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Editor to tame mod_security rulesets

Project description

- It doesn’t, but: no warranty and such. - Also, hasn’t many features yet.


  • Simple GUI editor for SecRuleRemoveById settings
  • Tries to suggest false positives from error and audit logs
  • And configure mod_security and CoreRuleSet variables.
  • Runs locally, via ssh -X forwarding, or per modseccfg vps5:/ automount.



  • You can install this package locally or on a server:

    pip3 install modseccfg
  • And your distro must provide a full Python 3.x installaton:

    sudo apt install python3-tk ttf-unifont libapache2-mod-security2

Start options

  • To run the GUI locally / on test setups:

  • To start it on a server per X11 forwarding (terribly slow over SSH):

    ssh -X vps5 modseccfg
  • Alternatively use xpra:

    xpra --start ssh:vps5 --start=modseccfg
  • Best: use an automatic filesystem mount (with ssh shortcut/pubkey auth already configured). That’s a bit slow on startup, but pays off when browsing for details.

    modseccfg vps5:/
    WARNING: This will bind the remote / server root. Take care to configure the mount point (File → Settings → Utils → Remote binding), and no backup or cleanup job is running whilst modseccfg is active.
    This doesn’t strictly require the root user for ssh, but permissions for logs and individual *.conf files when changed (chown the ones that shall be editable). The sshfs/fuse mount will be terminated with the GUI, though.


You obviously should have Apache(2.x) + mod_security(2.9) + CRS(3.x) set up and running already (in DetectionOnly mode initially), to allow for log inspection and adapting rules.

  1. Start modseccfg (python3 -m modseccfg)
  2. Select a configuration/vhost file to inspect + work on.
  3. Pick the according error.log
  4. Inspect the rules with a high error count (→[info] button to see docs).
  5. [Disable] offending rules
    • Don’t just go by the error count however!
    • Make sure you don’t disable essential or heuristic rules.
    • Compare error with access log details.
    • Else craft an exception rule ([Modify] or →Recipes).
  6. Thenceforth restart Apache after testing changes (apache2ctl -t).


  • Preferrably do not edit default /etc/apache* files
  • Work on separated /srv/web/conf.d/* configuration, if available
  • And keep vhost settings in e.g. vhost.*.dir files, rather than multiple <VirtualHost> in one *.conf (else only the first section will be augmented).

Missing features

  • File permission check on remote host is non-functional still.
  • Doesn’t process any audit.log yet.
  • Can’t classify wrapped (<Location>/<FilesMatch>) rules yet.
  • [STRIKEOUT:No rule information dialog.]
  • [STRIKEOUT:No SecOption editor yet.]
  • [STRIKEOUT:No CRS settings (setvar:crs…) editor yet.]
  • Recipes are not worth using yet.
  • No sudo usage.

Project details

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