How To Disable HTTP OPTIONS Methods in Apache


Securing your web server is a crucial aspect of maintaining a robust online presence. One of the steps to enhance security is to disable unnecessary and potentially insecure HTTP methods. Apache, one of the most widely used web servers, allows users to achieve this by leveraging the mod_rewrite module.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of disabling the HTTP OPTIONS method in Apache, and the same steps can be applied to disable other methods like HEAD, PUT, and DELETE.

Step 1: Open .htaccess File

Firstly, make sure that the mod_rewrite module is enabled on your Apache web server. This can typically be done by locating and editing the `.htaccess` file, commonly found in the root directory of your web server, often at `/var/www/html/.htaccess`.

You can use a text editor to open the file. In this example, we’ll use the `nano` editor:

sudo nano /var/www/html/.htaccess

Step 2: Disable HTTP OPTIONS Methods

To disable the HTTP OPTIONS method, add the following lines to your `.htaccess` file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Explanation of the code:

  • The first line activates the mod_rewrite module.
  • The second line checks if the request method is OPTIONS, TRACE, or TRACK.
  • The third line forbids access (`[F]`) to requests with these methods.

OPTIONS Method Disable Techhyme

To disable other methods such as HEAD, PUT, and DELETE, modify the second line accordingly. For example, to disable HEAD, PUT, and DELETE:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Step 3: Restart Apache Web Server

Once you have made the necessary changes, restart the Apache web server to apply the configuration:

sudo service apache2 restart

These steps should effectively disable the specified HTTP methods and enhance the security of your Apache web server.

By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the attack surface of your web server and minimize the risk of potential security vulnerabilities. Always ensure that you have a backup of your configuration files before making changes and regularly review and update your server security practices.

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