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Trying to understand ftp permissions

Read, write and execute and the dangers involved

11:11 am on Apr 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to get my head round the ftp permissions thing. I get the basics I think - there are read, write and execute permissions for every file on a server, and these are assigned to the owner of the file, the group you are in, and then everyone else. The permissions say whether you can read a file, edit it or execute scripts using it. (Is that about right?!)

The things I don't understand:

1) Having looked at some files on my site I see that they have different permissions. Are these set by the web server? My basic html files seem to have 604 permissions, and some folders (not files) in my blog have 755 permissions. Presumably this is so they can run the blog and they need to do more than just edit/read files for this? Is 604 the standard for html files?

2) Even some of my basic html files have different permissions. Could this be because I have switched from using Frontpage to using Coffeecup? It seems like the older files, done in Frontpage, have higher permissions than the Coffeecup files. I also have two sites on the same host, one with html files with mostly 604 and one with html files of mostly 755. What gives?!

3) The other thing is the dangers of changing ftp permissions. I understand that setting permissions too high, for example 777 and giving everyone access to change anything if they get into your server, is daft. Do web hosts stop people from doing this? And how exactly would someone exploit these permissions - what do I need to be aware of? Could someone actually hack into my site just from a 777 setting?


8:53 am on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google provides lots of answers.

Try [google.co.uk...]