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Since Magento uses the /downloader as a way to conveniently install programs via Magento Connect Manager it is apparent that this is also a security concern since it allows the possibility for bots or people to attempt to learn credentials for the installation.

Checking access logs to my website, I was alarmed at the amount of attempts to the

As a work around I've gotten into the habit of renaming the downloader directory to downloader.offline but occasionally I forget. (Either to rename it back to install a program or after I'm done).

What is the recommended method to protect this link?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Just put a .htaccess (or if nginx/whatever a config) into the downloader directory with Disallow from all in it to forbid any request on the directory.

If you wanted to allow a few IP addresses in (like your own), try something like this in your .htaccess

order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from

Where and are IP addresses you want to let through.

My prefered way: Just delete downloader

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Sure, no one can access it then. Is Magento connect in this path? Then you need to Allow from <ip> or use authorization – Fabian Blechschmidt Mar 10 '14 at 13:14
Or better yet, don't use the downloader at all. – Daniel Sloof Mar 10 '14 at 13:16
Of course! Magento connect doesn't allow reliable reproduction of the system's status and using a version control system. I recommend to use modman or better composer! – Fabian Blechschmidt Mar 10 '14 at 13:18
Composer FTW - Fabian's dead on here. – Bryan 'BJ' Hoffpauir Jul 1 '15 at 0:21
download is the magento connect directory. If this makes problems this extension seems to be very broken? – Fabian Blechschmidt Nov 5 '15 at 18:41

Along with @daniel-sloof's recommendation I would say to ditch the Magento Connect installer altogether. I generally add it to .gitignore when setting up a new repository.

The reason being, as Fabian points out in his answer comments, that there is no way to ensure the replication of your production environment in source control without committing the packages from Connect. The feature you'll be losing here is the ability to update/upgrade packages from Connect - but if you really need that functionality you can always do it locally on your dev box and commit the results when you're satisfied that they work.


Delete the /downloader folder or remove it from your source control.

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Kind of annoying though, not having access to ./mage any more. I assume the ./mage install CLI command is just a wrapper for Magento Connect. edit: Actually I can just use magerun extension:install :) – Erfan Apr 9 '15 at 1:52
:/ N98-Magerun is also a wrapper for downloader/mage.php. I guess you could just copy /downloader to your local dev environment if you need to install something – Erfan Apr 9 '15 at 2:19
For some reason, I only ever find myself running ./mage as a file downloader on my development server anymore. It's only reason for existence on live environments is patch dependencies anymore. – Fiasco Labs Nov 17 '15 at 16:10

I usually delete the downloader directory, but also found the following directive in the root htaccess helpful:

RewriteRule ^downloader/ - [L,R=404]

Which will make Apache send a 404 response even if the downloader directory is present.

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I like this method too – SR_Magento Jan 21 at 11:09
Doesn't work for all downloader requests. try – David Wilkins Mar 2 at 19:44
Although, the method in my other comment isn't really accessing the downloader, it's just a shortcut (longcut?) to the admin login. Someone would have to know your adminurl for this to work. if you haven't patched the adminurl disclosure vulnerability, it is likely for someone to obtain it. – David Wilkins Mar 2 at 20:04

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