How to protect website source code?

Started by Megan Brown, Jul 19, 2022, 08:31 AM

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Megan BrownTopic starter

Hi there,
I'm concerned about an issue regarding how to safeguard the source code of my website from unauthorized access. I was thinking of encrypting the code or putting a password on the files.
Can you provide some helpful tips on how to do this properly? I would greatly appreciate your advice on the best approach.
Thank you.


There's no way to protect HTML, and probably nothing can be done for JavaScript and CSS either. As for PHP, it's not visible to the user as it's not transmitted to the browser.


You can protect the source code of the site pages from being copied. True, these are only superficial measures and do not give a 100% guarantee.
You can write a script in the site code that disables some keys for the user. The F12 key - it calls the developer panel with the HTML code of the site, or the Ctrl + U combination, which opens the source code of the page. There is also an encryption tool, for example, Advanced HTML Encrypt and Password Protect - instead of the code of your page, only incomprehensible lines will be visible. :-X


Many "protection system" authors resort to naive techniques in their first attempts, such as trying to prevent users from viewing the source text of a web page by disabling the right-click menu. They believe that by adding a JavaScript right-click handler to replace the local menu with something unexpected, they can hinder users from obtaining the source code.

 However, this method is ineffective since users can still access it via the browser cache after clearing it. Savvy developers may turn to fighting caching, but that can be circumvented by using a non-standard browser or a proxy server. Another approach involves using a PHP script to return JavaScript code to the browser, and then analyzing the HTTP request header to determine the URL of the document that initiated the request.


There are a few best practices to safeguard the source code of your website from unauthorized access:

1. Use Proper Server Security: Ensure that your server has robust security measures in place, such as firewalls, regular security updates, and secure login credentials. This will help prevent unauthorized access to the files containing your source code.

2. Encryption: You can use encryption to protect your source code. One common approach is to use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or its successor, TLS (Transport Layer Security), to encrypt the communication between the server and the clients accessing your website. This will help in securing the transmission of your source code and other sensitive information.

3. Access Control: Implement access control measures to limit who can view and modify the source code. You can set up user permissions and roles to restrict access to specific files or directories based on user roles and responsibilities.

4. Minification and Obfuscation: Minifying your code removes unnecessary characters from the source code without changing its functionality. Obfuscation involves converting the source code into a form that is difficult for humans to understand, making it harder for unauthorized users to make sense of the code even if they access it.

5. Secure File Transfer: When transferring files containing your source code, use secure protocols such as SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) instead of regular FTP, which transmits data in plain text.

6. Regular Updates: Keep your website's software, plugins, and frameworks updated to the latest versions to patch any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to your source code.

7. Two-Factor Authentication: Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) for accessing sensitive areas of your website's server, control panel, or version control system. This adds an extra layer of security beyond just a password.

8. Use Version Control Systems: Utilize version control systems like Git or SVN to manage your source code. These systems allow you to track changes, manage access control, and revert to previous versions if needed. You can also host your repositories on secure platforms like GitHub or Bitbucket, which offer additional security features.

9. Security Headers: Implement security headers in your web server configuration to protect against common web vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting (XSS), clickjacking, and other malicious attacks.

10. Secure Development Practices: Encourage secure coding practices among your development team. This includes input validation, output encoding, and avoiding hardcoding sensitive information directly in the source code.

11. Regular Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments of your website and server infrastructure. This will help identify and address any potential security gaps before they are exploited by unauthorized parties.

12. Legal Protection: Consider legal protections such as copyright and licensing to establish ownership and usage rights for your source code. This can serve as a deterrent for unauthorized access and use.

It's important to note that putting a password on the files directly may not be sufficient, as it could be easily bypassed if the server itself is compromised. It's better to focus on server-level security and encryption to protect your source code effectively.