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Recently there has been a surge in security issues with Joomla 1.5. Joomla developers have stated, "Joomla! 2.5 is the current LTS (Long Term Support) version. The previous LTS version, Joomla 1.5, is still widely used and will be supported with security fixes only until September 2012."
IMPORTANT!! If you are running Joomla 1.5 you will need to upgrade. You will also need to completely remove and delete any components that are not being used anymore. For example, the "dvmessages" plugin. The "dvmessages" plugin is not compatible with anything past 1.X; So, when you upgrade from 1.5 to 2.5, the files are just left in place, and your site can still get hacked causing outbound DDOS Attack.
The makers of Joomla have provided a list of security holes in extensions for Joomla 1.5. Since Joomla 1.5 is no longer being supported, update patches for these vulnerabilities are no longer being made. Below is a link to the docs.joomla.org that contains a list of all the known extensions with security exploits.
There are several tips to keep in mind when you are securing your Joomla 1.5 website.
Along with reading this article, I recommend checking the Official Joomla 1.5 Security Forum for important information. Also check the Official Security and Performance FAQ.
Joomla does have a security Forum and News page where you can get tips and the latest news for securing your Joomla website. Even though Joomla 1.5 is still not supported, you may be able to get some forum discussions with information on fixes or Joomla may have news announcement with critical information that may help. Below are the Joomla Forum and News site links.
With the various security risks in running Joomla 1.5, it is highly recommended that you upgrade your Joomla version. The upgrade process is much more a migration than a simple upgrade due to major changes in the core code. Below are links to help you with migrating your site from 1.5 to 2.5. It is not recommended to upgrade to 3.0 at this time due to slight instability in the 3.0 release.
As with any program, you should always create a backup of the site before performing any migration or upgrade. You can use the standard backup tools found in the cPanel or use a third party program such as xCloner.
Once you have the backups generated, you are ready to begin your backup. Below are links to the official Joomla 1.5 - 2.5 migration documentation as well as a link to the jUpgrader extension that many use for migrating their site.
There are videos on YouTube that also help guide you through a 1.5 - 2.5 migration.
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