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I read somewhere about hot linking of images. Preventing image hot linking helps to stop bandwidth theft from your site. Would it work for a PHP file?

In my case, I am using a PHP file to generate thumbnails from an image. I don't want others to refer this PHP file from their site.

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This might be better suited on stackoverflow – John Conde Oct 28 '10 at 4:26
up vote 5 down vote accepted

One programmatic way is to check the referrer to make sure the request came from your site:

    $yoursite = "yoursite.com"; //Your site url without http://
    $yoursite2 = "www.yoursite.com"; //Type your domain with www. this time

    $referer = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];

    //Check if browser sends referrer url or not
    if ($referer == "") { //If not, set referrer as your domain
        $domain = $yoursite;
    } else {
        $domain = parse_url($referer); //If yes, parse referrer

    if($domain['host'] == $yoursite || $domain['host'] == $yoursite2) {

        //Run your image generation code

    } else {

        //The referrer is not your site, we redirect to your home page
        header("Location: http://yoursite.com");
        exit(); //Stop running the script


Source: http://www.knowledgesutra.com/forums/topic/40295-check-referrer-to-prevent-linking-yours-from-other-sites/

This article presents an alternate method using PHP sessions.

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Of course referrers can be spoofed quite easily. – John Conde Oct 28 '10 at 4:28
Thanks, the same thing i found after posting the answer. lets check whether it'll work. just for knowledge, can i do it through htaccess file and keeping the file in folder where my php exist? – Amit Gupta Oct 28 '10 at 5:47
@articlestack: You can do referrer checking with htaccess but obviously not the 2nd solution since it uses PHP sessions. – BenV Oct 28 '10 at 6:01

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