apache error: directory is writable by others

10 minutes ago I tried to open this blog and got a 404 page instead. Quite disturbed, luckily I was looking at the right places to find out about this problem.

My first hunch was to look at Apache’s error log, was thinking in my head whether this error log is available for me via ssh (this is a shared hosting after all), however it turns out that I can check the log from Cpanel, even better!

Found out what the error was: [2007-10-31 21:31:09]: error: directory is writable by others: (/home/tjandraw/public_html/lyceum)

Googling around “apache error: directory is writable by others”, and of course the cause was: my lyceum directory permission was 777 (all write, read, execute for everyone!).. I know.. what was I thinking. Changing it to 755 fixed the problem.

I wonder this site has been working for so long without any problem caused by that permission security hole, what has Jumba done to enforce this rule, ie no directories to have 777 permission, is it a part of Apache?