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Security

Inlineshashes: a new tool to help you build your CSP

Content-Security-Policy (CSP) is an important mechanism in today’s web security arsenal. Is a way of defending against Cross-Site Scripting and other attacks.

It isn’t hard to get started with or to put in place in order to secure your website or web application (I did that exercise in a previous post). However when the systems are complex or when you don’t fully control an underlying “codebase” that frequently changes (like it happens with of-the-shelf software) things can get a bit messier.

In those cases it is harder to build a strict and simple policy, since there are many moving pieces and/or you don’t control the code development, so you will end up opening exceptions and whitelisting certain pieces of content making the policy more complex. This is specially true for inline elements, making the unsafe-inline source very appealing (its name tells you why you should avoid it).

Taking WordPress as an example, recommended theme and plugin updates can introduce changes in the included inline elements, which you will have to review in order to update your CSP. The task gets boring very quickly.

To help with the task of building and maintaining the CSP in the cases described above, I recently started to work on a small tool (and library) to detect, inspect and whitelist new inline changes. You can check it here or download it directly from PyPI.

By Gonçalo Valério

Software developer and owner of this blog. More in the "about" page.

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