strengthen the efficiency of this software. There are some great features of PrestaShop like advanced backup schemes, high-reliability modules, and easy accessibility options that allow users to scale their business and increase the site’s credibility.

PrestaShop is a great, GREAT piece of software. But, nothing is perfect, you know? PrestaShop is now so popular and its code is open source. That means the system is a target to criminal hackers that want to abuse our very well crafted online stores.

What are the Vulnerabilities in PrestaShop?

Here I’m going to list the most common attacks encountered in PrestaShop installations.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a common attack. It injects malicious code into a vulnerable website. This type of attack does not directly target the application itself. Instead, the users of the web application are the ones at risk.

A cross-site scripting attack can make your site look terribly bad and destroy your relationship with your customers.

Depending on the severity of the attack, user accounts may be compromised, Trojan horse programs activated and page content modified, misleading users into willingly surrendering their private data. Finally, session cookies could be revealed, enabling a perpetrator to impersonate valid users and abuse their private accounts.

Remote Code Evaluation

Remote Code Evaluation is an attack where the user input is injected into a File or a String and executed (evaluated) by the programming language’s parser.

A Remote Code Evaluation can lead to a full compromise of the vulnerable web application and the web server.

SQL Injection

SQL injection is an attack in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution. It is mostly known as an attack for websites but can be used to attack any type of SQL database.

This attack happens when the user input is either incorrectly filtered for string literal escape characters embedded in SQL statements or user input is not strongly typed and unexpectedly executed.

SQL injection attacks allow hackers to spoof identity, tamper with existing data, cause repudiation issues such as voiding transactions, destroy the data or make it otherwise unavailable, and become administrators of the server.

One of the objectives for an SQL injection attack in PrestaShop is to steal users credit card details. We must be especially careful with this issue and take precautions.

Bad Bots

And then you have bad bots. Its like thousands of page visits from a single IP address within a very short time frame. This activity stresses your website servers, and chokes the available bandwidth.

Bad bots are programmed to perform malicious jobs. They can be sent by third-party scrapers to steal content from your website. It can be a problem because if these guys use your same content on their sites, your own content will stop being unique. A very well known SEO ranking factor is content uniqueness.

HTTP Response Splitting

HTTP response splitting is a web application vulnerability, resulting from the failure of the application to sanitize input values. It can be used to perform cross-site scripting attacks and similar exploits.

The attack consists of making the server print a carriage return (CR) line feed (LF) sequence followed by content supplied by the attacker in the header of its response.

Per the HTTP standard, headers are separated by one CRLF and the response’s headers are separated from its body by two. So, the failure to remove CRs and LFs allows the hacker to set arbitrary headers, control of the body, or break the response into two (or more) separate responses.

How Astra Security Secure your Prestashop Store

Fear not fellow PrestaShop user. Astra Security has you covered for your presta-security needs. I have been using Astra services for quite some time now, and must say I am impressed.

Here are some of the features I found best in Astra Security wholly based on my experience:

Easy to use Interface

Astra has a super easy to use interface. You always know what’s happening on your site. The service automatically stops attacks as they occur.

Impenetrable Firewall

Astra’s firewall detects visitor patterns on your website & automatically blocks hackers with malicious intent. It protects your site from:

  • SQLi attacks
  • CSRF attacks
  • XSS attacks
  • LFI attacks
  • RFI attacks
  • Bad Bots
  • Spam and other nasty threats.

Malware Removal with just 1-Click

Astra has a useful malware scan that you can activate at any moment. It scans all the files of your site looking for infections or threats. You can delete the malicious files from the dashboard itself on one click.

In case things go horribly wrong, you can always request a manual malware cleanup. So you can always have peace of mind knowing your site’s security is always been covered.

No need to change DNS

Unlike other security solution that requires you to change your DNS settings, with astra you just need to install a security module & you are secure

Security Audit

With ASTRA is super easy to make a security audit. Just click on the “start new scan” link and the system will create an automated audit for all the files on your website.

Login History and Protection

You can always know who logged to your administrator panel and when. Details like, the IP, country, device and browser they are using for each session can also be known with Astra security.

It works with WordPress and other CMSs too!

I’ve been talking about how Astra integrates with PrestaShop e-commerce websites, but in fact it works with a lot more web applications. Astra Security can protect WordPress (WooCommerce?), Magento, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, custom PHP applications and more.

Be Secure, be Happy

So if you happen to run an e-commerce with PrestaShop, I strongly advise you to check out the Astra Security add-on. Even the support team is super responsive and always ready to help you at those dreaded emergency times (security breach anyone?).