PHP PHP Hypertext Preprocessor Computer Science Essay

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This document is to explain how we intend to provide more secure access to a college using student number and student password to access the internet. This will also allow monitoring of usage by each particular student.

Scope of the Document

The methods and requirements needed to complete a project; outline all the tasks we needed to complete project.

Create PHP

Create Database in MySql

Get them both to work in conjunction with each other for access of wireless internet

Configure Access point i.e. when client attempts to log on to the wireless network through their browser they immediately get redirected to the homepage 127.0.0.1 .

Configure server i.e. Apache

Configure parameters in SSH to allow clients to access the internet once the they have been confirmed as having the correct login information from the database.

Definition and Acronyms

PHP - PHP Hypertext Preprocessor

MySql - My Structural Query Language

SSH - Secure Shell

Apache - Is a freely available Web server that is distributed under an open source license. It is the most widely-installed Web serve

XAMPP - Is a free and open source cross-platform web server package, consisting mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages.

RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) - is a networking protocol that provides centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) management for computers to connect and use a network service.

TACACS (Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System) - is a remote authentication protocol that is used to communicate with an authentication server commonly used in UNIX networks. TACACS allows a remote access server to communicate with an authentication server in order to determine if the user has access to the network. TACACS is defined in RFC 1492, and uses (either TCP or UDP) port 49 by default. A later version of TACACS introduced by Cisco in 1990 was called Extended TACACS (XTACACS). The TACACS protocol was developed by and is proprietary of Cisco Systems.

History

Wi-Fi Hotspot

A hotspot is a site that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network through the use of a router connected to a link to an Internet service provider. Hotspots typically use Wi-Fi technology.

Public access wireless local area networks (LANs) were first proposed by Henrik Sjödin at the NetWorld and Interop conference in The Moscone Center in San Francisco in August 1991. Stewart did not use the term hotspot but referred to publicly accessible wireless LANs. Stewart went on to found the companies PLANCOM in 1994 (for Public LAN Communications, which became MobileStar and then the HotSpot unit of T-Mobile USA) and Wayport in 1996.

The term HotSpot may have first been advanced by Nokia about five years after Stewart first proposed the concept.

During the dot-com period in 2000, dozens of companies had the notion that Wi-Fi could become the payphone for broadband. The original notion was that users would pay for broadband access at hotspots.

XAMPP

Many people know from their own experience that it's not easy to install an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl.

XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use ; just download, extract and start.

TACACS

In computer networking, TACACS+ (Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System Plus) is a Cisco Systems proprietary protocol which provides access control for routers, network access servers and other networked computing devices via one or more centralized servers. TACACS+ provides separate authentication, authorization and accounting services.

TACACS+ is based on TACACS, but, in spite of its name, it is an entirely new protocol which is incompatible with any previous version of TACACS. TACACS+ and RADIUS have generally replaced the earlier protocols in more recently built or updated networks, although TACACS and XTACACS are still running on many older systems.

Apache

Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation. The application is available for a wide variety of operating systems, including Unix, GNU, FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Novell NetWare, AmigaOS,Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, TPF, and eComStation. Released under the Apache License, Apache is characterized as open-source software.

Since April 1996 Apache has been the most popular HTTP server software in use. As of February 2011 Apache served over 59.13% of all websites and more than 66.62% of the million busiest.

MySQL

MySQL was started in 1995 under the name of MySQL AB. MySQL was founded by three guys, Michael Widenius, David Axmark, and Allan Larsson. The company was eventually sold in 2008 to Sun Microsystems at a cost of one billion dollars. MySQL has offices in Sweden and California. Throughout MySQL's history, there have been numerous highlights that have made the computer industry better and what it is today.

1998: In 1998, Windows decided to release their version for the Windows 95 and NT programs.

2008: MySQL releases version 5.1. Version 5.1 includes partitioning, event scheduler, row based replications, server log tables, and plugin API.

MqSQL is not stopping with version 5.1. Just like they have done since 1995, they are continuing to improve MySQL. MySQL 6.0 is already in the works and it is going to contain referential integrity, additional unicodes, and a new storage engine.

PHP

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. For this purpose, PHP code is embedded into the HTML source document and interpreted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the web page document. It also has evolved to include a command-line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications.[2]PHP can be deployed on most web servers and as a standalone interpreter, on almost every operating system and platform free of charge.[3]PHP is installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.

RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service)

is a networking protocol that provides centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) management for computers to connect and use a network service. RADIUS was developed by Livingston Enterprises, Inc., in 1991 as an access server authentication and accounting protocol and later brought into the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards. RADIUS is a client/server protocol that runs in the application layer, using UDP as transport. The Remote Access Server, the Virtual Private Network server, the Network switch with port-based authentication, and the Network Access Server (NAS), are all gateways that control access to the network, and all have a RADIUS client component that communicates with the RADIUS server.

2.1 Requirements Definition

For this project to be successful we were required to learn the basics of the following:

RADIUS

PHP

XAMPP

TACACS

Apache

MySQL

From that we needed to combine the software, PHP and MySql, in order for the authentication and security process to work.

We also needed to get radius to work with XAMPP for the protocols of the wireless network to be successful.

We needed to install the virtual server on a PC so the control parameters could be properly setup.

We needed to configure a cisco access point and a router for the network to be accessed.

To outline:

The methods and requirements needed to complete a project; outline all the tasks we needed to complete project.

Create PHP

Create Database in MySql

Get them both to work in conjunction with each other for access of wireless internet

Configure Access point i.e. when client attempts to log on to the wireless network through their browser they immediately get redirected to the homepage 127.0.0.1.

Configure server i.e. Apache

Configure parameters in SSH to allow clients to access the internet once they have been confirmed as having the correct login information from the database.

Design Description

The ideas behind the project are how we intend to provide more secure access to a college using student number and student password to access the internet. This will also allow monitoring of usage by each particular student.

This can be seen from the design below.

Group Project design.jpg

Implementation

Get XAMPP working on the server

Configuring access point and router

(SS)

Design database in MySql

We had to import the database into XAMPP

We designed the PHP

Checked configuration was correct and all status needed were active

Configuring Tacacs and Radius to bring the user to the PHP (127.0.0.1 XAMPP page hosting PHP).

Testing

The testing that was carried out on all aspects of the project is as follows:

The PHP was found to be complete and it was verified via http://validator.w3.org/.

The Sql database was checked by Mimer SQL Validator.

A laptop could connect to the access point via 127.0.0.1.

A laptop could ping the access point and the router.

A laptop could access our server via XAMPP.

Our access point automatically loaded the default page 127.0.0.1 on the access point.

System Requirements

Hardware Requirements

Access point

acesspoint.jpg

Router

route.jpg

Console cable

Netinstall_cable-01.jpg

Server (which was a PC in the Networks Lab)

pc.jpg

Laptop.

sony-vaio-n-laptop.jpg

Software Requirements

PHP (Personal Home Page), apache server, database mysql, AAA protocol tacacs and radius on the server

Xampp had perl apache mysql built in which made this software ideal for trying to gain access to a secure network

XAMPP.jpg

Conclusions

Paul

Xampp was very good, very handy to have as it allows the combination of a few types of software that were needed in the application of this project, it saved time overall in the configuration of the programs. There are a lot of programs available that will try to set up a wi-fi hotspot but the problem with these programs is the expense as they usually charge a yearly subscription and want to advertise on your web page e.g. http://www.mywifizone.com/ . There are a lot of resources available to setup a wi-fi hotspot but they do not seem to have a basic guide to exactly what is needed to configure this from scratch for someone who has a limited knowledge, this made the task very difficult.

When the project idea was conceived originally we didn't think that it would be as complicated to setup a secure login page but the more that we progressed the more complicated issues started to arise in the implementation of the project, as this occurred each part had to be researched in more detail and our limited knowledge was stretched further by this.

Jonathan

At the beginning we had an idea of this project being a simple case of putting a program on a virtual server on a PC and logging in through an access point to get to the internet. This was not the case as we found that as we progressed more problems arose due to the fact that we had underestimated the complexity of undertaking such a project.

I found the lack of simple step by step guides available in the form of books and general internet resources surprising as even the beginners guides needed a certain level of basic knowledge to start the configuration process.

All in all this was a very steep learning curve and not all aspects were understood by me in the limited time available to complete the task at hand.

Project Team

Paul Dennehy and Jonathan Murphy

All work shared equally.

Project Experiences

There were many aspects to this project that gave us challenges; we needed to find the best method of accessing an area through an access point but also accessing a database that holds security information about each user.

Positive experiences

The original challenge of figuring out methods that we had not encountered before were difficult but enjoyable as it allowed us to think outside the box regarding what we could or couldn't do.

We had to research different methods that could be used, for both accessing the server and also containing the database. We came across many different types of software to achieve both of these goals but settled on XAMPP as this had the capacity to combine the software we needed to achieve our ultimate goal. XAMPP had some of the more basic aspects of the configuration needed preconfigured, because of this we would recommend using this software in further projects of this nature.

Project risks

That the security would be compromised and the secure login process would not work.

References

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