4.4. Bugzilla Security


Putting your money in a wall safe is better protection than depending on the fact that no one knows that you hide your money in a mayonnaise jar in your fridge.


Poorly-configured MySQL, Bugzilla, and FTP installations have given attackers full access to systems in the past. Please take these guidelines seriously, even for Bugzilla machines hidden away behind your firewall. 80% of all computer trespassers are insiders, not anonymous crackers.

Secure your installation.


These instructions must, of necessity, be somewhat vague since Bugzilla runs on so many different platforms. If you have refinements of these directions for specific platforms, please submit them to

  1. Ensure you are running at least MysQL version 3.22.32 or newer. Earlier versions had notable security holes and poorly secured default configuration choices.

  2. There is no substitute for understanding the tools on your system! Read The MySQL Privilege System until you can recite it from memory!

    At the very least, ensure you password the "mysql -u root" account and the "bugs" account, establish grant table rights (consult the Keystone guide in Appendix C: The Bugzilla Database for some easy-to-use details) that do not allow CREATE, DROP, RELOAD, SHUTDOWN, and PROCESS for user "bugs". I wrote up the Keystone advice back when I knew far less about security than I do now : )

  3. Lock down /etc/inetd.conf. Heck, disable inet entirely on this box. It should only listen to port 25 for Sendmail and port 80 for Apache.

  4. Do not run Apache as "nobody". This will require very lax permissions in your Bugzilla directories. Run it, instead, as a user with a name, set via your httpd.conf file.


    "nobody" is a real user on UNIX systems. Having a process run as user id "nobody" is absolutely no protection against system crackers versus using any other user account. As a general security measure, I recommend you create unique user ID's for each daemon running on your system and, if possible, use "chroot" to jail that process away from the rest of your system.

  5. Ensure you have adequate access controls for the $BUGZILLA_HOME/data/ and $BUGZILLA_HOME/shadow/ directories, as well as the $BUGZILLA_HOME/localconfig and $BUGZILLA_HOME/globals.pl files. The localconfig file stores your "bugs" user password, which would be terrible to have in the hands of a criminal, while the "globals.pl" stores some default information regarding your installation which could aid a system cracker. In addition, some files under $BUGZILLA_HOME/data/ store sensitive information, and $BUGZILLA_HOME/shadow/ stores bug information for faster retrieval. If you fail to secure these directories and this file, you will expose bug information to those who may not be allowed to see it.


    Bugzilla provides default .htaccess files to protect the most common Apache installations. However, you should verify these are adequate according to the site-wide security policy of your web server, and ensure that the .htaccess files are allowed to "override" default permissions set in your Apache configuration files. Covering Apache security is beyond the scope of this Guide; please consult the Apache documentation for details.

    If you are using a web server that does not support the .htaccess control method, you are at risk! After installing, check to see if you can view the file "localconfig" in your web browser (e.g.: http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/localconfig). If you can read the contents of this file, your web server has not secured your bugzilla directory properly and you must fix this problem before deploying Bugzilla. If, however, it gives you a "Forbidden" error, then it probably respects the .htaccess conventions and you are good to go.

    On Apache, you can use .htaccess files to protect access to these directories, as outlined in Bug 57161 for the localconfig file, and Bug 65572 for adequate protection in your data/ and shadow/ directories.

    Note the instructions which follow are Apache-specific. If you use IIS, Netscape, or other non-Apache web servers, please consult your system documentation for how to secure these files from being transmitted to curious users.

    Place the following text into a file named ".htaccess", readable by your web server, in your $BUGZILLA_HOME/data directory.

     <Files comments> allow
          from all </Files> deny from all 

    Place the following text into a file named ".htaccess", readable by your web server, in your $BUGZILLA_HOME/ directory.

     <Files localconfig> deny
          from all </Files> allow from all 

    Place the following text into a file named ".htaccess", readable by your web server, in your $BUGZILLA_HOME/shadow directory.

     deny from all